The Rule of Law in Parliament: A Review of Sessions 2013-14 and 2014-15: A research report by the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law for the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Rule of Law

Swee Leng Harris, Lawrence Joseph McNamara

Research output: Book/ReportOther report


In the UK’s constitutional system, Parliament plays a central role in upholding the rule of law; scrutiny by both Houses is a key element in holding the government to account over rule of law issues and ensuring that proposed legislation does not offend rule of law principles. Surprisingly, however, in spite of the centrality of the rule of law for Parliament, there has been no systematic review or analysis of the ways that the rule of law is used as a point of reference in parliamentary proceedings. This study addresses this gap by adding to the evidence base on current use of the rule of law, identifying when the rule of law has been used in Parliament’s decision-making, and informing the ways that the rule of law might be used in Parliament in the future.

This study aims to identify and analyse how the rule of law has been used in Parliament in light of Parliament’s role in law making and scrutiny of the Executive within the UK constitutional system. It takes the last two parliamentary sessions as its focus (2013-14 and 2014-15). It is intended to inform the work of the APPG on the Rule of Law, and parliamentarians more broadly, as well as increasing the evidence base for rule of law and Parliament, and perhaps assist civil society’s rule of law engagement with Parliament.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherBingham Centre for the Rule of Law
Number of pages30
ISBN (Print)9781905221646
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016


  • parliament
  • Rule of Law

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