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Academic Seminar launches London Declaration on Post-Legislative Scrutiny

On 10 July 2018, the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies of the University of London and WFD co-organised an Academic Seminar bringing together 170 delegates from 40 countries to discuss Post-Legislative Scrutiny.

The Seminar launched a draft London Declaration on Post-Legislative Scrutiny. This aims at galvanising action in national parliaments around the world, based on a common understanding of post-legislative scrutiny and with support from WFD.

The Academic Seminar

Parliaments and elected representatives have often little information on what happens after a law is adopted. Too often, the focus is on getting legislation passed, not on checking how well it is being implemented and if it at all.

Post-Legislative Scrutiny consists of the body of mechanisms and practice used to monitor and evaluate the implementation of legislation, ensuring laws benefit constituents in the way originally intended by lawmakers.

The Seminar explored how Post-Legislative Scrutiny is undertaken in the UK House of Commons and House of Lords as well as in other parliaments of different legal tradition. Speakers presented the emerging practices of Post-Legislative Scrutiny in Mexico, Pakistan, Bahrain, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Kenya and Uganda.

Participants demonstrated interest for the linkages between gender, human rights and Post-Legislative Scrutiny, with new analysis on approaches of Post-Legislative Scrutiny of Gender-Based Violence from Cape Verde.

The Seminar was convened using a new approach for WFD, as it was based on a “Call for Papers”. Delegates interested in addressing the Seminar were asked to submit a paper for review by WFD and University of London. The Call received a very large number of responses from academics, parliamentarians and researchers, with 20 papers accepted for presentation and discussion in the Seminar.

The London Declaration

At the Academic Seminar, WFD presented the first draft of the “London Declaration on Post-Legislative Scrutiny”. Once finalised with feedback from all partners, the Declaration will be offered for endorsement to parliaments worldwide as well as research institutions and other institutional stakeholders in the implementation of legislation in a wide range of countries where WFD is working.

Later this year, WFD will launch a ‘pledge bank’, openly accessible online from www.wfd.org. It will also support signatories by providing advice and learning opportunities.

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