More on the Strathclyde Review

20160225_174239In a previous post, I drew attention to the limitations – indeed the dangers – of the review by Lord Strathclyde, published in December, of how the House of Lords deals with secondary legislation.  Two committees of the House have now weighed in with powerful critiques of the review.  The Constitution Committee (on which I serve) and the Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee develop similar points in identifying the flaws of the review.  I have drawn attention to both reports in a post on Lords of the Blog.

A third committee, the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee (SLSC), is also undertaking a review.  (As you will see from its report, the Delegated Powers Committee drew on my evidence to the SLSC.)  The Strathclyde Review is starting to resemble a grand battleship under fire from a number of cruisers; it is not clear how much more is needed before it sinks beneath the waves.

About Lord Norton

Professor of Government at Hull University, and Member of the House of Lords
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6 Responses to More on the Strathclyde Review

  1. Tangentially on point (and without knowing how you voted) I was disappointed that the House of Lords was individuated on this issue. Disappointed also in the outcome etc.

  2. tizres says:

    If I may ask for clarification, is the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel in the clear?

    • Lord Norton says:

      tizres: No. As one peer asked me yesterday ‘Were Parliamentary Counsel asleep on the job?’

      • tizres says:

        Then, to all intents, constructions, and purposes, the HoL has been made dysfunctional.

      • Lord Norton says:

        tizres: Sorry, my comment was meant to refer to the Scotland Bill rather than the Strathclyde Review. Secondary legislation is produced by departmental lawyers, rather than Parliamentary Counsel.

      • tizres says:

        My ignorance has confused many fine minds!

        Nonetheless, the OPC, along with the lawyers of the Scotland Office, do reflect your concerns over the quality and availability of training for the Civil Service, which must affect the functionality of Parliament.

        Thus, was the Strathclyde Review doomed to be the victim rather than the executioner? I have trouble picturing Lord Strathclyde as an unwilling fall guy but the alternative…

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