Still deviant? The development and reform of the UK House of Commons committee system (1979 to present)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • University of Manchester
  • Coventry University
  • University of Lincoln


The UK parliamentary committee system is often deemed a deviant case both because the legislative and the scrutiny functions of committees are carried out by different committee types and because of the weak formal powers of committees and their lack of independence from government. We argue that, despite reforms over the past two decades aimed at strengthening the influence, effectiveness, and independence of committees, weaknesses remain. While both committee systems can and do influence government, policy and legislation both formally and informally, this is perhaps despite their institutional architecture, rather than because of it. As such, while there may have been some catch-up in terms of committee strength with other systems in the recent part, there is little reason as yet to challenge the deviant, outlier status of the UK parliamentary committee system.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationParliamentary Committees in the Policy Process
EditorsSven Siefken, Hilmar Rommetvedt
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sep 2021

Publication series

NameLibrary of Legislative Studies