Articles on topics including House of Commons scrutiny of public appointments, the significance and influence of informal space in legislatures, and gender and media attention in the 2015 UK general election. This special edition issue also contains a collection of articles on the theme of ‘disunity in Parliament’.
- Improving Parliamentary Scrutiny of Public Appointments
Robert J D Hazell
- Power behind the Scenes: The Importance of Informal Space in Legislatures
Philip Norton (editors’ choice)
- Participatory Adaptation in Contemporary Parliamentary Committees in Australia
Carolyn M Hendriks, Sue Regan, Adrian Kay
- Candidate Gender and the Media Attention in the 2015 UK General Election
Justin Murphy, Beata Rek
- Mobilising the ‘People’s Army’ at the Grassroots: Examining Support for the UK Independence Party (UKIP) in English Local Elections
Michael Thrasher, Matthew J Goodwin, Colin Rallings, Galina Borisyuk
- Parliamentary Scrutiny of Aid Spending: The Case of the Global Challenges Research Fund
Ambreena Manji, Peter Mandler
- Conservative Feminists? An Exploration of Feminist Arguments in Parliamentary Debates of the Bundestag1
Special edition: disunity in Parliament
Guest editors: Caroline Close and Sergiu Gherghina
- Introduction: Towards a Better Understanding of Parliamentary Unity
Caroline Close, Sergiu Gherghina
- Prompting Legislative Agreement and Loyalty: What Role for Intra-Party Democracy?
Caroline Close, Sergiu Gherghina, Vivien Sierens
- Two Faces of Party Unity: Roll-Call Behavior and Vote Explanations in the German Bundestag
Thomas Zittel, Dominic Nyhuis
- Are Backbenchers Fighting Back? Intra-Party Contestation in German Parliament Debates on the Greek Crisis
Caroline Bhattacharya, Achillefs Papageorgiou
- What Happens after Assignments? The Room for Manoeuvre of Committee Members in the Bundestag and the Tweede Kamer
Tim A Mickler
- Intra-Party Group Unity in the European Parliament Prior to its First Direct Elections in 1979
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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.
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?
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.
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.
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.