To mark the 40th anniversary of the creation of departmental select committees, this special issue of Parliamentary Affairs draws together contibutions from House of Commons officials and leading academics on the past, present and future of one of the most significant reforms to the UK Parliament.
Articles available to read for free are marked with a star (☆).
- Departmental Select Committees: The Reform of the Century? – Philip Norton
Pre-history and development
- Reform and Consolidation: A New Perspective on Commons Select Committees 1960–1980 – Philip Aylett
- Select Committee Reform: Shifting the Balance and Pushing the Boundaries – Lucinda Maer
- The National Audit Office and the Select Committee System 1979–2019 – Henry Midgley
The actors and their roles
- A Means to an End and an End in Itself: Select Committee Membership, Parliamentary Roles and Parliamentary Careers, 1979–Present – Stephen McKay, Mark Goodwin, Stephen Holden Bates
- Performing Scrutiny along the Committee Corridor of the UK House of Commons – Marc Geddes
- (☆) Chairing UK Select Committees: Walking Between Friends and Foes (☆) [Open access] – Emma Crewe, Nicholas Sarra
- The Territorial Select Committees, 40 Years On – David Torrance, Adam Evans
- Select Committees: Understanding and Regulating the Emergence of the ‘Topical Inquiry’ – Craig Prescott
- Select Committees: Agents of Change – Adam Mellows-Facer, Chloe Challender, Paul Evans
- (☆) Select Committees and Brexit: Parliamentary Influence in a Divisive Policy Area (☆) [Open access] – Philip Lynch, Richard Whitaker
Involving the audience: participation and engagement
- Between Diversity, Representation and ‘Best Evidence’: Rethinking Select Committee Evidence-Gathering Practices – Danielle Beswick, Stephen Elstub
- How Public Engagement Became a Core Part of the House of Commons Select Committees – Aileen Walker, Naomi Jurczak, Catherine Bochel, Cristina Leston-Bandeira
Reviewing the performance of scrutiny
- Conclusion: So, What Is Good Scrutiny Good For? – Paul Evans
Practitioner: The 2019 University of Oxford Bingham Lecture
- Is the House of Commons Too Powerful? The 2019 Bingham Lecture in Constitutional Studies, University of Oxford – Philip Norton
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The unprecedentedly long delay in appointing the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) again exposes the extent to which the work of this parliamentary committee is constrained by the executive. Important ISC inquiries, as well as publication of the Committee’s ‘Russia report’, are being held up.
Should the Liaison Committee have as its chair someone who is not simultaneously a select committee chair, and should the identity of that person be determined by the government? The answer to these questions will tell us much about how this cohort of MPs, particularly government backbenchers, view the relationship between Parliament and the executive.
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