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date: 30 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The conduct of parliamentary work is governed by formal rules that are usually spelled out in the constitution and in standing orders or rules of procedure of parliaments. The degree of internal regulation of parliaments varies between countries and regimes. In addition to constitutions and permanent standing orders, other sources of parliamentary rules include Temporary Standing Orders (as in Britain), individual laws, and case law. This chapter examines rules of procedure in legislatures and their consequences. It first considers the rationale for parliamentary rules and what happens when legislative rules fail. It then outlines the core tasks of democratic legislatures, highlights some of the most important variations in the rules applied by democratic parliaments, and assesses their consequences. It also discusses rule-making and institutional change, as well as rules on agenda-setting and parliamentary voting, rules governing political control, and legislators’ reaching out to the public through parliamentary action.

Keywords: rules of procedure, parliaments, parliamentary rules, legislatures, rule-making, institutional change, agenda-setting, parliamentary voting, political control, legislators

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