On 18 October Austria’s former Federal Chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, is due to go on trial accused of giving false testimony before a parliamentary investigative committee. In the UK there has been a live debate for some years about what Parliament should do if Select Committee witnesses are thought to have given false evidence. Compared to the UK, how and why are the proceedings of Austrian investigative committees more closely linked to the courts, and what challenges has this posed?
Representative democracy is not a universal, one-size-fits-all model. There is much to learn from how other parliaments around the world work. And through the Global Research Network on Parliaments and People, we support researchers in other countries to conduct ‘critical friend’ scrutiny of their own parliaments.
Austria’s Parliament moved back into its fully renovated building at the start of 2023, less than six years after it moved out wholesale in Summer 2017. The renovation project, which was managed by parliamentarians and the Parliamentary Administration, overran original plans in terms of both costs and time, but it seems to have enjoyed notable levels of cross-party consensus and public support.
How can a Parliament fulfil its democratic functions in a state of total war? Since Russia’s full-scale invasion, Ukraine’s Parliament has worked uninterruptedly and fulfilled vital legislative, diplomatic and symbolic functions. But, a year on, it continues to seek the happy medium between maximising national security, and ensuring the transparency necessary for continued democratic functioning.
The creation of the UK-EU Parliamentary Partnership Assembly in 2022 threw a fresh spotlight on the UK Parliament’s participation in such international inter-parliamentary bodies. What do they do? Do they add value? And what is the role at Westminster of the UK assembly Delegations? Watch leading Delegation Members discuss these questions and more. [CLOSED] 7 February 2023 Webinar
The UK-EU Parliamentary Partnership Assembly (PPA) is the new body formed by the UK and European Parliaments that gives them jointly a role in the formal institutional structures of the post-Brexit UK-EU relationship. The PPA joins the growing number of such inter-parliamentary bodies worldwide. Our briefing sets out what it is, how it works and who its Members are.