Cambridge Encyclopedia » Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 67

select committee

legislature government usually task

Members of a legislature whose task is to inquire into matters that come within its competence, usually as prescribed by the legislature or government. Two main types may be distinguished: ad hoc (Lat ‘to this’), which normally ceases to exist when its task is completed; and permanent or standing, which normally lasts for an electoral term and which investigates particular policy areas or the actions of government departments. Select committees vary in their power and influence across political systems; membership is usually based on party composition in the legislature. An example is the Senate committee set up to investigate the Watergate affair.

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