Sunset clauses and post-legislative scrutiny: Bridging the gap between potential and reality

Post-legislative scrutiny
Online event

Sunset clauses and post-legislative scrutiny: Bridging the gap between potential and reality

28 January 2022
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Online event
Sunset clauses set an expiration date on a particular law or set of provisions. The expiration is either automatic or subject to a positive or negative authorisation by the legislature.

Sunset clauses were in high demand in COVID-19 acts and regulations, with the main function to ensure that the restrictive measures adopted to respond to the pandemic extended no longer than necessary.

To launch the latest publication in WFD's PLS series, this event will examine the relevance, mechanics and the practical lessons learned of using sunset clauses.

The publication, which includes a Foreword by Lord Norton of Louth, explores three key areas:

  • How those involved in both drafting and reviewing emergency legislation might bridge the gap between the potential of sunset clauses and the realities that often arise
  • The essential features of effective sunset clauses that can promote legal certainty and democratic deliberation
  • How sunset clauses can only provide effective safeguards for legal certainty and democracy if they are well drafted and accompanied by substantive review processes


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Franklin De Vrieze

Senior Governance Adviser, WFD

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Dr Sean Molloy

Newcastle University Academic Track fellow in law at Newcastle Law School

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Dr Maria Mousmouti

WFD Associate Expert and Associate Research Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies of the University of London

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Andy Beattie

Chief Parliamentary Counsel of Scotland

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Dr Sarah Moulds

Senior Lecturer in Law, UniSA: Justice + Society - University of South Australia 

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