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The Constitution Unit

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Parliament

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Parliament lies in the heart of British politics. Yet calls for parliamentary reform – of both the House of Commons and House of Lords – have been frequent, and both chambers have often been accused of weakness. The Unit's research has investigated possible reforms to both chambers, as well as the effects of reforms that have previously taken place. In addition, much of our recent work has focused on parliament's impact on policy.

The Constitution Unit's work on Parliament is led by Professor Meg Russell


Research

Current

House of Lords

House of Lords

Ongoing research on the strength, legitimacy, influence and membership of the House of Lords, including a record of all defeats in the Lords from 2005 to present. View the House of Lords Project Page or view our records of all government defeats in the House of Lords.

House of Commons

The Impact of the British Parliament on Legislation

A major research project on the legislative process which considers the impact of parliament on legislation before and after coalition government.

Recent 

Financial Privilege

Research into the House of Commons' use of financial privilege against amendments passed to legislation in the Lords.

Legislative Committees at Westminster: The case for reform

Meg Russell's comparative project on the role and operation of Legislative Committees.

The Impact House of Commons Select Committees

A collaboration between Constitution Unit and Select Committee staff which combines interviews with data collection and analysis of the impact of committee inquiries and recommendations. Our final report, released in 2011, concluded that Select Committees influence government by, among other things, 'generating fear'. Launch details and download

Recent Publications

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Financial Privilege Report
contemporary house of lords


Archive of earlier work on Parliament

A list of all our parliament research projects is here.