Reviewing the review : a three-dimensional approach to analysing the 2017-2020 review of the House of Lords investigative and scrutiny committees

Connolly, John and Flinders, Matthew and Judge, David (2021) Reviewing the review : a three-dimensional approach to analysing the 2017-2020 review of the House of Lords investigative and scrutiny committees. Journal of Legislative Studies. pp. 1-37. ISSN 1357-2334 (https://doi.org/10.1080/13572334.2021.1978762)

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Abstract

Between 2017 and 2020 a comprehensive review of the framework of investigatory scrutiny committees in the House of Lords was undertaken. This process led to a far-reaching set of recommendations and reforms. Although carefully couched in the language of evolutionary change, this article argues that these reforms possess a transformational dynamic that is difficult to deny. The challenge, however, is likely to emerge from the existence of a largely hidden disjuncture between the accountability ambitions embedded within this reform agenda and the institutional, constitutional and political matrixes within which the ‘new’ committee system in the Lords is expected to operate. A three-dimensional lens emphasising inter-, intra-, and extra-institutional dimensions is utilised to expose and dissect the existence of potential disjuncture and, through this, offers a ‘review of the review’ informed by broader literatures on legislative organisation and policy analysis that will be of interest to both practitioners and scholars