© 2015

Making British Law

Committees in Action


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Louise Thompson
    Pages 1-9
  3. Louise Thompson
    Pages 10-30
  4. Louise Thompson
    Pages 45-68
  5. Louise Thompson
    Pages 69-93
  6. Louise Thompson
    Pages 94-118
  7. Louise Thompson
    Pages 119-127
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 128-142

About this book


Laws are essential to the lives of all British citizens and crucial to the survival of British Governments. This book follows the work of House of Commons bill committees as they scrutinise legislation and reveals the hidden depths of law making in the British Parliament.


Parliament Legislation Legislative Process Bill Committees Public Bill Committees Scrutiny of Legislation government Legislative parliament Policy reforms work

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PoliticsUniversity of SurreyUK

About the authors

Louise Thompson is Lecturer in British Politics at the University of Surrey and Research Associate at the Centre for Legislative Studies, University of Hull.

Bibliographic information


'A fascinating insight into the engine room of parliament, this is a superbly researched study, showing that committees exert considerable influence on legislation. It is an indispensable antidote to all the doom-mongers who say that parliament doesn't matter.' Philip Cowley, Professor of Parliamentary Government, University of Nottingham, UK

'This book is a must for the shelves of anyone interested in politics and parliament.Through the meticulously detailed analysis of over 30,000 amendments and a decade of committee sittings, Louise Thompson demonstrates not only that parliament matters, but also the importance of research that goes beyond the headlines and takes due account of the context of practices. This is an exceptional contribution to our understanding of committee work, the UK Parliament and meaningful legislative studies research methods.' Cristina Leston-Bandeira, Professor of Parliament, University of Hull, UK

'Louise Thompson lifts the lid on a crucial part of the parliamentary legislative clockwork. No academic or political observer of Parliament will henceforth be able to stereotype the passage of bills through detailed scrutiny in public bill committees as a meaningless ritual. Dr Thompson has for the first time engaged with the content of Bills and the later stages of their passage in both Houses, and demonstrates the vitality of these committees. Students of parliamentary studies of all ages are in her debt.' David Natzler, Clerk of the House of Commons, UK