Mark and Ruth look at the growing fashion for re-writing Bills mid-air as they pass through Parliament, adding on all sorts of policy bells and whistles at the last minute.
As part of the Hansard Society's 'A Year in the Life' study of newly-elected legislators, this 2013 paper by Dr Mary C. Murphy (University College Cork) presented findings from research into the experiences of Members of Ireland's Lower House (Dáil Éireann) after the 2011 election, when nearly half the Members (Teachtaí Dála, TDs) were new to the role.
'At Home in the New House' looked at the make-up of the new intake of TDs, their motivations for seeking election, their first impressions of the Dáil, the parliamentary and constituency aspects of their new role, their understanding of the legislative process, their relationship with the media, and the induction, orientation and long-term support available to them.
The report made a series of recommendations for supporting new TDs in future, to enable them to be effective public representatives. It emphasised the importance of mentoring, policy briefings and practical support to help new TDs get up and running.
These findings and recommendations were used by parliamentary staff to inform their approach to the provision of induction for the new intake of TDs following the 2016 election.
The report evidenced some striking similarities with the experiences of new MPs at Westminster, such as the ongoing need for help around aspects of procedure, the loneliness some experience in the role (despite their general love for it), and a conscious desire to avoid the national media.
A notable similarity with the experience of new Assembly Members in Wales was that many new TDs similarly found themselves sitting on two or three committees, with all the attendant consequences for their time and workloads.
The study was launched at the Dáil in 2013, with the Speaker (Ceann Comhairle), Sean Barrett, and Government Chief Whip Paul Kehoe both speaking at the event.
Delegated legislation is the most common form of legislation in the United Kingdom. It is the legislation of everyday life, impacting millions of citizens daily. But the terminology and procedures that surround it are complex and often confusing. This explainer unpacks delegated legislation - the terminology and Parliament's role in scrutinising it - to reveal more about how delegated legislation really works.
What a week! Suella Braverman's sacking from Government was immediately eclipsed by the appointment of former Prime Minister David Cameron as the new Foreign Secretary. Mark and Ruth explore the many questions this raises, not least for scrutiny of foreign affairs by MPs.
The Prime Minister’s decision to cancel the next stage of HS2 has given rise to criticism that once again the Government has ridden roughshod over Parliament. Just over 1,300 hours of legislative time have been spent on four HS2-related Bills over nine Sessions in the last decade. Why has it taken so long and what now happens to that legislation?
When parliamentarians reassemble at Westminster on 7 November for the start of the new Session, all eyes will be on the legislative programme to be announced in the King’s Speech. Speculation about the likely date of the next general election is rife at Westminster, but until the date is settled there are a lot of parliamentary issues still to be tackled. We’ve picked out a few things to look out for on the political horizon.