Nolan's Legacy: Regulating Parliamentary Conduct in Democratising Europe

  • E. David-Barrett
  • Parliamentary Affairs, February 2014, Oxford University Press (OUP)
  • DOI: 10.1093/pa/gst049

Do codes of conduct help reduce political corruption?

What is it about?

More and more parliaments are introducing codes of conduct in an effort to get MPs to adhere to high - and consistent - standards of behaviour. This article sets out conditions for success, and examines whether these conditions are present in democratising contexts, particularly in Eastern Europe and with a case study on Georgia.

Why is it important?

Codes of conduct are not magic bullets that eradicate corruption or bad behaviour, but the paper shows that the process of writing one can be important in itself. It helps to start discussions on what the public can reasonably expect of parliamentarians, as well as building up a sense of professionalism among MPs. I hope that this paper will demonstrate the benefits of starting conversations about parliamentary ethics, for both MPs and voters.


Dr Elizabeth David-Barrett
University of Sussex

Whilst researching this paper, I had the opportunity to meet some remarkable and committed MPs, who are often working in really difficult conditions to try to improve standards among their peers. Taking on this role doesn't make them popular and is not an easy task. I have huge respect for them.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Elizabeth David-Barrett