Friday, 26 February 2010
Scrutiny in the Lords
Yesterday I had a meeting which prevented me from attending the earlier part of the debate initiated by Lord Norton of Louth on "the case for enhancing the means available to the House of Lords to scrutinise legislation and public policy". I did however sit through a number of speeches. It was an informative and interesting debate. I will be reading the debate in Lords Hansard and would recommend the same to you. The work of the House of Lords and the challenges for the future are well described.
There were useful summaries of the work of scrutiny undertaken by this 54th Parliament of the United Kingdom (or the '2005 Parliament' as it is usually referred to). Lord Strathclyde and Baroness Royall gave such summaries for the House generally and Lord Roper did so for the 'family' of European Union committees.
The weaknesses of current scrutiny were also highlighted - and various suggestions put forward. All the leaders of the parties in the Lords and the convener of the Cross Benches were present - and I left confident that there was a mood and a will for enhancement.
The debate can be read in the Lords Hansard of 25th February - which can be accessed via here.