Select Committee on the Constitution
The Legislative Process: Preparing Legislation for Parliament

4th Report of Session 2017-19 - published 25 October 2017 - HL Paper 27



Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: The policy development process

Why legislation?

The use of evidence

Policy development

Scrutinising the evidence base for Government policies

Piloting policy

The political dimension

Green Papers and White Papers

Chapter 3: Consultation and pre-legislative scrutiny

Informal consultation during the policy formation process

Formal consultation on green and white papers

Informal consultation during the drafting process

Parliamentary pre-legislative scrutiny of draft bills

The value of pre-legislative scrutiny

The impact of pre-legislative scrutiny on subsequent parliamentary stages

Effectiveness of pre-legislative scrutiny committees

Manifesto bills

Chapter 4: The quality of legislation

The clarity of existing legislation

Making the law clearer and more accessible

Consultation during the drafting phase

Clearer departmental instructions


The use of technology

The role of the Office of Parliamentary Counsel

The use of external parliamentary counsel

‘Christmas tree’ bills

Oversight of legislative standards

Parliamentary Business and Legislation Cabinet Committee

A Legislative Standards Committee

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 (020 7219 3074).

Q in footnotes refers to a question in oral evidence

© Parliamentary copyright 2017