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Pre-legislative scrutiny under the 2015 and 2017 Conservative Governments

Published Thursday, November 8, 2018

This briefing provides a brief summary of the background to the development of pre-legislative scrutiny and an overview of the relevant parliamentary procedure.

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Section 2 of the paper looks at draft bills announced or published in the 2015 and 2017 Parliaments and their subsequent scrutiny. Also included are draft bills announced in the 2014-15 session subject to pre-legislative scrutiny in the subsequent 2015 Parliament.

Note: Tax legislation is regularly published in draft for technical consultation and is not noted here.

2015 Parliament

Seven proposals for draft legislation were announced during the 2015 Parliament and five were published; four draft bills and a set of draft clauses. These were scrutinised by the relevant departmental select committee and one (the Investigatory Powers Bill) by three committees.

The Government published four reports in response to the select committees’ reports and subsequently introduced three bills in the House of Commons and one in the House of Lords. Two of the bills were presented in the 2017 Parliament.

Current 2017 Parliament

Eleven proposals for draft legislation have been announced in the current Parliament, including one draft clause. Nine of these have been published of which six have been considered by the relevant departmental select committee and one allocated to an ad-hoc committee, the Joint Committee of the Draft Health Service Safety Investigations Bill. The Government has published four responses to the select committees’ reports and has introduced three bills in the House of Commons and two in the House of Lords, including the Investigatory Powers Bill which was subject to pre-legislative scrutiny in the 2015 Parliament.

Statistics and documentation on draft bills

Table 1 in the Appendix notes the number of draft bills published in each session since 1997-98 and Tables 2 and 3 detail all draft bills announced or published and their subsequent progress in the 2015 and the 2017 Parliaments to date

All the references and papers in Tables 1 and 2 can be accessed via the embedded hyperlinks.

Links to draft bills before Parliament and associated documents are available on the Parliamentary website.

Commons Briefing papers CBP-7757

Author: Sarah Priddy

Topic: Legislative process

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