I have been appointed to serve on the Joint Committee on the Draft Constitutional Renewal Bill. (Lord Tyler is aonther member.) The Committee has to examine the draft Bill and report by mid-July. The Bill contains several provisions, covering the Civil Service, the role of the Attorney General, ratification of treaties, appointment of judges, and demonstrations in Parliament Square. It is not so much a Constitutional Renewal Bill as a Constitutional (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill.
As a Joint Committee, the membership is drawn from membership of both Houses, with several lawyers and members with a particular interest in constitutional affairs; it includes three professors. The timetable for us to take evidence and report in a couple of months is a tight one. We met for the first time yesterday (Tuesday) and are meeting again today.
Indeed, today is very much a committee day for me. I have a meeting of the Constitution Committee this morning – we have several scrutiny items to consider – and then this afternoon, after a party meeting, I have a meeting of the Trustees of the History of Parliament, Sub-Committee E of the EU Committee (we are examining the initiation of legislation in the EU) and the Joint Committeee. This evening, I have a seminar with my students on placement at Westminster. The time-consuming aspect of committee work, though, is not so much attending the meetings as going through all the paperwork in preparation for them.
Tomorrow, I shall be in Brussels with Sub-Committee E: we are taking evidence from various officials there.
When I posted some diary items on an earlier post, I was asked if I was choosing my busiest days to blog about. My busiest days aren’t spent in Westminster. They are usually the ones spent in Hull teaching or engaging in academic research. My busiest day this week has been Monday. I know it was a Bank Holiday, but student essays don’t mark themselves!