A former Clerk of several House of Commons select committees looks back over 30 years at how the tempo of their work has changed, and asks whether the increase in their resources and activities can or should continue indefinitely.
Select committee reform over the last 40 years has been a stop-go process. Here, the Clerk of the Liaison Committee during its recent 40th anniversary inquiry traces the phases in the story and identifies the set of factors that seem to work for or against reform each time.
The Supreme Court’s 24 September nullification of the prorogation that had at that point been underway presented Parliament with a procedural and record-keeping problem. Here, the Clerks of the Journals in the two Houses explain how it was resolved.
The Supreme Court’s judgement that the government’s prorogation of Parliament was unlawful was due in part to concern that the legislature’s ability to scrutinise Statutory Instruments would be compromised. But as ‘exit day’ nears, and with a new, shorter prorogation planned, the inadequacies of the parliamentary scrutiny process for SIs become ever starker.
In its recent landmark report, the House of Commons Liaison Committee recommended a widening of the circle of those that select committees should hold to account, and a turn towards the public in all committee activity, but also tighter links between select committees and the House of Commons Chamber.
The House of Commons’ last business before it was controversially prorogued on 9 September was the announcement of Royal Assent to the Parliamentary Buildings (Restoration and Renewal) Act 2019. Just as the UK’s parliamentary democracy was being questioned, a significant step forward was taken to safeguard the building that both houses and symbolises it.
Stay on top of the key Brexit developments in Parliament this autumn in our regularly updated procedural and constitutional guide.
Coming on top of the controversial introduction of the concept of ‘retained EU law’ in the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018, the provisions for an implementation / transition period in the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement pose challenges for UK law that the promised Withdrawal Agreement Bill will need to address, including through amendments to the 2018 Act.
In our April 2019 submission to the House of Commons Liaison Committee inquiry into the select committee system, we made wide-ranging recommendations including a review of the select committee core tasks, and a restructuring of the system to provide for improved scrutiny of delegated legislation and legislative standards and to accommodate post-Brexit needs.
Find out what the public thinks about politics, politicians, political parties, the system of governing, and more in our latest Audit of Political Engagement.
What are the issues that need to be considered when determining the processes and procedures for indicative votes? This briefing looks at how the options might be chosen, the structuring of the decision-making process, and what the rules need to address, as well as voting methods and criteria.
In November 2018 the House of Lords Liaison Committee published our evidence to its review of investigative and scrutiny committees. We made wide-ranging recommendations aimed at improving legislative scrutiny, facilitating more effective horizon-scanning and addressing post-Brexit scrutiny challenges.
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.
In a speech to the Hansard Society on 11 October, the Rt Hon John Bercow MP proposed three key reforms for the House: the establishment of the House Business Committee approved in 2010; reform of Private Members’ Bills; and the creation of a mechanism for Members to request a recall of the House.
On 12 September, the day after the EU (Withdrawal) Bill received its second reading in the House of Commons, this major one-day public event brought together leading parliamentarians and legal and constitutional specialists from across the UK to discuss the critical issues raised by the Bill and its prospects in the UK’s parliaments and assemblies.
Join the authors of the 2017 Audit of Political Engagement as they present their findings alongside a panel of leading commentators, and explore how one of the most consequential acts of democratic decision-making ever seen in this country has shaped levels of political engagement across the UK.
From finance to healthcare, technology has transformed the way we live, work and play, with innovative solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges. Can it also have a role in how we make our laws?