About the workshop
Parliaments are bedrocks of traditional democratic government, and the Westminster model of parliamentary democracy has been adopted, with many local variations, by legislatures around the world. The responsibility for running a parliament requires the highest levels of expertise. This workshop offers you the opportunity to share your own professional experiences with senior parliamentary officials, MPs and members of the House of Lords who work in and manage the day-to-day business of the Westminster parliament. You will also hear about how the parliaments/assemblies of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Change is very much the order of the day in the 21st century. In particular, the pervasiveness of social media, the rise of populist politics, the longer-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and, for the UK and other European countries, the many challenges of Brexit – have had huge implications both for the constitutional position of parliaments and the ways in which they conduct their proceedings.
Parliaments must always strive to keep pace with and respond effectively to such challenges.
The workshop looks in detail at how some of the busiest parliaments in the world are constantly adapting to this complex world.
What the workshop will cover
You will hear about administrative structures of the House of Commons, the House of Lords and the parliaments/assemblies in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, including:
• The Government’s interface with the parliaments/assemblies
• Staff structures, recruitment, reporting, training and career development
• The work of Select Committees as an effective investigative tool available to MPs for examining the work of the Executive and the Civil Service
• The management of information services for MPs
• How the parliaments contend with the digital revolution – e-services
• The workshop includes visits to the House of Commons and the House of Lords in session and may include a visit to the Senedd (the Welsh Assembly) in Cardiff, Wales.
How participants will benefit
During the workshop you will be able to:
• Gain an insight into the respective cultures and administrative structures of the House of Commons, the House of Lords and the other parliaments/assemblies in the UK
• Question administrators and service providers on the day-to-day functioning of the parliaments/assemblies
• Hear first-hand from an elected Member about an MP’s work and the experience of serving constituents
• Discussions with parliamentary experts about recent change initiatives, for example, the use of digital services and social media
• Against the background of developments in the UK, examine the role and workings of your own parliament and consider how to contribute to its improved efficiency and effectiveness.