skip to content
Friday, 5 November 2021

Alison Young giving evidenceThe Faculty's Professor Alison Young gave evidence last week before the parliamentary Committee of Privileges. The Committee were discussing proposals of a Draft Bill creating a new criminal offence for those who refused to comply with a summons to attend a Committee meeting to give evidence or to provide evidence without reasonable excuse.

The Committee of Privileges is appointed to consider specific matters relating to privileges referred to it by the House. The scope of any inquiry comprises all matters relevant to the matter referred.

The Committee of Privileges currently has one matter referred to it, that of "the exercise and enforcement of the powers of the House in relation to select committees and contempts" (referred by the House on 27 October 2016). The Committee’s inquiry is assessing different options for enforcing the House’s powers to summon witnesses and call for production of documents. This includes reviewing the House’s available sanctions in cases of non-compliance by witnesses and other contempts.

Professor Young gave evidence alongside Professor Tom Hickman QC (Blackstone Chambers) and Joshua Rozenberg QC (hon), followed by Mark Hutton (former Clerk of Journals, House of Commons), and Paul Evans (former Clerk of Committees, House of Commons).

Professor Young is the Sir David Williams Professor of Public Law, and a Fellow of Robinson College. She currently co-edits the UKCLA blog on constitutional law, and is a member of the Editorial Board of European Public Law. She is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and is affiliated with the Oxford Human Rights Hub and with the Programme for the Foundations of Law and Constitutional Government, both at the University of Oxford.

The hearing is available to stream from the Parliament website.