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Parliamentary Scrutiny, Evidence and the Rule of Law:

Lessons from the pandemic and beyond

Date: 19 January 2022

Time: 13.30 - 14.30 UK time

Venue: Online

Event Details

What information and evidence does Parliament need to enable it to oversee government law-making? Is Parliament currently provided with sufficient information and, if not, how can this be improved?

The Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law and the Hansard Society invite you to join us for a webinar on 'Parliamentary Scrutiny, Evidence and the Rule of Law'. This event will explore the role of evidence, impact assessments, explanatory memorandums and other related material in facilitating parliamentary scrutiny of government law-making by delegated legislation. It follows the publication of a Bingham Centre Report  analysing the first 18 months of coronavirus legislation from a Rule of Law perspective, and forms part of the Hansard Society's Delegated Legislation Review , which is developing proposals to reform the processes by which delegated legislation is made and scrutinised.

The coronavirus pandemic has exposed and exacerbated weaknesses in the processes used to enact legislation. Laws have often been made at breakneck speed, resulting in a reduction in the quality and quantity of impact assessments and other documents explaining and justifying government policy positions. This is problematic from the perspective of both the Rule of Law and effective Parliamentary scrutiny. The Rule of Law requires the law-making powers of the government to be prescribed and controlled by Parliament, but Parliament cannot properly scrutinise the policies and rationale underpinning proposed legislation without timely and digestible information justifying the proposed legal changes.

The need for good quality supporting documentation is paramount where the government introduces new laws via delegated legislation; a form of government law-making where Parliament's scrutiny role is already limited. The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated a general trend towards the increased use of delegated legislation to enact significant policy changes. However, there are long-standing criticisms of the procedure by which delegated legislation is made and approved. This includes frequent criticism by the House of Lords Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee of the quality of Explanatory Memorandums, which are meant to provide a free-standing explanation of what each piece of delegated legislation does and why it is being introduced.

Watch a Recording of the event


Professor Jeff King, UCL Laws



  • Justin Madders MP, Shadow Minister for Employment Rights, previously Shadow Minister for Health and Social Care
  • Selvin Brown MBE, Director (Net Zero Buildings), Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy
  • Stephen Gibson, Chair of the Regulatory Policy Committee
  • Baroness Bakewell of Hardington Mandeville, member of the House of Lords Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee

Pricing and Registration

This event is free to attend but pre-registration is required. Online bookings are now closed. Please contact the events team  with any enquiries

Join the conversation:

@BinghamCentre #parliamentaryscrutiny #ruleoflaw

CPD Information

This event offers the equivalent of 1 CPD hours.


If you have any queries, please contact the Events team

Event Recording

Please note that our events may be photographed or recorded. These materials will be used for internal and external promotional purposes only by the British Institute of International and Comparative Law. If you object to appearing in recordings or photographs, please contact The Event Team to let us know ahead of the event.

Event Cancellation Policy

When you register for an event you will be asked to confirm that you have read and understood our cancellation policy.

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