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Title: A critical analysis of post-legislative scrutiny in the UK Parliament
Authors: Caygill, Thomas Robert
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: Post-legislative scrutiny in the UK Parliament became a formal part of committee activity in 2008 and to date there have been no systematic studies either in the UK or elsewhere. The limited literature that does exist on post-legislative scrutiny is restricted mainly to parliamentary reports. As such this research helps to fill an important gap in the academic literature. The thesis contributes to the conceptual understanding of scrutiny, accountability and responsibility as well as how these concepts interact with and impact upon post-legislative scrutiny. The research follows a mixed methods approach, focusing upon the content analysis of postlegislative scrutiny reports with a particular focus upon the recommendations made and their acceptance by the government. These findings are supported by several case studies of post-legislative scrutiny inquiries. Drawing upon interviews with stakeholders, these case studies permit examination of the process of postlegislative scrutiny in much greater detail. The research finds that while post-legislative scrutiny is more extensive than it first appears, the majority of committees do not engage with it formally. There is also a selection bias in terms of the post-legislative scrutiny undertaken thus far, which focuses upon the legislation of the 1997-2010 Labour Governments. There is a strong relationship between the strength of post-legislative recommendations and their acceptance. As a result it is argued that committees deploy a strategy of producing weaker recommendations order to get more of them accepted. Finally, the research finds that while there is evidence of post-legislative scrutiny having impact, there is also untapped potential for further impact should committees in both Houses start following up on their inquiries formally. While there is evidence of post-legislative scrutiny making a difference there is room for improvement in terms of its extent, selection and impact.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

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