LORDS

Constitution Commitee Launches new Inquiry

23 February 2011

The House of Lords Constitution Committee will examine the constitutional reform process following controversy over recent reforms. It invites written evidence before 31 March 2011. (See call for evidence below).

The committee will address concerns that processes for making constitutional change are rushed, potentially resulting in badly thought-through reforms which have unintended consequences. There have been many recent reforms. The last Government established the Supreme Court, changed the Lord Chancellor's role and put the Civil Service on a statutory footing. This Government proposes fixed-term Parliaments, fewer MPs, new constituency boundaries, a referendum on the electoral system, and further devolution. Proposals to reform the House of Lords are expected soon.

The Committee will examine how the process of constitutional reform can be improved. It will ask how constitutional reform proposals should be developed, and what Parliament's role should be.

Commenting on the launch of this inquiry, the Committee's Chairman, Baroness Jay of Paddington, said, "We don't think that it is acceptable that far-reaching constitutional changes are introduced to the UK in ad hoc ways. That is why we want to look at what the UK's constitutional reform processes should be."

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