Former Parliamentary Counsels discuss the legislative process
23 November 2016
The Constitution Committee hears evidence from legal experts and former Parliamentary Counsels for its large-scale inquiry on the Legislative Process. The Committee is exploring issues relating to the drafting of legislation.
- Parliament TV: The Legislative Process
- Inquiry: The Legislative Process
- Select Committee on the Constitution
Wednesday 23 November in Committee Room 1, Palace of Westminster
- Daniel Greenberg, former Parliamentary Counsel
- Michael Clancy OBE, Law Society of Scotland
- Robert Khan, Law Society of England and Wales
- Andrew Walker QC, Vice Chairman-Elect of the Bar Council and the Vice Chairman of the Bar Council Law Reform Committee
- Sir Stephen Laws KCB QC, former First Parliamentary Counsel
Possible questions the Committee may put to the former Parliamentary Counsels include:
- The Office of Parliamentary Counsel describe “good law” as law that is “necessary; clear; coherent; effective; and accessible”. To what extent do you think that legislation, at the point at which it is introduced in Parliament, meets these criteria?
- To what extent are parliamentary counsel responsible for ensuring the quality of legislation, as opposed to departmental lawyers, policy officials, and ministers?
- What are the key factors that influence the quality of the drafting of legislation?
Possible questions the Committee may put to the Law Societies and the Bar Council include:
- Is pre-legislative scrutiny useful in your view? Are there other mechanisms or process which could provide a similar service?
- What improvements would you like to see in the way in which legislation is drafted? How might these be achieved?
- Should there be a greater emphasis on consolidating law? What are the advantages of amending versus consolidating law?