Law making is a primary function of government, and how well the three devolved UK legislatures exercise this function will be a crucial test of the whole devolution project. This book provides the first systematic study and authoritative data to start that assessment. It represents the fruits of a four-year collaboration between top constitutional lawyers from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and leading researchers in UCL's Constitution Unit. The book opens with detailed studies of law making in the period 1999–2004 in the Scottish Parliament and the Assemblies in Wales and Northern Ireland, and how they interact with Westminster. Later contributions look at aspects of legislative partnership in the light of the UK's strongly asymmetric devolutionary development, and also explain the unexpected impact of devolution on the courts. Individual chapters focus on various constitutional aspects of law making, examining the interplay of continuity and change in political, legal and administrative practice, and the competing pressures for convergence and divergence between the different parliaments and assemblies. This book is essential reading for academics and students in law and in politics, and for anyone interested in the constitutional and legal aspects of UK devolution, not least the practitioners and policymakers in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast.
Keywords: Government, devolution, constitution, law making, Scottish parliament, Welsh Assembly, Westminster, politics, law, legality, policymaking, Sewel convention, Northern Ireland