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Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments First Report




  70A.—There shall be a Select Committee consisting of seven Lords, which shall join with a Committee of the House of Commons as the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments, to consider —

  (1)  Every instrument which is laid before each House of Parliament and upon which proceedings may be or might have been taken in either House of Parliament, in pursuance of an Act of Parliament; being

    (a)  a statutory instrument, or a draft of a statutory instrument;

    (b)  a scheme, or an amendment of a scheme, or a draft thereof, requiring approval by statutory instrument;

    (c)  any other instrument (whether or not in draft), where the proceedings in pursuance of an Act of Parliament are proceedings by way of an affirmative resolution; or

    (d)  an Order subject to special parliamentary procedure;

but excluding any Order in Council or draft Order in Council made or proposed to be made under paragraph 1 of Schedule 1 to the Northern Ireland Act 1974 and any draft order proposed to be made under section 1 of the Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1994; and

  (2)  Every general statutory instrument not within the foregoing classes, and not required to be laid before or to be subject to proceedings in the Commons only; but not including Measures under the Church of England Assembly (Powers) Act 1919 and instruments made under such Measures;

with a view to determining whether the special attention of the House should be drawn to it on any of the following grounds —

    (a)  that it imposes a charge on the public revenues or contains provisions requiring payments to be made to the Exchequer or any government department or to any local or public authority in consideration of any licence or consent or of any services to be rendered, or prescribes the amount of any such charge or payments;

    (b)  that it is made in pursuance of any enactment containing specific provisions excluding it from challenge in the courts, either at all times or after the expiration of a specific period;

    (c)  that it purports to have retrospective effect where the parent statute confers no express authority so to provide;

    (d)  that there appears to have been unjustifiable delay in the publication or in the laying of it before Parliament;

    (e)  that there appears to have been unjustifiable delay in sending a notification under the proviso to subsection (1) of section 4 of the Statutory Instruments Act 1946, where an Instrument has come into operation before it has been laid before Parliament;

    (f)    that there appears to be a doubt whether it is intra vires or that it appears to make some unusual or unexpected use of the powers conferred by the statute under which it is made;

    (g)  that for any special reasons its form or purport call for elucidation;

    (h)  that its drafting appears to be defective;

or on any other ground which does not impinge on its merits or on the policy behind it, and to report their decision with the reasons thereof in any particular case.


12.  Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments—It was moved by the Chairman of Committees that for the purposes of Standing Order 70A the following powers be granted to the Committee:

    The quorum of the Committee shall be two;

    The Committee shall have power to agree with any Committee appointed by the Commons in the appointment of a Chairman;

    The Committee shall have power to appoint one or more Sub-Committees to join with any Sub-Committee or Sub-Committees appointed by the Commons; and the power to refer to such Sub-Committee or Sub-Committees any of the matters referred to the Committee;

    The Committee shall, before reporting that the special attention of the House be drawn to any instrument, afford to any government department concerned therewith an opportunity of furnishing orally or in writing to them, or any Sub-Committee of the Committee, such explanations as the department think fit;

    The Committee shall have leave to report from time to time;

  the motion was agreed to; and it was ordered accordingly.

Members of the Committee

  V. Addison  L. Skelmersdale
  V. Exmouth  L. Vivian
  L. Hardy of Wath  L. Walker of Doncaster
  L. Meston

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© Parliamentary copyright 1998
Prepared 17 December 1998