Select Committee on Merits of Statutory Instruments First Report

Select Committee on the Merits of Statutory Instruments

The Committee has the following terms of reference:

(1)  The Committee shall, subject to the exceptions in paragraph (2), consider—

(a)  every instrument (whether or not a statutory instrument), or draft of an instrument, which is laid before each House of Parliament and upon which proceedings may be, or might have been, taken in either House of Parliament under an Act of Parliament;

(b)  every proposal which is in the form of a draft of such an instrument and is laid before each House of Parliament under an Act of Parliament,

with a view to determining whether or not the special attention of the House should be drawn to it on any of the grounds specified in paragraph (3).

(2)  The exceptions are—

(a)  remedial orders, and draft remedial orders, under section 10 of the Human Rights Act 1998;

(b)  draft orders under sections 14 and 18 of the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006, and subordinate provisions orders made or proposed to be made under the Regulatory Reform Act 2001;

(c)  Measures under the Church of England Assembly (Powers) Act 1919 and instruments made, and drafts of instruments to be made, under them.

(3)  The grounds on which an instrument, draft or proposal may be drawn to the special attention of the House are—

(a)  that it is politically or legally important or gives rise to issues of public policy likely to be of interest to the House;

(b)  that it may be inappropriate in view of changed circumstances since the enactment of the parent Act;

(c)  that it may inappropriately implement European Union legislation;

(d)  that it may imperfectly achieve its policy objectives.

(4)  The Committee shall also consider such other general matters relating to the effective scrutiny of the merits of statutory instruments and arising from the performance of its functions under paragraphs (1) to (3) as the Committee considers appropriate, except matters within the orders of reference of the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments.


The members of the Committee which met on 13 November 2007 under Standing Order 65 (Sessional Committees) are:

Baroness Adams of Craigielea

Lord Armstrong of Ilminster

Viscount Colville of Culross

Baroness Deech

Viscount Eccles

Lord Filkin (Chairman)

Lord James of Blackheath

Lord Jopling

Baroness Maddock

Baroness Thomas of Winchester

Lord Tunnicliffe

Registered interests

Members' registered interests may be examined in the online Register of Lords' Interests at The Register may also be inspected in the House of Lords Record Office and is available for purchase from the Stationery Office.


The Committee's Reports are published by the Stationery Office by Order of the House. All publications of the Committee are on the internet at:


If you have a query about the Committee and its work, please contact the Clerk of the Merits of Statutory Instruments Committee, Delegated Legislation Office, House of Lords, London SW1A 0PW; telephone 020-7219 8821; facsimile 020-7219 2571; email The Committee's website,, has guidance for the public on how to contact the Committee if you have a concern or opinion about any new item of secondary legislation.

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