Memorandum from the Ministry of Agriculture,
Fisheries and Food
2001 (S.I. 2001/1117)
1. The Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments has
requested the Ministry to submit a memorandum on the following
"Given that an offence under
regulation 17(1) is triable summarily only, should the reference
to the statutory maximum be a reference to level 5 on the standard
2. The Ministry accepts that the reference in regulation
17(1) of the above Regulations to the statutory maximum should
have been a reference to level 5 of the standard scale and is
grateful to the Joint Committee for drawing this point to its
attention. The Ministry agrees that regulation 17(1) should be
amended to substitute a reference to level 5 on the standard scale
and undertakes to make the necessary amendment as soon as a suitable
opportunity presents itself.
3. The Ministry notes that the distinction between
the terms "statutory maximum" and "level 5 on the
standard scale" has its origins in the Magistrates' Courts
Act 1980. The standard scale is laid down in section 37 of that
Act, where it applies to offences which are triable only summarily.
The definition of the "standard scale" in Schedule 5
to the Interpretation Act 1978 is similarly restricted to such
offences. By contrast the definition of the "statutory maximum"
in the same Schedule makes reference to the use of that term in
section 32 of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980, which provides
for penalties on summary conviction for offences covered by that
Act which are triable either way.
4. However, the definition of the "statutory
maximum" in Schedule 5 to the Interpretation Act 1978 refers
only to "a fine or penalty on summary conviction" and
does not exclude use of that term in the case of offences triable
only summarily. As this figure is the same as the present amount
of fine for level 5 on the standard scale, it appears likely that
regulation 17(1) will have the effect intended until such time
as the Ministry is able to amend it.
8 May 2001