Post-legislative Scrutiny

Current project status

  • Initiation: Could include discussing scope and terms of reference with lead Government Department
  • Pre-consultation: Could include approaching interest groups and specialists, producing scoping and issues papers, finalising terms of project
  • Consultation: Likely to include consultation events and paper, making provisional proposals for comment
  • Policy development: Will include analysis of consultation responses. Could include further issues papers and consultation on draft Bill
  • Reported: Usually recommendations for law reform but can be advice to government, scoping report or other recommendations

The project is complete. Our recommendations have been implemented

On 20 March 2008 the Government announced its acceptance of the proposals in our report on post-legislative scrutiny.

As the body charged with keeping all the law under review we are concerned both at the volume of legislation that is passed by Parliament and whether it accurately gives effect to the underlying policy aims. We are also concerned if new law has unintended consequences which make the law less certain and more complex. There are many issues that arise when one considers post-legislative scrutiny. The key questions include the purpose of post-legislative scrutiny, which legislation should be subject to such scrutiny, what form the scrutiny should take and by whom should it be undertaken, and perhaps most importantly, who should be responsible for making decisions about all of these issues.

The project

On 25 October 2006 we published our proposals to Parliament for introducing a more formal system for reviewing laws after they have been brought into effect and encouraging better regulation.

On 29 January 2006, we published a consultation paper inviting responses to various questions that we have identified. The consultation period closed on 28 April 2006. As part of our consultation, we held a seminar on post-legislative scrutiny jointly with the Statute Law Society on 1 March 2006.


Documents and downloads

Project details