Post-legislative scrutiny

Post-legislative scrutiny

Around the world, WFD is helping to make countries’ political systems more accountable. In an accountable political system, citizens can hold people with power responsible for their decisions, usually via parliament and civil society.
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Around the world, WFD is helping to make countries’ political systems more accountable. In an accountable political system, citizens can hold people with power responsible for their decisions, usually via parliament and civil society. This means that there are consequences when things go wrong, and lessons are learned when things could be improved. In turn, this helps ensure better delivery of public services.

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. 

Find out about our work strengthening parliamentary oversight in Ukraine

 

In Nepal, WFD assisted the parliament to examine the implementation of laws used in the country’s response to COVID-19.

Find out more about our work to support PLS in Nepal

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.

Find out about our work supporting PLS in 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: 

  • Networking 
  • Knowledge sharing  
  • Standard setting 
  • Innovating 
  • Communicating and advocating 

2024 course on post-legislative scrutiny

The course on post-legislative scrutiny (PLS) in the context of the Climate and Environmental Emergency offers an in-depth exploration of the theory and practice of PLS as an oversight tool. The course adopts a holistic outlook that places PLS in the legislative cycle and delves into the practice of PLS piloting and innovations over the last few years. For 2024, this holistic approach to PLS will also have a thematic focus on environment and climate change.

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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. 

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Our expertise

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.

11 Steps  for organising  post-legislative  scrutiny (PLS)  in parliament

The second edition of the PLS Manual for parliaments provides practical guidance for preparing, organising and following up on PLS activities. The Manual proposes new or additional parliamentary practices to improve the efficiency of PLS and/or its outreach to the public. The Manual outlines 11 methodological steps for organising PLS in parliament, which we have put in a handy infographic. 

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