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The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on parliament

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on parliament

Advice on legislation or legal policy issues contained in this paper is provided for use in parliamentary debate and for related parliamentary purposes. This paper is not professional legal opinion.
E-brief No.1 of 2021 by Talina Drabsch

‚ÄčThis e-brief outlines how Australian parliaments adapted to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a particular focus on NSW. It highlights how the pandemic affected the ease with which parliaments could fulfil their functions of making laws, controlling state finances, oversighting the executive arm of government, and providing a forum for debate of matters of importance.

The e-brief provides an overview of the changes made to parliamentary practice and procedure that enabled parliaments to continue operating albeit in a limited form. The role of technology in this is highlighted.

Finally, the implications for parliamentary democracy are explored, with consideration of how parliaments can best adapt and respond should similar challenges arise in future.