With an eye to fending off potential legal challenge, MPs across the political spectrum agreed to pause work on the Basic Education Laws Amendment (Bela) Bill on Tuesday,  to review the thousands of public submissions that were not considered before they began their line-by-line consideration of the draft legislation.

Earlier in August, it emerged that up to 9,500 emailed submissions had not been scrutinised by the team that analysed public input on the bill for parliament’s basic education committee. Opposition MPs warned that ignoring public input left the legislation vulnerable to legal challenge, as the Constitutional Court has repeatedly thrown out Acts of parliament for failing to conduct a meaningful public participation process...

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