Post-legislative scrutiny is defined as: ‘a broad form of review, undertaken by parliamentary committees, which addresses the effects of legislation in terms of whether intended policy objectives have been met and, if so, how effectively’. However due to a lack of systematic study, we do not know how the process operates in practice. In particular, we do not know;
- How the formal processes have been carried out and with what frequency.
- What the experience has been of parliamentary committees undertaking post-legislative scrutiny.
- What recommendations have arisen from post-legislative scrutiny and how many of these recommendations have been accepted by the Government and with what consequence.
- The extent to which recommendations are being followed up by committees.
This research fills an important gap in our knowledge of how this particular core function of departmental select committees in the House of Commons is undertaken. As Parliament has been undertaking such scrutiny for over ten years now, this is a timely study to assess how the UK Parliament is performing on this specific task
During the course of my PhD I have also undertaken a four month placement with the House of Commons Petitions Committee through the Political Studies Association and House of Commons Committee Office Placement Scheme. From this I have gone on to co-author, with the Clerk of the Petitions Committee, a chapter on petitioning in a new textbook on the UK Parliament titled ‘Exploring Parliament’ due out in 2018. Additionally through my research I have also given oral and written evidence on post-legislative scrutiny to a committee of the Scottish Parliament.