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Legislating in response to the pandemic – Lords to question experts

Tuesday 10 November

The House of Lords Constitution Committee will tomorrow hear evidence from legal and political experts on the use and scrutiny of emergency powers during the pandemic, as part of its inquiry into the constitutional implications of Covid-19.  

The session will take place virtually on Wednesday 11 November at 10:20am and can be followed on Parliament TV

Giving evidence will be: 

  • Dr Ruth Fox – Director and Head of Research at the Hansard Society
  • David Allen Green – legal commentator at The Financial Times
  • Raphael Hogarth – Associate of the Institute for Government and leader writer at The Times  

Questions the Committee is likely to ask include: 

  • Did Parliament scrutinise the Coronavirus Bill adequately, given the circumstances in March in the run-up to the first lockdown? 
  • To what extent has Parliament been able to scrutinise effectively the Coronavirus related statutory instruments laid by the Government during the pandemic? 
  • What should Parliament’s scrutiny of emergency powers look like at this stage of the pandemic? 
  • What should be done differently the next time there's a need for substantial emergency legislation?  
  • Has the Government improved its communication of legal restrictions and public health guidance since the start of the pandemic? 

The use and scrutiny of emergency powers is the final strand of the Committee’s inquiry, with calls for evidence on the operation of courts and the ability of Parliament to hold the Government to account during the pandemic completed and in the process of being reviewed.  

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