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Parliaments make and change laws. They also have a role in checking the implementation of laws and evaluating whether they achieve their intended outcomes. Implementation of legislation is complex and does not happen automatically. What is more, parliaments and elected representatives often have little information on what happens after a law is adopted. So, parliaments need mechanisms for effective ex-post evaluation of legislation.

The systematic process of monitoring whether the laws parliament has passed are implemented as intended and evaluating if the laws have the expected impact is called post-legislative scrutiny (PLS). When conducted properly, PLS can reveal achievements and errors in the design of legislation, gaps in implementation and enforcement, and the positive and negative impacts that hinder or contribute to achieve policy goals, service delivery for citizens as well as rule of law and democratic governance.

This makes PLS a critical lynchpin connecting parliaments with the national commitments signed off by governments in the framework of global multilateral processes such as the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The success of such multilateral agreements rests to a large extend on the ability of parliaments to exert oversight and democratically enhance the quality of the legislation aimed at delivering these commitments.

Following the adoption of the Paris Agreement in December 2015, the first global stocktake of climate action concluded at COP28 in Dubai in December 2023. It has revealed substantial implementation gaps in the climate commitments of countries, putting the world on track to miss the objective of limiting global warming below the safer threshold of +1.5 to 2 C.

As parliaments are the main enforcement mechanism of multilateral climate and environmental objectives, PLS emerges as a vital instrument for the effective scrutiny of the legislation related to the pledges made under the Rio Conventions and its instruments, which are aimed at protecting biodiversity and combating desertification and climate change – e.g.  the Paris Agreement.

During 2024 PLS on climate legislation will be vital to address the reasons for the implementation gap in climate actions. PLS on climate legislation also ought to inform multi-annual climate planning of governments as they design their 2nd Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement, due in November. PLS can input into preparing the legal instruments required to deliver the NDCs, across various policy areas including agriculture, water and sanitation, infrastructure, energy, trade, taxation, transport, public health, etc.

The Institute of Advanced Legal Studies of the University of London (IALS-UoL) and Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) are happy to announce that registrations are now open for the 2024 Course on Post-Legislative Scrutiny in the context of the Climate and Environmental Emergency.

Objectives of the course

The Course on Post-Legislative Scrutiny in the context of the Climate and Environmental Emergency offers an in-depth exploration of the theory and practice of PLS as an oversight tool. The course adopts a holistic outlook that places PLS in the legislative cycle and delves into the practice of PLS piloting and innovations over the last few years.

Target audiences

  • Members of Parliaments, researchers, and committee staff of parliaments worldwide, particularly of committees leading on environmental and climate policy.
  • Parliamentary development practitioners
  • Legal, legislative, and governance experts, including on environment and climate policy.
  • Civil society members
  • Academics and researchers from universities.

Delivery of the course

The course will be delivered online using synchronous and a-synchronous methods. 

The course will include online presentations, question and answer sessions, individual and group assignments, and presentations from participants. 

Participants will have access to a dedicated virtual learning environment where course materials will be available. Participants will receive an extensive Course Manual.

The course will be offered in the English language. All lectures and course materials will be in English. 

Following the Course, participants will be invited to join the “PLS Community of Practice”.

Content of the course

  • Introduction to PLS.
  • PLS in context, the law-making process, and executive-legislative relations.
  • PLS within the parliamentary system.
  • Triggers for PLS, including sunset and review clauses, and statutory bodies / independent oversight institutions.
  • Parliamentary innovations on PLS, including Committee work plans, parliamentary PLS Centres, Rules of Procedure / Standing Orders, PLS transparency, and PLS indicators.
  • Consultation, public engagement, and data collection in the context of PLS.
  • Thematic approaches to PLS, including PLS of climate and environment legislation. Presentation of recent environment and climate PLS case studies.
  • PLS and the delivery of the nature-dependent Sustainable Development Goals.
  • PLS as a tool for civil society organisations.

Timing of the course

The Course on Post-Legislative Scrutiny in the context of the Climate and Environmental Emergency will take place online during September 2024. It will be delivered every Monday and Friday of the month, on the following dates: 2, 6, 9, 13, 16, 20, 23, 27, 30 September 2024. Each session will be half-day (9.00 – 11.30 AM, UK time).

Certificate

​Participants ​who follow the entire course will receive a certificate from the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies of the University of London


Registration and fees

Standard Fee:

  • Full Fee: £650
  • Early Bird Fee (until 15 July 2024): £550

Reduced fee:

For participants from Official Development Assistance (ODA)-recipients and staff of WFD, FCDO, the Westminster Parliament, and the devolved assemblies in the UK.

Participants should register online (via the 'Book Now' button below) and then complete the attached Booking Form and New Account Form along with a document of proof of employment

  • Reduced fee: £450
  • Early bird reduced fee (until 15 July 2024): £375

Deadline to apply: Friday, 16 August 2024.

General queries: IALS.Events@sas.ac.uk


Details about how to join the virtual event will be circulated via email to registered attendees closer to the event date.