The Constitution Unit


Sir David Natzler

David Natzler
Sir David Natzler was Clerk of the House of Commons from 2015 to 2019, after a career in the House of Commons service which started in 1975 and covered a wide variety of roles, starting with the earliest days of the European Legislation Committee and including acting as Clerk to the 2009-10 Reform of the House of Commons Committee, the Wright Committee. He clerked a number of departmental select committees from the establishment of the system in 1979 until 2001, when he moved into oversight and management roles. David has for many years been an active member of the Study of Parliament Group.

Sir David has also been active in international parliamentary activity, including acting as advisor to the Presidency of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in the 1990s, and undertaking advisory roles to parliaments as far afield as Malaysia and Malawi. He is planning to continue this work in conjunction with the Westminster Foundation for Democracy, and also to develop his interest in the diffusion of representative parliamentary democracy around the world. To this end he is planning to attend the celebrations in late July 2019 in Jamestown Virginia of the 400th anniversary of the assembly there, and has been invited to take part in the formal events and in the Forum on Representative Democracy thereafter.

Sir David has a range of practical and academic interests not exclusively related to parliament and the constitution, and is keen to be able to help the Unit in whatever ways are thought useful, including contributing to its written and digital output and to its work with students at all stages.

Some publications

“Evolving Rules”, with Helen Irwin, Andrew Kennon and Robert Rogers, in Parliamentary Questions, pp 22-73, edited by Mark Franklin and Philip Norton, Clarendon Press,1993

“Private Members Bills” with Douglas Millar,in The House of Lords at work, pp166-190, edited by Donald Shell and David Beamish, Clarendon Press,1993

“Departmental Select Committees and the Next Steps Programme”, with Paul Silk, in Parliamentary Accountability: A Study of Parliament and Executive Agencies, pp71-94, edited by Philip Giddings, Macmillan, 1995

“Select Committees: Scrutiny a la carte?”, with Mark Hutton, in The Future of Parliament: Issues for a new Century, edited by Philip Giddings, Palgrave Macmillan 2005

“Manuals before May: From the Fourteenth to the Seventeenth Century” in Essays on the History of Parliamentary Procedure in honour of Thomas Erskine May, , pp 87-97 and elsewhere, edited by Paul Evans, Hart Studies in Constitutional Law, vol 7, 2017

Preface to British and American Foundings of Parliamentary Science, pp ix-xiii by Peter J Aschenbrenner, Routledge, 2018

Editor,14th (1988) and 15th (1994) editions of The Houses of Parliament: A guide to the Palace of Westminster, Fell and Mackenzie, HMSO