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Sunset clauses and post-legislative scrutiny: bridging the gap between potential and reality


Sunset clauses set an expiration date on a particular law or set of provisions. The expiration is either automatic or subject to a positive or negative authorisation by the legislature.

Sunset clauses were in high demand in COVID-19 acts and regulations, with the main function to ensure that the restrictive measures adopted to respond to the pandemic extended no longer than necessary.

To launch the publication in WFD's PLS series, this event, held on 28 January 2022, examined the relevance, mechanics and the practical lessons learned of using sunset clauses.


Franklin De Vrieze, Senior Governance Adviser, WFD

Dr Sean Molloy, Newcastle University Academic Track fellow in law at Newcastle Law School

Dr Maria Mousmouti, WFD Associate Expert and Associate Research Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies of the University of London

Andy Beattie, Chief Parliamentary Counsel of Scotland

Dr Sarah Moulds, Senior Lecturer in Law, UniSA: Justice + Society - University of South Australia