Evidence-informed or value-based? exploring the scrutiny of legislation in the UK Parliament

Philip Begley, Catherine Bochel, Hugh Bochel, Andrew Defty, Jan Gordon, Kaisa Hinkkainen, Ben Kisby*, Steve McKay, Gerard Strange

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article argues that three types of factor–process, subject and political circumstance–are likely to affect the extent to which claims of evidence are made during legislative scrutiny. It draws upon case studies of the National Minimum Wage Act 1998, the Academies Act 2010 and the Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016, utilising interviews with those involved and information from Hansard. The article concludes that these cases highlight that while there might be potential benefits from a yet more robust legislative scrutiny process, including greater use of pre-legislative scrutiny and the ability of public bill committees to take evidence from a wider range of witnesses and on all bills, subject and political factors would be likely to mean that the use of claims of evidence would continue to vary widely.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Legislative Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jan 2019


  • Evidence
  • legislation
  • Parliament
  • policy making
  • scrutiny

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