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Public LawText, Cases, and Materials

Public Law: Text, Cases, and Materials (5th edn)

Andrew Le Sueur, Maurice Sunkin, and Jo Eric Khushal Murkens
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date: 02 December 2023

p. 2209. Accountabilitylocked

p. 2209. Accountabilitylocked

  • Andrew Le Sueur,
  • Maurice Sunkin
  •  and Jo Eric Khushal Murkens


This chapter turns to one of the central features of a good constitution, namely that it provides opportunities for those who exercise public power to be ‘held to account’ or ‘accountable’ for their decisions and conduct. In relation to ministers, this includes the convention of individual ministerial responsibility (ministers are answerable to Parliament) and the convention of collective responsibility (ministers cannot publicly disagree with government policy). Parliament has developed a variety of practical mechanisms for holding ministers to account, including: debates in the chamber; select committees inquiries; and parliamentary questions posed to ministers.

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