Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Thirty-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 Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in connection with the Plant Breeders' Rights (Fees) (Amendment) Regulations 2002 (S.I. 2002/1677) is printed in Appendix 1.


3. The Committee draws the special attention of both Houses to these Regulations on the ground that they are defectively drafted.

4. Regulation 2(1) provides that, unless the context otherwise requires, certain expressions are to have the meaning ascribed or referred to in that regulation. In a memorandum printed at Appendix 2, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs explains why the italicised words were inserted but on reflection acknowledges that they are unnecessary.

5. Regulation 22 requires the Secretary of State, as soon as practicable after receipt of copies of statements of case, or where further information is required under regulation 24, to send to the parties a copy of the statements together with a copy of any additional information supplied under regulation 24. As it is improbable that the need for further information will always become apparent before it is practicable to send copies of the statements, the effect of regulation 22 appears to be to require copies of statements to be sent more than once. The Department acknowledges that this is the effect and that it was not intended, and suggests an amendment which is intended to clarify the provision. The Committee does not consider that the Department's suggested amendment would satisfactorily rectify the error, as it would require the Secretary of State to send copies of the further information at a time determined by reference to her receipt of the statements rather than her receipt of the additional information.

6. Regulation 47 permits an inspector, in place of the Secretary of State, to take such steps as the latter is required or enabled to take under or by virtue of regulations 41(5), 54 and 56(2). The Department acknowledges that the reference to regulation 41(5), which confers power not on the Secretary of State but on the inspector, is incorrect.

7. The Committee accordingly reports Regulations 2(1), 22 and 47 for defective drafting, acknowledged by the Department.

(S.I. 2002/1807)

8. The Committee draws the special attention of both Houses to these Regulations on the ground that they are defectively drafted in two respects.

9. New paragraph (3E) of regulation D2 (as substituted by regulation 2(4)) provides for an officer holder, who opts not to pay contributions at an increased rate, to receive a refund of excess contributions from "the effective date of the option", that is, "the date of the election referred to in sub-paragraph (b) or (c) [of paragraph (3B)]". However, those sub-paragraphs contain no such reference; they refer to the date on which a person was appointed as an office holder. In a memorandum printed as Appendix 3, the Leader of the House of Commons acknowledges that the reference to the "date of the election" is an error, and that that those words should have read "the date on which he was appointed as an office holder". Accordingly, the Committee reports new regulation D2(3E) for defective drafting.

10. New paragraph 7(2) of Schedule 5 (inserted by regulation 6) authorises the Trustees to direct that the adopted child of a former husband or wife of a deceased participant be treated as a relevant child (and thus be entitled to a pension) if the deceased and his or her husband or wife before the termination of their marriage had already formed the intention of adopting the child and the child was at the time of the deceased's death wholly dependent on the deceased. The Leader of the House of Commons confirms that the policy intention was to benefit an adopted child wholly or mainly dependent on the deceased, and that accordingly the underlined word should have read "wholly or mainly". The Committee therefore reports new paragraph 7(2) of Schedule 5 for defective drafting. The Leader of the House undertakes to make an amending instrument to correct both errors.[2]

1   The Orders of Reference of the Committee are set out in the First Report, Session 2001-02 (HL Paper 7; HC 135-i). Back

2   The amending instrument -The Parliamentary Pensions (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2002 (S.I. 2002/ 1887) - was made, and laid before Parliament, on 22 July 2002 and came into force on 5 August 2002. Back

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