Constitution Committee - Thirteenth Report
The pre-emption of Parliament

Here you can browse the report which was ordered by the House of Lords to be printed 24 April 2013.


Terms of Reference


Chapter 1: Introduction

Background to the inquiry

Constitutional principles

The legal framework of ministerial powers

Chapter 2: Government controls on pre-legislative action and expenditure

The 1932 concordat

The Treasury framework: Managing Public Money

The Treasury's role: "Parliament's guardian in Whitehall"

The "second reading convention"

A true convention?

Operation of the second reading practice

Informing Parliament

Ministerial directions

Restatement of principles and practices governing pre-emption

Chapter 3: The legal basis of pre-emption

Sources of Government power

The Ram memorandum

Status of the memorandum

Criticisms of the memorandum

The "Ram doctrine"

The scope of the common law powers of the Crown

Decisions of the courts

References in Government publications

Chapter 4: Effective parliamentary scrutiny

Chapter 5: Summary of conclusions and recommendations

Appendix 1: List of members and declarations of interest

Appendix 2: List of witnesses

Appendix 3: Call for evidence

Evidence is published online at and available for inspection at the Parliamentary Archives (0207 219 5314).

References in the footnotes to the report are as follows:

Q refers to a question in oral evidence;

witness names without a question reference refer to written evidence.

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