Parliament and Human Rights
Parliament and the Law, 2018
35 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2019
Date Written: February 1, 2018
This paper was originally included in Parliament and the Law, an edited collection of essays supported by the UK Study of Parliament Group and published by Hart/Bloomsbury in 2018. This draft is included here for the first time with the kind permission of the publisher and with access to the underlying statistical research in advance of a conference on Parliament and the Courts organised by the Canadian Study of Parliament Group.
The paper considers the effectiveness of the UK Parliament's Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR). In an evidence based analysis, it examines the impact of the committee's legislative and thematic reports.
The underlying statistical research examines the impact of reports by the JCHR on Government legislation. The associated Excel tables, published by the Study of Parliament Group, provide details of the JCHR’s legislative scrutiny between 2010 and 2017. They also evaluate the impact of the JCHR recommendations published in reports in the 2014–15, 2015–16 and 2016–17 parliamentary sessions (and, in particular, whether they led to any changes to Government legislation). The authors recorded all the conclusions and recommendations made by the JCHR over the three parliamentary sessions and assessed whether they sought to amend Government legislation. They then tracked whether the recommendations were taken forward by any Member of Parliament, or the Government. Amendments that were won on division, or agreed to without debate or division, were logged. Impact was recorded where there was direct evidence of a Committee recommendation being a driver for change. The authors acknowledge that the decisions they reached on impact must, on some occasions, be subjective. They were assisted in verifying some of their conclusions by former JCHR staff.
Keywords: Parliament, Law, Human Rights, Impact, Courts, Sovereignty, Joint Committee on Human Rights, United Kingdom
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