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Within criminalisation scholarship, there has been little engagement with the work of ‘real-world’ mechanisms for promoting principled law-making, like the activities of parliamentary scrutiny committees. This article reports on an examination of the New South Wales (‘NSW’) Legislation Review Committee’s findings and recommendations in relation to all criminal law bills during the period 2010–12 and assesses the impact of the Committee’s recommendations on the passage of bills through the NSW Parliament. It considers whether the potential for scrutiny committees to play an effective role in delineating the legitimate boundaries of criminalisation is realised in practice.