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Can Parliaments be Strengthened? A Case Study of Pre-Legislative Scrutiny

Lynch, Catherine and Martin, Shane (2019) 'Can Parliaments be Strengthened? A Case Study of Pre-Legislative Scrutiny.' Irish Political Studies. ISSN 0790-7184

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How successful are attempts to strengthen the capacity of national legislatures to better perform their law-making function? In response to executive dominance, some legislatures have attempted organizational reform to strengthen their capacity. One such institutional innovation is pre-legislative scrutiny (PLS) - a process whereby a parliamentary committee scrutinizes draft bills and reports back with observations and/or recommendations to the ministry sponsoring the legislation. PLS is designed to enhance the capacity of parliament to influence government-sponsored legislation. We measure the impact of PLS on legislative outcomes by conducting a content analysis of PLS reports and subsequent Government bills introduced to the Irish Parliament between 2011 and 2016. This analysis is supplemented with an in-depth case study of legislative change around gender recognition. The mixed method analysis suggesting that PLS can have a substantive impact on proposed government legislation. PLS serves to strengthen the role of parliament in law-making, with positive, and arguably generalizable, consequences for stakeholder engagement, parliamentarians and the quality of legislation.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Legislatures; Parliaments; Parliamentary Capacity Building; Pre-Legislative Scrutiny; Oireachtas; Parliamentary Reform; Dáil Reform; Parliamentary Committees
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2019 13:52
Last Modified: 24 Dec 2020 02:00

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