Dr Ronan Cormacain appearing before the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee
Dr Ronan Cormacain, who leads our work monitoring legislation for Rule of Law compatibility, appeared before the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee of the House of Commons this week to give evidence in its inquiry into the Government's response to Covid-19 and the use of the Coronavirus Act 2020.
The Committee were interested in hearing about the choice of legislative vehicle for the Government's exercise of powers: Coronavirus Act 2020, Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 or Civil Contingencies Act 2004. They asked about the secondary legislation made under these Acts, with particular focus on the social distancing regulations. Concerns were expressed about accountability and democratic law-making standards, post-legislative review, whether there was power to make the regulations that had been made, and the ability of Parliament to properly hold the executive to account. One of the key points to emerge was the importance of the scrutiny role of Parliament in passing legislation and questioning the Government.