Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Thirty-Sixth Report


Memorandum by the Lord Chancellor's Department



1.  The Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments has requested the Department to submit a memorandum on the following points:

(1)  Paragraph 3(1) of the Schedule to each instrument imposes a duty to appoint a clerk designate "as soon as reasonably practicable after the coming into force of this Order and in any event not later than the day before the first appointed day" (that is, not later than 31 May 1998). Given that the Order's coming into force date for the purpose of this provision is 1 June 1998, how can the duty to make the appointment arise so as to make appointments having effect prior to that date?

(2)  The following provisions of the Schedule impose duties to be complied with "by the day before the first appointed day" (that is, not later than 31 May 1998)—

(a)  paragraph 4(3) - appointments of clerks to selection panels;

(b)  paragraph 4(4) - notification of names of bench representatives; and

(c)  paragraph 5(2) - notification of numbers of first members of transferee committee.

Given that no provision of the Order comes into force before 1 June 1998, explain how these duties can arise from a date which is an earlier date.

2.  In the West Midlands order, the first appointed day is defined as 1st July 1998. The problem described in the Committee's request therefore does not arise.

3.  In the Merseyside order, the first appointed day is indeed defined as 1st June 1998. This is an error for which the Department accepts full responsibility: the intention was that the first appointed day should be a month after the date of coming into force as in the West Midlands order. The Department will prepare an amending instrument at the earliest opportunity, and seeks the Committee's approval in advance for the breach of the 21 day rule which will be necessary to ensure that the amending instrument comes into force on the same date as the principal instrument. The Department thanks the Committee for drawing this error to its attention.

21st May 1998

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