The recent rearrangement of responsibilities for the government’s handling of EU-related affairs raises questions about future parliamentary scrutiny of these issues. In some respects pre-2016 institutional arrangements are restored, but the post-Brexit landscape presents new scrutiny challenges which thus far MPs have not confronted.
A recent House of Lords debate on a ‘made negative’ Statutory Instrument highlights Peers’ greater appetite and ability to secure such debates compared to MPs. Data on debate lengths suggests parliamentarians are more likely to give more meaningful scrutiny to SIs they wish to debate than those on which they are obliged to spend time by current procedures.
Statutory Instruments (SIs) have been a key tool in the government’s response to shortages of heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers. These SIs showcase the usefulness of this type of law-making but also highlight again some of the longstanding problems with its parliamentary scrutiny.
Delegated legislation may not be glamorous but it is essential to how our democracy works. Time to treat it accordingly.
The launch event for our Delegated Legislation Review raised a number of challenging constitutional and practical issues to be explored further during the Review process. The vivid discussions also confirmed the existence of both heightened interest in delegated legislation and a large degree of cross-party consensus on the need for reform.
How does the Coronavirus Act renewal process which is due to take place on 19 October work? How important is the Act in the overall legislative response to the pandemic? And what might MPs take from the process for the delegation of powers in future Acts?
What Covid Regulations will the House of Commons debate on 14 December, and how? Amid backbench unrest, the occasion will be shaped by the interplay between delegated legislation scrutiny, parliamentary procedures, and raw politics. The outcome could have profound consequences for both public health policy and the Prime Minister’s position.
Our explanations of key terms to help you understand the delegated legislation system at Westminster and the debate about its reform
There are problems with both the delegation of powers to make delegated legislation and the scrutiny of the Statutory Instruments (SIs) that arise from those powers. This report sets out some of the central problems that need to be resolved with respect to each of these two aspects of the system.
The full text of the keynote address given by Steve Baker MP at the launch of the Hansard Society Delegated Legislation Review, 2 November 2021.
The Hansard Society has long argued that the system of delegated legislation is not fit for purpose. This leaflet explains our Delegated Legislation Review.
Delegated legislation represents one of the most significant constitutional challenges of our time. It has long been a focus of Hansard Society research, expertise and advocacy. This page brings together information and links on our key delegated legislation-related projects, publications and services.
The problems with the delegated legislation system have long been known but Brexit and Covid-19 have illuminated them in stark terms. Our Review will lay out a comprehensive plan to address them.
The Audit of Political Engagement is a time-series study providing an annual benchmark to measure political engagement in Great Britain. It gauges public opinion about politics and the political system, and more broadly the health of our democracy.
What information and evidence does Parliament need to enable it to oversee government law-making? Is Parliament currently provided with sufficient information and, if not, how can this be improved?
On 2 November, the Society launched its Delegated Legislation Review to an audience of MPs, Peers and constitutional experts. The event – which included two panel discussions with Members from across the political spectrum and a keynote address by Steve Baker MP – unpacked the problems with the delegated legislation system and explored avenues for reform.
The Hansard Society hosted two online hustings for the candidates in the 2021 Lord Speaker election. The first event, on 25 March, was chaired by the BBC’s parliamentary correspondent Mark D’Arcy; and the second, on 13 April, was chaired by Jackie Ashley, former political correspondent and broadcaster.
On 15 October 2019, all nine original candidates to be the new Speaker of the House of Commons participated in a hustings event in Westminster, hosted jointly by the Hansard Society and The House magazine, and chaired by the BBC’s Carolyn Quinn.
On 20 March, Professor Sir John Curtice and a panel of leading commentators outlined their findings at the launch of the first major study of the 2017 general election, ‘Britain Votes 2017’.
Join us for the launch of our new Global Research Network on Parliaments and People, with a keynote speech on ‘Deepening Democracy’ by Baroness Amos.