Better regulation of public consultations


Although there have been improvements in recent years, too many Government consultations are poor.


♦ Successive Codes of Practice have been widely disregarded.

♦ 50% of public consultations do not publish outputs on time – or to quality standards.

♦ The Legal remedy for inadequate consultations (Judicial Review) is usually too late, too costly and too  


♦ View FOUR OPTIONS for better Regulation here



In Chapter 16 of The Politics of Consultation (2018), Elizabeth Gammell and Rhion Jones provided a critique of legal remedies against poor public and stakeholder consultation and reviewed the case for statutory regulation and an independent Office of Public Engagement.

In the meantime,

  • ‘Trust issues’ have contaminated public confidence in a wide range of governance processes. Ministers continue to lose judicial reviews on consultations and the Government is seeking to restrict the role of the Courts – probably to limited effect.
  • The public appetite for better engagement and involvement continues to grow, fuelled by social media, populist movements and high-profile issues such as Net Zero behaviour-change policies. It will not diminish.
  • There is growing enthusiasm for Citizens’ Assemblies and their many variations. They are increasingly touted as a direct democracy ‘solution’ in their own right, but can, under certain circumstances pose a populist challenge to representative democracy.

All political parties claim to be anxious to restore trust and integrity, and a key part of this could be to create a better framework for pubic consultation and other forms of engagement in the United Kingdom.


Together with other supporters of better regulation of public engagement, Rhion is developing detailed proposals, which will, in the coming months, be discussed on this site.


Here are relevant articles: