Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Tenth Report

Memorandum from the Lord Chancellor's Department


1. These Rules, which are subject to negative resolution, were made under section 411 of the Insolvency Act 1986 and section 59 of the Railways Act 1993 on Saturday 6 October 2001 and came into force on Sunday 7 October. The Rules were laid before Parliament on Monday 8 October. It has for policy reasons unfortunately not been possible to lay the Rules 21 days before their entry into force, as is normally required by paragraph 5.21 of the Statutory Instrument Practice.

2. The reason lies in the extreme sensitivity of the circumstances. The Rules set out the procedure for the conduct of railway administration proceedings for protected railway companies, and were used for a petition to the High Court in relation to Railtrack plc. If there had been any interval between the making and laying of the Rules, and their coming into force, this would have triggered speculation about what was to happen, whilst preventing the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions from promptly taking the necessary action to preserve the carrying on of the railway activities of Railtrack plc, as envisaged by section 59 of the Railways Act 1993. Ministers therefore decided that these Rules must enter into force the day after they were made.

8 October 2001

previous page contents

House of Lords home page Parliament home page House of Commons home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2001
Prepared 28 November 2001