Pre-legislative Scrutiny

Increasingly new pieces of government legislation are published in draft about one Session ahead of their intended introduction and passage.

Draft Bills are normally subjected to pre-legislative scrutiny at the hands of a joint-committee of MPs and peers formed for that purpose.

Such a committee will take evidence from individuals and organisations who express an interest in the Bill and any other witnesses it deems suitable. Evidence is normally expected to be based on clause-by-clause analysis of the draft Bill, but this is not always the case in practice.

The joint committee reports on the Bill with suggested changes to its drafting and to its provision. The Government does not have to act on its recommendations to make alterations, but if it does not, the report of the committee normally shapes debate on the Bill during its passage.