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Tacticians, stewards and professionals: The politics of publishing select committee legal advice

Yong, Benjamin; Davies, Greg; Leston-Bandeira, Cristina


Benjamin Yong

Greg Davies

Cristina Leston-Bandeira


At Westminster, there are increasing pressures on select committees to publish in-house legal advice. We suggest that examining the process of deciding to publish gives us useful insights into the provision, reception and use of legal advice, and the dynamics of select committees generally. We argue that the autonomy of select committees to decide what use they make of evidence and advice they receive is, in practice, constrained by the intra-institutional dynamics and practices of select committees. Committee actors—parliamentarians, clerks and parliamentary lawyers—each have overlapping, sometimes competing, roles. Most of the time, these roles (and the responsibilities they encompass) coincide, but the prospect of publication reveals clear tensions between the different actors. This is the politics of publication: the tactical approach of politicians is in tension with the stewardship of clerks and the professional norms of parliamentary lawyers.

Journal Article Type Article
Print ISSN 0263-323x
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume Forthcoming
APA6 Citation Yong, B., Davies, G., & Leston-Bandeira, C. (in press). Tacticians, stewards and professionals: The politics of publishing select committee legal advice. Journal of Law and Society, Forthcoming,
Publisher URL


Tacticians Stewards And Professionals 2112018 (78 Kb)

Article (165 Kb)

Copyright Statement
© 2019 The Authors. Journal of Law and Society published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Cardiff University (CU)

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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