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Departmental Select Committees: The Reform of the Century?

Norton, Philip



A set of departmental select committees was agreed by the UK House of Commons in 1979 and has become a core feature of British parliamentary life. This introductory survey examines the genesis of the committees and the extent to which they constituted an evolutionary or radical change to the way that the House of Commons conducted itself. Proposals for such committees were not new, but achieving their realisation was possible only when a reform agenda was complemented by ministerial leadership and, fundamentally, by political will favouring change on the part of MPs. The development of the committees, their membership and work and engagement with those outside Parliament, forms the basis of this issue.


Norton, P. (2019). Departmental Select Committees: The Reform of the Century?. Parliamentary affairs, 72(4), 727-741.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 22, 2019
Online Publication Date Sep 24, 2019
Publication Date Oct 1, 2019
Deposit Date Sep 30, 2019
Publicly Available Date Oct 27, 2022
Journal Parliamentary Affairs
Print ISSN 0031-2290
Electronic ISSN 1460-2482
Publisher Oxford University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 72
Issue 4
Pages 727-741
Keywords Sociology and Political Science; Law
Public URL
Publisher URL


Article (166 Kb)

Copyright Statement
© The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Hansard Society; all rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:<br /> <br /> This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (<br /> <br /> This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in [insert journal title] following peer review.<br /> The version of record Parliamentary Affairs, Volume 72, Issue 4, October 2019, Pages 727–741 is available online at:

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