Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Thirty-Eighth Report


Memorandum from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs


1. The Committee has requested the Department to submit a memorandum on the following points concerning these regulations ­

(1) Explain the inclusion of the words "unless the context otherwise requires" in regulation 2(1) by identifying the context in which the expressions defined are intended to bear a different meaning.

2. The Department inserted these words in order to accommodate the reference, in regulation 2(2)(a)(ii), to a draft map which the Countryside Agency have prepared in accordance with a requirement imposed on them by section 6(4)(b) of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 and which contrasts with the reference, in the definition of "draft map" in regulation 2(1), to a map prepared by the Agency under section 4 of that Act. However, on further consideration, the Department notes that section 6(4)(b), under which the Secretary of State can impose a requirement on the Agency to prepare a further draft map following an appeal against the showing of any land on a provisional or conclusive map as registered common land or open country, refers to such a map being prepared by the Agency under section 4 so that the words in question appear unnecessary in this case.

(2) Explain how regulation 22 is intended to operate. It requires the Secretary of State, as soon as practicable after receipt of copies of statements of the of case, "or where further information is required under regulation 24", to send to the parties copies of the statements "together with" the further information. It seems probable that the need for further information would (at least sometimes) only become apparent after the time at which copies of the statements of case were required to be sent. In that case is it intended that further copies of the statement of case must be sent when the further information is sent?

3. The Department agrees that, as the Committee implies, it is likely that further information under regulation 24 will only be required after the Secretary of State has sent copies of the statements of case to the appellant and the Countryside Agency. Such information will then be passed on to the appellant and the Agency but it is not intended that further copies of the statements of case will accompany that information. In order to clarify this the words "or, where further information is required under regulation 24" could best have been omitted and the words "together with" replaced by "and".

(3) Explain the reference to regulation 41(5) in regulation 47.

4. Regulation 47 provides that an inspector may act in place of the Secretary of State with regard to certain specified matters in the course of an appeal which is determined by way of an inquiry. Regulation 41(5) relates to one such matter and involves the making of arrangements for the holding of further pre­inquiry meetings. However, an inspector already has the power under that regulation to hold such meetings so that this cross­reference is therefore superfluous and was included in error.

29 July 2002

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