Parliamentary Scrutiny

The Online Safety Act: scrutiny, safeguards and civil liberties 

On 27 October 2023 the controversial Online Safety Bill received Royal Assent and was enacted into law. The Online Safety Act 2023 (OSA), which the Government claims will make the UK the ‘safest place in the world to be online’, … [Read more...] about The Online Safety Act: scrutiny, safeguards and civil liberties 

Royal Commissions Part Four: Once and Future Royal Commissions?

This is the final instalment of four pieces on the place and function of royal commissions, you can find the previous blogs HERE.  Anyone who has listened to recent evidence coming out of the Covid Inquiry will be struck by just how … [Read more...] about Royal Commissions Part Four: Once and Future Royal Commissions?

Royal Commissions Part Three: Constitutional Reform

In the first of this series of blogs I pointed out the surge of interest in, and demands for, Royal Commissions on various topics, even though they have not been used as an instrument of policy formation or constitutional reform for more than two … [Read more...] about Royal Commissions Part Three: Constitutional Reform

Royal Commissions Part Two: Government by Commission 

In a previous post I started to examine the hazy world of ‘Royal Commissions’ and similar bodies. Most commentators and analysts of such bodies maintained there was not very much difference between Royal Commissions and the many similar … [Read more...] about Royal Commissions Part Two: Government by Commission 

Royal Commissions Part One – “a subject wrapped in a haze of common knowledge”?

Discussion of Royal Commissions has resurfaced in the past few years. In their 2019 Election Manifesto, for example, the Conservative Party promised to set up a Royal Commission on the criminal justice system (they haven’t). They also promised a … [Read more...] about Royal Commissions Part One – “a subject wrapped in a haze of common knowledge”?

The Trade (Australia and New Zealand) Act: a slippery slope for scrutiny 

The Trade (Australia and New Zealand) Act 2023 (TANZ Act) is the only piece of primary legislation implementing the UK’s Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with Australia and New Zealand. It consists solely of a delegation of power to implement … [Read more...] about The Trade (Australia and New Zealand) Act: a slippery slope for scrutiny 

The purpose of legislative scrutiny

It is broadly accepted that parliamentary scrutiny of legislation is a ‘good’ thing and that, if possible, there should be more of it. It is also broadly accepted that it is often ineffective and wrongfully subverted. As a result, most commentaries … [Read more...] about The purpose of legislative scrutiny