The Constitution Unit


Breaking the Mould: the UK's new assemblies

August 1999 - April 2001

Sponsor: Gatsby Charitable Foundation

Principal Investigators: Robert Hazell in collaboration with Rick Wilford, Barry Winetrobe

About the project

This project assesses the extent to which the UK's new assemblies in Scotland, Wales and Ireland established themselves as distinct from their creator, Westminster. It records the different aspirations and objectives for developing a new kind of politics which establishes innovative democratic practices and draws on best practice from around the world. It assesses to what extent the assemblies realised their own performance standards during their first year.

Richard Cornes began this study in August 1999, but left in August 2000. A 42-page consultation paper 'Aspirations and Achievements' and an audit template was drafted in 2000. Through a process of monitoring and interviews the project aims to assess the relationship between the executive and parliament, the role of committees and the extent to which outside groups influence the parliament, resources and workload.