Montesquieu Institute: from science to society

Parliamentary Investigations in a Comparative Perspective

Faced with growing concerns over executive dominance and increasing awareness of the need for proper mechanisms to hold the government to account, the Dutch parliament began to experiment with parliamentary committees of investigation in the early 1980s. Almost three decades later, parliamentary investigations have become an established part of parliamentary procedure.

This research project consists of a comparative study of the procedures and practices of parliamentary investigations of three national parliaments, i.e. the Netherlands Parliament, the U.K. Parliament and the U.S. Congress. It attempts to analyse which investigative powers these parliaments have and how they are applied within their respective constitutional contexts. This may result in recommendations for improving the Dutch parliament's ability to hold the executive branch to account.

This PhD project, funded by Maastricht University's Faculty of Law, was published in 2013. The research was carried out by Sandor Loeffen.