Theme: Government & Parliament | Content Type: Journal article

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Parliamentary Scrutiny of Delegated Legislation: Lessons from Comparative Experience

Thomas G. Fleming and Tasneem Ghazi


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Recent years have seen an increase in the use of delegated legislation to implement major policy decisions in the UK. This has exacerbated the longstanding criticism that Westminster lacks sufficiently robust procedures for parliamentary scrutiny of delegated legislation. However, the UK is not the only country to use delegated legislation, or to face the challenge of ensuring it receives adequate parliamentary scrutiny. This article therefore places the UK system in wider context by comparing it to six other national parliaments. We highlight one comparative strength of the UK system, two weaknesses it shares with the other six cases, and one way in which the UK might learn lessons from elsewhere. Overall, our evidence suggests that no one country offers a clear template for more rigorous parliamentary scrutiny of delegated legislation. Successful reform of the UK's system is likely to require creative procedural innovation.

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    Thomas G. Fleming

    Thomas Fleming is a Lecturer in British and Comparative Politics at the Constitution Unit, Department of Political Science and School of Public Policy, University College London.

    Articles by Thomas G. Fleming
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    Tasneem Ghazi

    Tasneem Ghazi is a PhD student at the UCL Faculty of Laws. In 2022, she worked part-time as a research assistant at the Constitution Unit.

    Articles by Tasneem Ghazi