Parliaments make and change laws. They also have a role in checking the implementation of laws and evaluating whether they achieve their intended outcomes. Implementation is complex and does not happen automatically. What is more, parliaments and elected representatives often have little information on what happens after a law is adopted. So, parliaments need mechanisms to effectively monitor the implementation of legislation.
Post-legislative scrutiny (PLS) is the practice of monitoring the implementation and evaluating the impact of laws. The aim is to ensure that laws benefit citizens in the way originally intended by lawmakers. PLS is often carried out by parliamentary committees and is a prominent feature of UK parliamentary democracy. As PLS is recognized as an integral part of the legislative cycle, it is emerging as a new dimension within the legislative and oversight role of parliament.
WFD has helped parliaments around the world pioneer post-legislative scrutiny.
In Ukraine, WFD supported the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (VRU), the Parliament of Ukraine, to strengthen parliamentary oversight, in response to the European Parliament proposed Roadmap of Reforms of the Verkhovna Rada in 2016.
In the Western Balkans, WFD has worked with the parliamentary Committees on Human Rights and Gender Equality in initiating PLS in all parliaments of the Western Balkans.
Interested in finding out more about PLS? Why not join our Community of Practice?
The Community of Practice on PLS is a professional network of people who are familiar with or interested in PLS. It is open to parliamentarians, parliamentary staff, researchers, civil society, and democracy assistance providers.
A Community of Practice (CoP) creates an opportunity to engage and interact with others who work in the same field and can provide added value to a professional community. As professional networks, CoPs are often a viable aspect of professional development for the people involved.
Benefits to joining the PLS Community of Practice include:
- Knowledge sharing
- Standard setting
- Communicating and advocating
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The second WFD post-legislative scrutiny (PLS) Community of Practice Clinic will to focus on the different roles and responsibilities of Members of Parliament and parliamentary staff in preparing for, conducting and following up to PLS activities in parliament.
PLS features in the vast majority of our programmes, from introducing MPs to the practice to supporting the pilot of PLS inquiries. When it comes to PLS, WFD takes two approaches. The first is an institutional approach to PLS, whereby we focus on strengthening parliament’s capacity for PLS. The second is a thematic approach, focusing on gender-sensitive and climate-proof PLS.
WFD has also developed research and guides to PLS. This includes an annual course on post-legislative scrutiny, organised in cooperation with the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS) of the University of London.
Parliamentary innovation through post-legislative scrutiny
This manual provides practical guidance preparing, organising and following up on post-legislative scrutiny activities. The manual proposes new or additional parliamentary practices to improve the efficiency of PLS and/or its outreach to the public. This document is a revised and updated version of WFD’s PLS manual from 2017.
Resource: Post-Legislative Scrutiny: From a Model for Parliamentarians to a CSO Strategic and Operational Tool
This guide for civil society explains what PLS is, why it is important, and how to go about it. The report focuses on LGBTIQ+ organisations and their priorities and the tools it contains are adaptable for civil society organisations working in different contexts, on different issues, and with different capacities.
Franklin De Vrieze - Head of Practice, Accountability
Franklin is a democracy and governance expert with extensive experience in post conflict, fragile and transition countries. He is WFD's in-house expert on Post-Legislative Scrutiny, independent oversight institutions, financial accountability, and anti-corruption. He develops resources and research to support the design and implmentation of WFD programmes.