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
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.
A major research project on the legislative process which considers the impact of parliament on legislation before and after coalition government.
Ever since the establishment of the devolved assemblies in
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in the late 1990s some have proposed that
England too should have a parliament of its own.
Research into the House of Commons' use of financial privilege against amendments passed to legislation in the Lords.
Meg Russell's comparative project on the role and operation of Legislative 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
Archive of earlier work on Parliament
A list of all our parliament research projects is here.