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While the UK Climate Assembly is seen to have been a success by the select committees and a number of them have launched inquiries referencing CAUK’s recommendations, it has had an agenda-setting influence at best.
As the involvement of parliaments in the ex–post stage of law making remains under-theorised, the Westminster Foundation for Democracy has just released a new publication, providing an analysis of the main rules, practices and trends on PLS in Europe, focusing on the experience of seven national parliaments: Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.
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What do we mean by open democracy and a transparent and reliable government in times of crisis and how can we make it a reality? Participatory democracy and civic tech could be part of the answer.
Much attention is rightly being paid to a country’s critical services, such as medical, health and social care provision or financial support packages. However, in the context of a crisis that is seen to be primarily clinical, there is a real risk that parliaments will be side-lined as a nonessential actors in its management and resolution.
In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, over 100 countries have passed emergency laws or declared states of emergency. While science gives a strong justification for controlling the rapid spread of the coronavirus by limiting the movement of people, closing businesses and enforcing social distancing, there is a serious risk of creating an unintentional wave of authoritarianism by curtailing civil liberties on a massive scale.
Modern parliaments are increasingly questioning not only whether they should perform oversight over the executive, but how they should do so. As parliaments continue to be responsible for monitoring whether the laws they have passed are implemented as intended and lead to the desired impact, Post-Legislative Scrutiny (PLS) is increasingly recognized as an important dimension within the oversight role and the legislative role of parliaments and as an integral part of entire legislative cycle. Therefore, PLS could be considered as a new practice of monitoring the implementation and evaluating the impact of laws. PLS also ensures that laws benefit citizens in the way originally intended by lawmakers.