Web links: Chapter 15
Calls for Evidence
Parliament lists all select committees and public bill committees with open calls for evidence on its website. Individual select committees will also post a call for evidence as a press release on the site. Read the call for evidence from the Home Affairs Select Committee as it launched its inquiry into Brexit and EU Policing and Security Cooperation in December 2017. When published, written evidence to bill committees is listed online within the ‘documents’ section of the relevant bill, from which you can open individual pieces of evidence. For instance, see the written evidence submitted to the Finance (No 2) Bill in 2017 here (scroll to the bottom of the page). Written evidence submitted to select committee inquiries is published by the committee and displayed on the relevant inquiry section of its website. See, for example, the written evidence submitted to the Environment Food and Rural Affairs Committee’s October 2017 inquiry on Improving Air Quality or the written evidence submitted to the House of Lords Committee on Artificial Intelligence. Oral evidence given by experts and government ministers or officials can also be found on these pages. Watch government ministers Matthew Hancock and Lord Henley give evidence to the Lords Artificial Intelligence Committee, or read the transcript of the session.
Sometimes, select committees are called upon to consider draft legislation. Here, committees also take oral and written evidence. See, for example, the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee’s inquiry into the Draft Animal Welfare Bill in 2018. Sometimes draft bills will be considered by several select committees. The draft Investigatory Powers Bill in 2016 was scrutinized by the Joint Committee on Human Rights, the Commons Science and Technology Committee and the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament. As with a normal select committee inquiry, the government will publish a response. Read its response to the pre-legislative scrutiny of the draft Investigatory Powers Bill here.