Parliamentary scrutiny


A core function of Parliament is the holding of government to account through effective scrutiny, including of policy-making and implementation, and the use of public money. At Westminster, scrutiny mechanisms include parliamentary questions and select committees. How well do such scrutiny mechanisms work, and how might they be improved?


Blog / When is a 'cross-party Committee' no longer cross-party? The case of the European Scrutiny Committee

The long-term near-absence of Labour participation in the work of the House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee means that the Committee is not operating as a fully cross-party Committee. Especially given the way in which the Committee’s role is changing since Brexit, this needs fixing, fast.

21 Jul 2022
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Blog / ‘Brexit Freedoms’ Bill: Is Jacob Rees-Mogg planning to give Parliament more control over Retained EU Law?

How Parliament will scrutinise changes to Retained EU Law (REUL) has been a matter of concern since the Government announced it would introduce the ‘Brexit Freedoms’ Bill. The Minister for Brexit Opportunities has now suggested Legislative Reform Orders (LROs) as a possible solution. But what are LROs and what would this mean for scrutiny of REUL?

21 Jul 2022
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Articles / The Parliamentary Partnership Assembly’s first meeting: what did we learn?

The new UK-EU Parliamentary Partnership Assembly (PPA) finally met for the first time on 12-13 May 2022 with pressures both for more constructive and more conflictual UK-EU relations simultaneously running high. With significant details of the PPA's operation still to be clarified, the meeting exposed some shortcomings but suggested that the body has the potential to become a useful forum.

26 May 2022
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Reports / Compendium of Legislative Standards for Delegating Powers in Primary Legislation

The scope and design of the delegation of legislative powers in any Bill affects the long-term balance of power between Parliament and Government. The House of Lords Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee (DPRRC) scrutinises all such delegation. This report distils standards for the delegation of powers from 101 DPRRC reports from 2017 to 2021.

25 Apr 2022
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Blog / Genetically modified organisms: Primary or delegated legislation?

A Statutory Instrument comes into force on 11 April that changes the legal requirements for the release of certain types of genetically modified plants. Some argue that the changes should have been made by primary, rather than delegated, legislation. Where does the boundary between the two lie?

08 Apr 2022
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Browse all 'Parliamentary scrutiny'


Guides / Financial Scrutiny: the Budget

23 Apr 2021

Guides / The Finance Bill

03 Mar 2021

Blog / Ping-pong and packaging

13 Feb 2021

Blog / Whose House Is It Anyway?

12 Oct 2017