For the first time, Cabinet Office is opening to the public as part of Parliament Week – a programme of events that aims to bring the democratic process closer to people.
Parliament Week is an initiative run by the House of Commons with support from the House of Lords. It aims to celebrate democracy, improve public confidence in democratic institutions and encourage public involvement by looking at the people, places and events that shape the democratic process in the UK.
Cabinet Office will be organising events to showcase our work and start discussions about good law, the legislative process, democratic engagement and the relationship between government and parliament.
Cabinet Office events
Friday, 15 November 2013 - Why Legislation Matters
Find out how our laws are made, what good law means and why we should all care about our legislation in this workshop run by the Houses of Parliament Outreach Service and the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel.
Monday, 18 November 2013 - This is Our Voice: celebrating women in democracy
A lively, interactive talk show mainly aimed at 16 to 24-year-olds but open to everyone. The panel will include several high profile women drawn from Parliamentarians, senior civil servants and other women in key decision making positions. This event will focus on potential opportunities, challenges and how we can encourage more women to get involved in democratic structures.
Tuesday, 19 November 2013 - From Bill to Act: getting legislation through the UK Parliament
The Public Bodies Reform team in Cabinet Office, responsible for the first large Bill under a new coalition government, will talk about the highs and lows of supporting this legislation through Parliament, and the ongoing challenge of delivering 44 pieces of secondary legislation and counting with numerous government departments. Speakers will include Lord Taylor of Holbeach, David Willis from the CO Constitution Unit, Elizabeth Bull, government lawyer, David Sprackling, OPC and Professor Chris Skelcher from Birmingham University, Constitution Group.
The Cabinet Office Constitution Group will also be on hand to talk about their experience of the Succession to the Crown Bill, providing an insight into how to go about changing some of the most ancient parts of our unwritten constitution.
There will also be the opportunity to experience the passage of legislation for yourself by playing the Legislate?! game.
Tuesday, 19 November 2013 - Charity Law Quiz
Charities are part of the fabric of everyday life. Whether a local village hall or a major medical research charity with an income in the hundreds of millions, charities are all subject to a remarkable combination of statute and common law. This interactive quiz explores the origins of English and Welsh charities, how Parliament has developed the statute law that governs them and what the difference is between an organisation and a charity. The Charity Law Quiz is hosted by Cabinet Office’s Government Innovation Group, which develops new approaches to tackle social problems to help public services deliver better with less.
Wednesday, 20 November 2013 - The Pendulum of Power: which way is it swinging?
The Cabinet Office hosts a panel discussion about the relationship between government and Parliament. Speakers will include The Rt Hon Andrew Lansley MP, Leader of the House of Commons and Ms Angela Eagle MP, Shadow Leader of the House of Commons.
The session will be moderated by Richard Heaton, First Parliamentary Counsel and Permanent Secretary for the Cabinet Office. Speakers will include Andrew Lansley MP, Leader of the House of Commons, Angela Eagle MP, Shadow Leader of the House of Commons, Lord Tyler of Linkinhorne and Natascha Engel MP.
Panellists will consider issues like
- the increased influence of backbenchers in the House of Commons
- the increasingly independent-minded members of both Houses
- increased expectations of public participation in decision-making
The Instant Drafting Booth will follow the panel discussion - suggest a policy idea and the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel will demonstrate how this could be drafted as legislation.