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The Challenge of Remote Democracy: Parliaments in a Time of Pandemic - A Comparative Analysis (France/United Kingdom)

Abstract : The coronavirus is a challenge for all the governments and Parliaments in countries hit by the crisis. The pandemic has forced Parliaments to limit physical meetings and function remotely. In France and the United Kingdom, the challenge for the Chambers is huge, as most parliamentary processes assume that members are physically present. In the two countries, the role of Parliaments have been largely reduced to the bare essentials and the relationship between legislative assemblies and governments has been challenged by the crisis. Important theoretical questions arise from the modifications of the parliamentary procedures regarding the effectiveness of the scrutiny and democratic legitimacy during the pandemic. The work of the Chambers and the adaptations of parliamentary proceedings in both countries is compared in this paper, in order to assess the effectiveness of parliamentary democracy in a time of emergency. It appears that the parliamentary institutions grasped the challenge of adapting quickly to the new health situation, and that the members of the assemblies and the staff have been swift to respond to the challenges that the epidemic has posed to the functioning of democracy. But the parliamentary control seems to be slowed down by the pandemic. As most measures restrict many fundamental rights, it is highly problematic that such drastic interference in terms of citizens’ fundamental rights could be decided by the Prime Minister or a minister alone, without any debate in the Chambers. The effectiveness of democratic control is at stake.
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Submitted on : Monday, June 20, 2022 - 9:35:50 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, June 21, 2022 - 3:46:56 AM


  • HAL Id : hal-03699164, version 1



Vanessa Barbé. The Challenge of Remote Democracy: Parliaments in a Time of Pandemic - A Comparative Analysis (France/United Kingdom). The Keele Law Review, 2021, Democracy and Human Rights During a National Crisis or State of Emergency, 3, pp.45-64. ⟨hal-03699164⟩



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