Is it time to regulate MPs like other professionals?
I am delighted to announce that Sam Bishop, who joins RPC as a trainee in September, won ARDL's 2011 Marion Simmons QC Memorial Essay Prize.
His essay has now been published in ARDL's Quarterly Bulletin.
The essay, entitled "Public regulation for public funds: is it time to regulate MPs like other professionals?", addresses the issue of regulation of MPs in light of the Parliamentary expenses scandal which hit the headlines back in 2009.
Sam's essay notes the trend away from monopolistic, self-regulated professions to regulation by independent, statutory bodies like the FSA and SRA. He deals with the difficulty of legislators themselves creating a similar regime (that could simply be reversed by passing another statute) and the balance to be struck between Parliament's supremacy and privileges, and the need for regulation of its administration. The significant distinction with other 'professions' is summarised neatly in his conclusion: "when a body constitutes the motive will behind the state, only an expansion of the role of democracy can ensure that its decisions are properly regulated". Professionals may feel heavily regulated but at least they are not subject to democratic scrutiny.
Well done Sam!