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Knowledge, Policy, and ExpertiseThe UK Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution 1970–2011$
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Susan Owens

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198294658

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198294658.001.0001

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A Standing Royal Commission

A Standing Royal Commission

(p.45) 3 A Standing Royal Commission
Knowledge, Policy, and Expertise

Susan Owens

Oxford University Press

Chapter 3 presents a history and biography of the Royal Commission, from its origins during the ‘environmental revolution’ of the late 1960s to its abolition during a cull of quangos in 2011. It offers an account of the origins, constitution, working practices, long survival, and ultimate demise of this advisory body, completing the context for an analysis of its practices, role, and influence. The Commission’s structure (as a ‘committee of experts’) and its relations with government (particularly the environment department), are discussed, as are the processes of making appointments and periodic review, and the Commission’s own practices in selecting topics, gathering evidence, drafting reports, and promulgating its ideas within wider policy communities. This chapter serves, too, as an introduction to the key attributes of the Commission that endowed it with authority and engendered trust in its advice, and includes a brief commentary on the thirty-three reports that the Commission produced during its lifetime.

Keywords:   Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, constitution, history, appointments, committee of experts, working practices, selecting topics, reports, abolition

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