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The Flawed Legislative Process

  • Leanne McCarthy-Cotter
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter examins the legislative process, assessing it as the significant contributing factor in policy failure. It argues that the consultation process was merely a ‘rubber-stamping’ exercise and that the Parliamentary scrutiny process was both undermined and inadequate. The chapter argues that the plethora of administrative and implementation problems that the CSA faced could all be accredited to the policy itself. The chapter’s assessment of the consultation process demonstrates that several pressure groups highlighted the problems which the CSA would face, but these concerns were received with disdain by policy-makers. It then moves to examine the House of Lords stage, highlighting that they too raised a number of concerns over the detail of the Bill. The chapter also discusses the role of the House of Commons, arguing that it proved to be an ineffective source of checks-and-balance, ultimately allowing a flawed policy to pass through its chamber. The problems experienced by the 1991 Child Support Act were identified at consultation, during the House of Lords stage and, in large part, at the House of Commons; the problems were foreseeable and foreseen, but ignored. The chapter also assesses the role of the Opposition, stating that the scrutiny they performed was motivated by ‘blame avoidance’, therefore limited, ineffective, and inadvertently undermining and devaluing the process of Parliamentary scrutiny. It demonstrates that the failings of the Parliamentary scrutiny process allowed a ‘bad Bill’ to become a ‘bad Act’, paving the path to policy failure.

Keywords

Parliament Bill Act, house of commons House of lords, parliamentary scrutiny Consultation 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leanne McCarthy-Cotter
    • 1
  1. 1.University of SheffieldSheffieldUK

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