skip to content
Friday, 11 November 2022

Alison Young and Catherine Barnard giving evidenceThe Faculty's Professor Alison Young and Professor Catherine Barnard gave evidence on Tuesday before the Public Bill Committee discussing the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform Bill).

A Public Bill Committee is a committee set up by the House of Commons to examine the details of a particular Bill. 

The Bill will provide that provisions of EU law that became part of UK law after Brexit (save for those found in Acts of Parliament) will no longer be part of UK law unless rescued by regulations made by Ministers. In the evidence provided to the public bill committee, Professors Young and Barnard raised issues as the problems of identifying all these laws and whether there would be enough time to ensure proper democratic scrutiny over whether these measures should be retained or replaced. They also raised concerns as to legal certainty if provisions are missed, with the potential for gaps to appear in the law.

They also talked about the consequences for devolution, looking at what the Scottish Parliament could to do improve democratic scrutiny. Professor Young also discussed other mechanisms that could have been used to provide a means of reviewing whether these EU provisions should be retained without the same dangers of a lack of democratic scrutiny and legal uncertainty and with a better engagement with those affected by those laws.

Professors Young and Barnard gave evidence alongside Stephen Laws (First Parliamentary Counsel 2006–12, Senior Fellow, Policy Exchange 2018-present), Martin Howe KC, Tom Sharp KC, Mark Fenhalls KC (Chair, Bar Council), George Peretz KC (Working Group on REUL, Bar Council) and Ms Eleonor Duhs (Partner, Head of Data Privacy, Bate Wells).

On Thursday Professor Young also gave evidence to the Constitution, Europe, External Affairs and Culture Committee in the Scottish Parliament on the same Bill.

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.

Professor Barnard is Professor of European & Employment Law, and a Fellow of Trinity College. She is also Senior Fellow and Deputy Director of UK in a Changing Europe.

The hearing is available to stream from the Parliament website.