Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Eighth Report




  1. The Committee has considered the instruments set out in the Annex to this Report and has determined that the special attention of both Houses does not require to be drawn to any of them.

  2. A Memorandum from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in connection with the Hill Livestock (Compensatory Allowances) Regulations 1999 (S.I. 1999/3316) is printed in Appendix 1.

  3. A Memorandum from the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions in connection with the Greater London Authority Act 1999 (Transitional and Consequential Finance Provisions) Order 1999 (S.I. 1999/3435) is printed in Appendix 2.


  4. These Regulations, made under section 2(2) of the European Communities Act 1972, implement Community law by amending the Plant Protection Products Regulations 1995 (S.I. 1995/887) as amended, which themselves implement in Great Britain a Council Directive.

  5. Regulation 1(2) states that the Regulations shall apply in Great Britain. Regulation 1(3), however, states that, "for the avoidance of doubt", in their application to Scotland, the Regulations are to have effect in relation both to the exercise by Scottish Ministers of functions by virtue of section 53 of the Scotland Act 1998 and the exercise by the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and the Secretary of State of functions which, by virtue of section 57 of that Act, they may continue to exercise.

  6. The Committee asked the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to explain the need for Regulation 1(3), given that under Regulation 1(2) these Regulations extend to Great Britain: since the Westminster Ministers were plainly making law for Scotland (albeit in a matter within devolved competence) as well as for England and Wales, the nature of the doubt to be dispelled was unclear to the Committee. The Ministry elucidate this matter in the Memorandum printed in Appendix 3. The Memorandum states in effect (as the Committee understands the problem) that if the Scottish Ministers, instead of the Westminster Ministers, had made these amendments for Scotland that exercise of the power might have broken its continuity post-devolution, with the consequence that section 57's intended preservation of the power to the Westminster Ministers might have ceased to be available: hence the making of these Regulations by them for Great Britain.

  7. The Committee considers that regulation 1(3) required elucidation and reports regulation 1(3) accordingly. But the Committee desires to state that they do not share the Ministry's concerns about the continuing effectiveness of section 57 of the Scotland Act in this sort of case. The Committee agrees that section 57 depends upon a continuity of functions; but they do not accept that the power (that is, the power in section 2(2) to make, and therefore to amend, the principal Regulations) has its nature altered by a post-devolution exercise of the power (even if differentially) as regards Scotland by the Scottish Ministers. The doubt voiced by the Ministry seems to the Committee to rest on a confusion between the nature of the power and what is done by way of amending the principal Regulations in exercise of it.

1   The Orders of Reference of the Committee are set out in the First Report, Session 1999-00 (HL Paper 4; HC 50-i). Back

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