Liaison Committee
Review of House of Lords Investigative and Scrutiny Committees: towards a new thematic committee structure

6th Report of Session 2017-19 - published 17 July 2019 - HL Paper 398



Summary of conclusions and recommendations

Chapter 1: Background to the review


Our inquiry

Our report

Chapter 2: House of Lords committees: the present structure


Sessional select committees

Joint committees

Special inquiry, or ad hoc, committees

Figure 1: House of Lords investigative and scrutiny committee structure in 2018/19

Chapter 3: Purpose of committees and underlying principles

Purpose of committees

Five key purposes for future Lords committees

Key principles for House of Lords committees

Cross cutting



Open and outward-looking


Box 1: Witnesses’ views on the need for improved follow-up by committees

Chapter 4: Delivering a new committee structure

The development of our current structure

A thematic structure

Delivering a new structure

Special inquiry committees

Joint and specialist scrutiny committees

Scrutiny of treaties and trade and other agreements

Committee financial and staff resources

Chapter 5: Legislative Scrutiny


Pre-legislative scrutiny

Box 2: Witness support for pre-legislative scrutiny

Figure 2: Volume of pre-legislative scrutiny since 1997

Post-legislative scrutiny

The origins of post-legislative scrutiny

Post-legislative scrutiny by House of Lords committees

Table 1: Historic post-legislative scrutiny committees

Box 3: Witness views on post-legislative scrutiny

Enhancing post-legislative scrutiny

Chapter 6: Communications and public engagement

Internal communications

External communications

Box 4: Importance of public engagement

Engagement techniques

Box 5: Active engagement examples


Communication resources

Press and media and marketing resources

Digital resources

Chapter 7: Working with the House of Commons and devolved legislatures

Joint working

Working better together

Concurrent or joint meetings?

Box 6: Example of concurrent meeting between committees of both Houses

Working with the devolved legislatures

Chapter 8: Committee Chairs and Members

Selection of members and duration of membership

The role of Committee Chairs

A Forum for Committee Chairs and continuing professional development

Increasing information about membership and attendance

Chapter 9: Committee witnesses and evidence


Witness diversity

The nature of evidence

‘Go-to democracy’ in seaside towns (July-October 2018)

Community conversations brought back to Westminster (October-December 2018)

Partnering with organisations to engage local communities (October 2018)

Chapter 10: Committee rooms and restoration and renewal

Chapter 11: Evaluation


Present House of Lords practice

Legacy reports in other legislatures

Evaluation going forward

Appendix 1: List of Members and declarations of interest

Appendix 2: List of witnesses

Appendix 3: Call for evidence

Appendix 4: The Jellicoe review and other changes

Appendix 5: Note on the seminar with Lord Norton of Louth and the Campaign for an Effective Second Chamber

Appendix 6: Note on the seminar with Lord Stern of Brentford
and Alun Evans on a possible thematic structure for House of Lords committees

Appendix 7: Note on the seminar with Lord Clement-Jones and
Lord Mendelsohn on the impact of technological change on House of Lords committees

Appendix 8: Note on the seminar with Helen Jones MP on public engagement within parliamentary committees

Appendix 9: Note on the seminar with Lord Blunkett on the impact of restoration and renewal on House of Lords committees

Appendix 10: Note by the Chairman of the Working Group on Communications

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.

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