The Committee will look to examine the Government’s progress on building devolution capability in central Government and to explore how well ministers and civil servants understand devolution arrangements, and the steps the Government is taking to embed consideration of every part of the UK in policymaking.
This inquiry looks to examine the arrangements for appointments to the House of Lords, its size and composition and the effectiveness of its role in relation to the House of Commons.
c2023 marks the 25th anniversary of the passing of the Scotland Act 1998.
To mark this milestone, the Committee is conducting an inquiry to examine how intergovernmental relations have developed since the establishment of the Scottish Executive and Parliament and how processes for managing intergovernmental relations evolved to respond to various political developments since 1999.The inquiry will also be considering how effectively the new intergovernmental relations framework has been operating, and has been implemented, since its introduction following in January 2022 following a review.
The Hansard Society has been conducting a Delegated Legislation Review (DLR) since November 2021 with financial support from The Legal Education Foundation.The DLR draws on the Hansard Society’s unique record of research and data collection on delegated legislation at Westminster that now stretches back over a decade.
The Independent Commission on UK Public Health Emergency Powers will review the UK's public health legislative framework and institutional arrangements, alongside Government decision-making during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The aim is that the Independent Commission's findings and recommendations will help to inform planning for future public health emergencies.
The Hague Convention 2019 on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters is a multilateral Private International Law convention which establishes common rules to facilitate the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments between Contracting States of the Convention: HCCH | Judgments Section.
The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee of the House of Commons mounted an Inquiry into the Coronavirus Act 2020 Two Years On.
The Coronavirus Act 2020 was passed at pace at the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Act has been subject to renewal at six-monthly intervals since its entry into force.
After two years on the statute books, its provisions are set to expire automatically at the end of March 2022, unless the Government chooses to extend them.
This inquiry will examine the extension process itself and the evidence that the Government should produce to justify such an extension.
The Scottish Parliament's Constitution, Europe, External Affairs and Culture Committee issued a call for views on the UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Continuity) (Scotland) Act 2021 Policy Statement and Annual Report.
The Constitution Committee in the House of Lords has published its report into the Revision of the Cabinet Manual.
- Read the 6th Session report.
The Joint Committee on the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act has been appointed to carry out a review of the operation of the 2011 Act and make recommendations for the repeal or amendment of that Act as necessary.
The Independent Review of Administrative Law (IRAL) was launched in July 2020 to consider options for reform to the process of Judicial Review
The Ministry of Justice launched a consultation on the Departure from Retained EU case law by UK Courts and Tribunals in July 2020.
- The Law Society's response - July 2020
The Constitution Committee carried out an inquiry into the constitutional implications of Covid-19 in 2020.
- The Law Society's response (July 2020)
In July this year, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Alok Sharma published a white paper on plans to legislate for a UK internal market to ensure that cross-border business can continue unimpeded within the UK once the many powers previously exercised at EU level are returned to the UK Government and devolved administrations. According to the white paper, these proposals will give devolved administrations “unprecedented regulatory freedom within new UK frameworks, allowing them to benefit from opportunities to innovate”.
- Read the white paper
- Read our response
The Scottish Parliament's Constitution, Europe, External Affairs and Culture Committee opened an UK Internal Markets Inquiry on 13 September 2021 to consider the implications of the UK internal market for Scotland including how devolution works.
The UK Parliament's Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee has issued an Inquiry into the Role of Parliament in the UK Constitution: The Scrutiny of International and Other Agreements.
Ahead of the Motion for debate in the Scottish Parliament tabled by Patrick Harvie MSP on revoking Article 50, we have issued comment on its legal consequences.
We have issued comment on the Draft European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (Exit Day) (Amendment) Regulations 2019.
Ahead of the debates on Motion 2 in the Prime Minister's name on Order Paper 274 on section 13 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 on 25 March 2019 we issued comment on the legislative consequences of the proposed amendments.
The UK Parliament's Joint Committee on Human Rights has issued an inquiry into whether parliament should set up a specific mechanism to scrutinise international agreements for compliance with human rights post-Brexit and what processes should be followed to ensure adequate scrutiny of compliance with human rights standards in international agreements.
The UK Government has issued a White Paper on Legislating for the Withdrawal Agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union. The White Paper sets out how the Government will implement the final Withdrawal Agreement reached with the EU in UK law.
The House of Lords' Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee has issued a short inquiry investigating the criteria which should be applied in deciding whether a statutory instrument (SI) to be laid under clauses 7 to 9 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill should be upgraded from a negative to an affirmative procedure instrument.
The House of Lords Liaison Committee has launched a wide-ranging review of investigative and scrutiny committees, the first full review in 25 years. The review aims to investigate issues such as how committees can add value to the scrutiny work of the House of Lords as a second chamber and what the strengths and weaknesses are of the current House of Lords committee structure and what should change.
The House of Commons Procedure Committee has issued a further call for evidence seeking views on the operation of the proposed sifting committee to consider secondary legislation under the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill.
The UK Government and the EU Commission have issued position papers with regards to judicial and administrative proceedings that are ongoing at the point of exit from the European Union.
The Constitutional Law Sub-Committee issued a briefing ahead of the Debates on the Address on 27 and 28 June 2017.
- The Law Society of Scotland's briefing (June 2017)
The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee has launched an inquiry to investigate channels of meaningful engagement between the UK Government and the devolved administrations during negotiations on the UK's withdrawal from the EU.
The Scottish Government has published for consultation a draft Referendum bill in order that it is ready for introduction should the Scottish Government conclude that seeking the view of the Scottish people on independence is the best or only way to protect Scotland's interests in the wake of the EU referendum.
- View the consultation on the Scottish Government website
- The Law Society of Scotland's response (January 2017)
- Read our comments sent to all MSPs ahead of the Scottish Government debate 'Scotland's Choice' on 21 March 2017.
- Read the Analysis of Responses which features the Society's response submitted in January 2017.
On 17 January 2017 the Prime Minister set out the 12 principles which will guide the government in fulfilling the democratic will of the people of the United Kingdom. The UK Government's White Paper sets out the basis for these priorities and the approach to forging a new strategic partnership between the United Kingdom and the EU.
The House of Lords European Union Committee has issued an inquiry to consider the political and economic implications of Brexit for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and the devolution settlement as a whole.
The Commission on Parliamentary Reform has issued a call for written views on all three aspects of their remit, namely: how the Scottish Parliament engages with the people of Scotland; the identity of the Scottish Parliament, as distinct from the Scottish Government; and whether the right 'checks and balances' are in place to ensure effective parliamentary business.