Letter: Benefits of a second opinion

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The Independent Online
Sir: While highlighting the lack of real scrutiny received by legislation passing through successive parliamentary stages, Vernon Bogdanor ('They would do well to get a second opinion', 8 April) makes the important point that it is in the interests of government itself that there should be genuine consultation. This is important not only on the proposed policy, but also on the precise legislative wording that is to be used.

The Whitehall machine has opened up considerably in recent years, but (whether or not there is to be consideration of Bills by new select committees) surely the time has come for all but the most controversial Bills to be published as drafts well before the parliamentary process gets started.

Yours faithfully,

RICHARD THOMAS

Director

Public Policy Group

Clifford Chance

London, EC1

8 April

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