Select Committee on Delegated Powers and Deregulation First Report



Letter from the Legislation Clerk of the Home Office to the Clerk of the Committee

Thank you for your letter of 4 November in which you seek clarification of the undertaking which Lord Williams (cols. 737-738) gave about statements of ECHR compatibility for secondary legislation.

I am happy to confirm that the Government has decided that, from the beginning of the forthcoming Session, a Minister inviting Parliament to approve a draft statutory instrument or statutory instrument subject to affirmative resolution should always volunteer his or her view regarding its compatibility with the Convention rights. The Minister's view should also always be given regarding the incompatibility of any secondary legislation to the extent that it amends primary legislation; and that statement should be made in writing where the secondary legislation which amends primary legislation is not subject to affirmative resolution. The written statement should be made in whatever form seems appropriate, for example in a letter to the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments.

I hope that this clarifies matters, but please let me know if you have any further questions.

10 November 1999

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