What is the point of parliamentary procedure?

Paul Evans

Paul Evans

07 February 2014

Paul Evans, Principal Clerk of the Table Office at the House of Commons, will discuss the origins and development of the rules which govern debate in the House of Commons at Aberystwyth University this evening (Friday 7 February). 

Mr Evans will assess the impact of external events in shaping these rules and the impact of the rules on Parliament’s grasp over external events. 

Titled ‘A Rule To Go By: What is the Point of Parliamentary Procedure?’, the lecture will be held at the Main Hall in the International Politics Building at 6pm. 

The lecture will debate whether these rules are a necessary scaffold for parliamentary democracy, a bridle and bit to confine real dissent and deter rational debate, or just a massive turn-off for the electorate. Are they part of the problem of political disengagement and, if so, is there any obvious solution? 

Dr Jenny Mathers, Head of the Department of International Politics, commented: “Aberystwyth University and the Department of International Politics are delighted to host this public lecture in association with the Parliamentary Outreach Service. The Outreach Service holds a number of lectures each year outside London, hosted by local universities, which help to raise awareness of the work of Parliament. 

“Paul Evans is a fantastic person to deliver this lecture. An expert in the workings of Parliament, he joined the Commons service in 1981 and served in a range of roles including Principal Clerk of Select Committees, Head of the Scrutiny Unit and Clerk of the Human Rights, Defence and Health committees. 

“He advised the Hansard Society Commission on the Scrutiny Role of Parliament in 2000 and is on the editorial board of Parliamentary Affairs. The staff and students in the Department are greatly looking forward to hearing his insights into the law-making process.” 

Light refreshments will be available immediately after the lecture and the event is free and open to the public.