Memorandum by the Clerk of the Parliaments
1. This memorandum responds to the Call
for Evidence issued by the Committee on 29 January. The Clerk
of the House of Commons has submitted a memorandum which deals
in detail with the passage of emergency legislation through the
Commons. This memorandum should be read in conjunction with the
memorandum submitted by the Clerk of the House. It draws attention
to differences of practice in the two Houses, but does not repeat
material which applies equally to both.
2. This memorandum addresses both primary
and secondary legislation.
Definition of emergency legislation
3. I agree with the Clerk of the House's
description of the characteristics of emergency legislation and
his analysis of why the need for expedited proceedings might arise.
I note, however, that his memorandum focuses on those bills which
have all their stages taken in one day in the Commons. In the
House of Lords it is more common for such bills to be taken over
two or three days so I would not wish to define emergency legislation
in terms of the number of days taken to pass a bill.
4. In addition to this, I would regard as
emergency legislation some bills which took more than one day
in the Commons. For example, I provide in Annex A a breakdown
of the timetable for the Commons' and Lords' proceedings on the
Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005 which I consider to be a
prime example of emergency legislation. The Act was required to
be passed urgently in response to a judgment of the House of Lords,
but was subject to a large number of amendments in both Houses.
Though its passage in the Commons was not completed in one day,
the final consideration of amendments in both Houses entailed
a rare all-night sitting in order for the Bill to be passed by
a certain date.
5. However, the list of bills provided by
the Commons captures almost all of the bills which I would regard
as emergency legislation and I agree with the Clerk of the House
that if the final stages of a bill are truncated due to an imminent
Dissolution of Parliament, that does not amount to emergency legislation
as generally understood.
6. The Committee has asked for information
regarding the late tabling of significant Government amendments
to non-emergency bills. Such amendments may, in effect, amount
to emergency legislation, particularly if tabled in the second
House. The possibility that one House may not have sufficient
opportunity for scrutiny may well arise, but such amendments do
not generally raise any procedural or serious practical difficulties
different to those arising in respect of the tabling of other
non-emergency Government amendments.
7. I should also note at this point that
there are no specific provisions in Lords' Standing Orders in
relation to expediting the passage of Consolidated Fund Bills,
consolidation bills, and Tax Law Rewrite Bills. Consolidated Fund
Bills, and other bills of Aids and Supply, are unamendable by
the Lords and are always passed quickly. Consolidation Bills and
Tax Law Rewrite Bills are not subject to special procedures (apart
from their scrutiny by Joint Committees) but are usually passed
quickly. Such bills do not constitute emergency legislation.
Procedure and practice in the Chamber
8. It may be worth bearing in mind that,
while legislation passes through essentially the same stages in
the two Houses, there are some important differences in procedure
and practice which apply to all public legislation, not just emergency
The Government has no formal control
over parliamentary time in the Lords.
The House of Lords is self-regulating.
The usual channels discuss matters of the timetabling of legislation,
but cannot always determine in advance the amount of time which
the House will spend on considering any bill.
There is no selection of amendments.
All amendments tabled must be called by the chair and may be debated.
In relation to non-emergency bills in
the Commons, Report and Third Reading are almost always taken
on the same day; in the Lords, Report and Third Reading amendments
are nearly always taken on separate days and amendments may be
tabled and considered at Third Reading.
9. To a great extent, the procedures which
apply in the House of Lords in respect of emergency bills are
normal procedures which are followed more quickly. Nothing is
omitted. Whether elements of the legislative process are curtailed
is a subjective judgment, but in a self-regulating House it is
difficult for procedures to be curtailed in the face of substantial
opposition. The following paragraphs describe the variations from
normal practice which may be involved in the passage of an emergency
bill, but it must be emphasised that all of these variations are
subject to the agreement of the usual channels, and to self-regulation
(in other words, to the House as a whole).
10. Emergency bills are usually introduced
in the House of Commons. In practice, this means that the Commons
generally pass such bills fairly late in the parliamentary day,
having spent most of that day considering the bill.
11. It is normal practice for all public
bills to be printed for the Lords following their arrival from
the Commons, although Standing Order 51 allows a bill to
be printed in advance of its first reading "if it is for
the convenience of this House".
In cases of particular urgency, the usual channels may agree that
the bill should not be reprinted
and, in such a case, the Lords will consider the bill on the basis
of the last Commons' print. However, if the bill is amended during
the final stages of its passage through the Commons, it will have
to be reprinted for the Lords.
12. It is unusual, though not impossible,
for emergency legislation to pass all its Lords' stages in a single
This would require a high degree of consensus in the usual channels
and in the House.
13. Lords' Standing Order 47 provides
that no two stages of a bill may be taken on the same day, and
there are also recommended minimum intervals between stages.
Where it is desired to take more than one stage on a day, a motion
to suspend SO 47 (which requires notice) must be agreed to.
Such a dispensation is likely when dealing with an emergency bill.
14. If the urgency is such that no notice
can be given of a motion to dispense with SO 47, then the procedure
laid down in Standing Order 88 is followed: SOs 47 and
88 are read at the Table by the Clerk of the Parliaments
and a motion is moved that it is essential for reasons of national
security that a bill or bills should immediately be proceeded
with and that the provisions of SO 47 should be dispensed
with to allow all stages to be taken. It should be noted that
this procedure has not been used since 1972.
15. In recent sessions, emergency bills
have generally been given a First Reading on one day (following
their arrival from the Commons), followed by Second Reading on
a separate day, with Committee, Report and Third Reading being
taken on a third day. Annex B provides some recent examples of
emergency bills and demonstrates that timetables vary depending
on the nature and urgency of the bill in question. The negotiation
of the timetable is in practice a matter for the usual channels.
16. As in the Commons, constraints on time
mean that emergency bills may receive less scrutiny than would
otherwise be the case. However, Members of the Lords do have the
advantage of being able to consider the bill before First Reading
(while it is still before the Commons), so the time for preparation
of amendments is somewhat longer.
17. Around half of all Government bills
in the House of Lords receive their Committee stage in a Committee
of the Whole House. The recommendation on whether to take the
Committee stage of a bill on the floor of the House or in Grand
Committee is one for the usual channels, who make such recommendations
on a case-by-case basis. However, any emergency legislation will
invariably be taken in a Committee of the Whole House: partly
because it may well be regarded as an important piece of legislation
in which a number of Members will take an interest; partly because
the possible lack of a substantive Report stage means that amendments
must be capable of being divided on at Committee stage;
and partly because it is more difficult to timetable a Grand Committee
at short notice.
Alternative procedureNo. 2 bills
18. The No. 2 bill procedure is occasionally
used to pass a bill quickly. The procedure allows both Houses
to consider a bill simultaneously, and this eliminates some of
the possible delay caused by the observance of minimum intervals,
particularly in the second House. The exact sequence of events
varies from bill to bill, but it is usually along the following
A bill is introduced in the Commons.
An identical bill (save for the addition
of "No. 2" in the short title) is introduced in the
Lords, either at the same time or shortly afterwards.
The Commons bill is read a second time,
goes through its Committee stage and remaining stages and is sent
to the Lords.
At some point before the Commons' bill
leaves that House, the No. 2 bill receives a Second Reading
in the Lords.
At the point at which the Lords receives
the Commons' bill, the No. 2 bill is withdrawn, and the original
bill then proceeds through its Committee and remaining stages
in the Lords.
19. This procedure avoids the delay of up
to a month which would occur if the Lords were to wait for the
arrival of the Commons' bill, and if the minimum intervals between
First Reading, Second Reading and Committee stage were then observed
in the Lords.
20. The procedure has rarely been used in
recent times. The most recent example was in connection with the
Banking Bill which was passed earlier this session. This bill
had to be enacted by a particular deadline (on which the emergency
legislation passed in 2008
would expire), but the bill was not emergency legislationit
was not passed until almost three months after its arrival in
the Lords. The No. 2 bill procedure has not, in recent times,
been used for emergency legislation in the generally understood
Committee scrutiny of bills
21. There are three select committees in
the House of Lords which would normally expect to subject a bill
to scrutiny: the Constitution Committee, the Joint Committee on
Human Rights (JCHR) and the Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform
Committee (DPRRC). I do not comment on any procedural or practical
difficulties which may be faced by the Constitution Committee.
The Clerk of the House has commented on the JCHR in his memorandum.
I therefore restrict this part of the evidence to the DPRRC, although
many of the general points made will be equally applicable to
all three committees.
22. The DPRRC is usually able to meet and
report on emergency bills at short notice. Close liaison between
Committee staff and the Government's business managers is needed
to facilitate this. For example, the Committee reported on the
Banking (Special Provisions) Bill, even though the Bill was introduced
and taken in the Commons on 19 February 2008, and in the
Lords on 20 and 21 February. The Committee's report
was made available on 20 February. Government amendments
to meet some, though not all, of the Committee's concerns were
tabled by the Government and agreed by the House the following
23. The fact that the Committee is usually
able to report on emergency bills does not, however, mean that
such bills receive the same quality of scrutiny as bills which
proceed on a normal basis. Inevitably the Committee's scrutiny
is hurried, and the House and Ministers have less time to consider
the Committee's recommendations and decide whether to adopt them.
In the case of the Banking (Special Provisions) Bill, only two
of the Committee's four recommendations were accepted, below the
usual acceptance rate for non-emergency bills. This might be viewed
as one of the ways in which emergency legislation can entail a
trade-off between speed and the quality of scrutiny by the House
and its committees.
Practical and logistical issues
24. The general comments made by the Clerk
of the House in his memorandum concerning the pressures placed
on services supporting Chamber sittings by emergency legislation
also apply to the Lords and I do not comment further on them.
This section focuses on specific aspects of the process for dealing
with bills since practices in the Lords' Public Bill Office (PBO)
differ in many respects from those in the Commons. It is assumed
here that an emergency bill will be introduced in the Commons
since this is invariably the case in practice.
25. The procedures which the Government
follow for giving notice of all Government bills and for clearing
procedural matters with the two PBOs (as described in the memorandum
by the Clerk of the House) apply equally in the Lords and the
Commons. Issues such as scope and hybridity are dealt with by
both Houses prior to introduction in the first House so the Lords'
PBO does not have longer to respond. I fully agree with the Clerk
of the House that although the period of notice may be shorter,
the usual pre-introduction procedures will apply: officials of
both PBOs will of necessity prioritise emergency legislation and
deal with the pre-introduction correspondence with the requisite
degree of urgency.
26. Papers for the Commons' stages of a
bill will be available to Members of the Lords a day or two before
the bill arrives in this House. These papers include the bill,
explanatory notes, the human rights statement and any amendments
tabled to the bill in the Commons. In addition, Members of this
House will be aware of any "informal final draft" of
the bill which has been made available to the Commons.
27. When the bill arrives from the Commons
it is printed, either following the formal first reading or pursuant
to Standing Order 51.
In either case, it is available the following morning. The explanatory
notes are printed to the same timetable.
28. In normal circumstances, amendments
for Committee stage cannot be tabled until after Second Reading.
However, for emergency bills, arrangements are often made (through
the usual channels) to allow the PBO to receive and print amendments
in advance of the Second Reading debate. Members will be informed
in advance that this is possible.
29. If a Second Reading is on the same day
as the Committee stage, a period of time will be arranged before
the Committee stage begins, to allow for any final amendments
to be tabled and printed. Where Second Reading and Committee stage
are on the same day, the marshalled list will be a "manuscript"
listthat is, one produced in typescript by the PBO and
photocopied, rather than a list which is printed overnight by
the Parliamentary Press. There is little difference in appearance.
30. If the Second Reading and Committee
stages are on different days, a marshalled list of amendments
will be printed and circulated either the morning before the Committee
stage or on the morning on which that stage begins.
31. As with all public bills, when a marshalled
list is available the Government Whips' Office finalises the grouping
of amendments in consultation with those who have tabled amendments.
The PBO prepares and circulates procedural briefings for the Chair
and for the Minister. These do not differ from those produced
for non-emergency bills.
32. It is also possible for manuscript amendments
(that is, amendments tabled after the marshalled list has been
produced and circulated) to be tabled. Such amendments will be
distributed as soon as possible following receipt, and may require
groupings and briefs to be amended and re-circulated. Again, this
does not differ in procedure from non-emergency bills, but such
amendments may be tabled at very short notice whereas with a non-emergency
bill the PBO would normally discourage the tabling of manuscript
amendments with less than a couple of hours' notice before the
start of the day's sitting.
33. Where two or more amendable stages of
a bill take place on one day, the practical difficulties of tabling
amendments between stages and producing the manuscript marshalled
lists, groupings and briefs can become acute. In the Lords, additional
complications may arise from the lack of any fixed timetable for
any of the stages, and the possibility that amendments may be
tabled and debated at three separate stages.
34. If a bill is amended in the Lords, the
amendments have to be considered by the Commons, and both Houses
have to agree on every word of the bill before it can receive
Royal Assent. This process is commonly known as "ping-pong".
The procedures followed are the same as for a non-emergency bill,
but they can, if necessary, be carried out at high speed. When
each House has finished considering the other House's amendments
it has to record its decisions and transmit them to the other
House. When a message is received in either House, a paper has
to be circulated showing the other House's propositions, and time
has then to be allowed for counter-proposals (if any) to be formulated,
tabled and circulated. Briefs then have to be prepared by the
PBO before the next stage can take place on the floor. On occasions,
prolonged ping-pong has occurred, the most notable recent example
being the 36-hour sitting of both Houses to reconcile differences
of view on the Prevention of Terrorism Bill in 2005, where each
House considered the bill on five occasions following Third Reading
in the Lords.
Such proceedings are exceptional.
35. This section of the memorandum gives
technical information about the different kinds of parliamentary
control over statutory instruments, and the role of the scrutiny
committees. If the Committee wishes to seek views on the relative
merits of the various procedures, it may be helpful to take evidence
directly from these committees.
36. The different kinds of enabling provisions
used in primary legislation are well explained elsewhere.
In summary, the main categories of parliamentary control over
statutory instruments are:
no formal procedure (instrument laid
before Parliament but not subject to negative or affirmative procedure);
"draft" affirmative procedure;
"made" affirmative procedure.
37. There is no definition of an emergency
statutory instrument and I do not attempt to provide one, save
to note that a statutory instrument may be considered as emergency
legislation in much the same way as a bill: for example, because
it is a response to previously unforeseen events.
Choice of instrument in the parent Act
38. The draft affirmative procedure is normally
applied for significant powers as it gives the greatest degree
of Parliamentary control over an instrument. If it is envisaged
that an important power may need to be exercised urgently the
made affirmative procedure is often employed by the parent Act.
The next section of this memorandum therefore considers made affirmative
instruments. The more common negative procedure also allows instruments
to be made and come into force quickly, whether or not that was
envisaged at the time the Act which conferred the power was passed.
This memorandum therefore also considers negative instruments.
The role of the scrutiny committees is set out; and information
is provided on hybrid instruments, the process for debating instruments,
and the impact of recesses.
Made affirmative instruments
39. The made affirmative procedure is often
used in Acts where the intention is to allow significant powers
to be exercised quickly. The Report of the Joint Committee on
Delegated Legislation in 1973 stated that the made affirmative
procedure should "only be used where, in addition to requiring
immediate effect, the subject matter substantially affects the
provisions of an Act, makes financial provision, or involves other
considerations of special importance."
40. Sometimes, the parent Act specifies
that the made affirmative procedure will apply whenever the power
In other cases, the Act may provide for either the draft affirmative
or the made affirmative procedure to be used. In the Terrorism
Act 2000 the default position for several powers is the draft
affirmative procedure, but the made affirmative procedure can
be employed "if the Secretary of State is of the opinion
that it is necessary by reason of urgency".
41. The Banking Act 2009 contains a
large number of delegated powers which the Government envisaged
might need to be exercised quickly in the first instance. Accordingly,
section 255 provides that instruments under various powers
contained in the Act shall be subject to the draft affirmative
procedure, unless "the power is exercised for the first time,
and the person exercising it is satisfied that it is necessary
to exercise it without laying a draft
This applies, for example, to the wide-ranging power in section
75 to amend the law to enable the powers under Part 1 of
the Bill (special resolution regime) to be exercised effectively.
42. A list of statutory instruments already
made under the Terrorism Act 2000 and the Banking Act 2009 can
be provided. Other examples of made affirmatives include:
Civil Procedure (Amendment) (No. 2) Rules
2008 (SI 2008/3085) to provide for financial restrictions
proceedings, made under the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008.
Civil Procedure (Amendment) (No. 2) Rules
2005 (SI 2005/656) to provide for control order proceedings,
made under the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005.
the large number of Food Protection (Emergency
Prohibitions) Orders made under the Food and Environment Protection
43. The Committee may also wish to examine
the special form of the made affirmative procedure set out in
the Civil Contingencies Act 2004. This power has not yet been
exercised so there is no experience of how it works in practice,
although it is worth noting that the Act is one of the few which
makes provision for the amendment by Parliament of delegated legislation.
44. It is a convention that negative instruments
should not come into force less than 21 days after laying
before Parliament. Both the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments
(JCSI) and the House of Lords' Merits Committee monitor the Government's
adherence to this convention.
45. There are often understandable explanations
when the Government breach this convention. One such example might
be the Protection of Wrecks (Designation) (England) (No. 7) Order
2006 (SI 2006/2535) which came into force quickly in order
to avoid a recently uncovered wreck from being looted. Lapses
may, however, simply be because the timetable for a particular
policy has slipped and a statutory instrument must be passed in
46. Section 4 of the Statutory Instruments
Act 1946 provides that "if it is essential" instruments
which may be made before being laid before Parliament (these are
usually negative instruments, but also include made affirmatives),
can come into effect before they are laid. In such a case a notification
must be sent to the Speakers of both Houses giving reasons. The
JCSI reports to the House any unjustifiable delay in making this
Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments
47. The JCSI provides technical and legal
scrutiny of all statutory instruments within its terms of reference.
Although the Committee is influential and the Government usually
accept its recommendations, the Committee does not have any formal
powers over instruments, and reports are made to both Houses for
their consideration. In the Lords, Standing Order 73 provides
that an affirmative instrument may not be approved by the House
until the JCSI has reported on it. This provides Members with
an assurance that the technical and legal aspects of an affirmative
instrument will have received expert scrutiny before the House
is invited to approve it.
48. The Committee will usually consider
a draft affirmative instrument between seven and 20 days
after it has been laid before Parliament. However, Ministers sometimes
write to the Committee to request that an instrument be expedited
(sometimes owing to genuine urgency; at other times seemingly
more for administrative convenience). The degree of prior liaison
with the Committee's advisers is important, and not all such requests
are agreed. Taking statutory instruments at short notice inevitably
means that other work is disrupted.
49. A recent example of expedited consideration
is the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (Parliament and National
Assembly for Wales) Order 2008 (SI2008/1967). This draft
affirmative was laid on 15 July 2008 and considered
by the JCSI later that day.
50. The Government can propose that SO 73 be
dispensed with, allowing an approval motion to be moved very shortly
after the instrument has been laid, but denying the House the
measure of assurance provided by the JCSI. Since 1990 SO
has been dispensed with three times in respect of specified instruments.
In addition, in July 1999 the Leader of the House twice moved
a general motion to dispense with the Standing Order in respect
of any affirmatives relating to Northern Ireland which might be
laid on specified days.
The Committee may be interested to note the Leader's comments
in moving the first of those motions, on 1 July:
"I should like, if I may, to take this opportunity
to emphasise again that the Government take very seriously the
work of the Joint Committee. It is only in the most exceptional
circumstances that we move to suspend the Standing Order."
Merits of Statutory Instruments Committee
51. As its title suggests, the Lords' Merits
Committee considers the merits of instruments within its terms
As with the JCSI, the Committee has no formal powers over instruments,
and reports are made to the House for its consideration. Unlike
the JCSI, the Merits Committee has no formal scrutiny reserve,
although efforts are usually made to give the Committee the opportunity
to consider statutory instruments before they are considered by
the House, even if this means the Committee takes less than the
usual 12 to 15 days between laying and reporting. Such
rapid scrutiny relies in part on effective informal liaison between
the Government Whips' Office and the Merits Committee staff.
52. One example is the Enterprise Act 2002 (Specification
of Additional Section 58 Consideration) Order 2008
which was laid before Parliament on 7 October 2008, considered
by the Merits Committee on 14 October
and considered in the House of Lords on 16 October, on the
same day that the Committee's report was published.
53. There have been recent examples of instruments
being laid and then withdrawn and relaid because of defective
drafting. This may be a response to a perceived need by Government
to lay an instrument quickly, before the drafting has been finalised.
This issue was recently considered by the Merits Committee:
"Disappointingly, we continue to find that
Departments need to check instruments more carefully before laying
them. This is clearly shown by the number of corrections or redrafts
that have been laid. Chart 1 indicates that 3.5 % of
negative instruments were corrected, slightly up on last session
(2.5 %). Affirmative SIs do not appear in the table as they
are laid in draft and can be withdrawn and re-laid up until the
debate is held: this facility appears to have been exploited rather
more than usual this session. We have also seen a number of SIs
which correct or withdraw legislation a day or two before it is
due to take effect because Departmental plans have gone awry (eg
SI 2007/3149, SI 2008/2677 both of which were urgent amendments
to correct a misunderstanding about instructions between the policy
official and the drafting solicitor). Such last-minute changes
cause confusion in the law and should have been picked up in the
clearance process before the original instrument left the Department."
54. If an instrument is deemed to be hybrid,
the Lords' procedures relating to it can cause considerable delay.
There are no equivalent procedures in the House of Commons and
a de-hybridising provision may be included in the parent Act to
disapply the Lords' procedures.
This is particularly relevant for powers which the Government
anticipates needing to exercise quickly, and where it is possible
that the hybrid instruments procedure would otherwise be engaged.
The DPRRC has invited the House to consider whether the hybrid
instruments procedure remains of use.
Procedure for debating instruments
55. In the Lords, both affirmative and negative
instruments may be debated in either the Chamber or in Grand Committee,
but decisions are reserved to the Chamber. There are no procedural
grounds for choosing one or the other, though the usual channels
often agree that more significant instruments should be debated
in the Chamber rather than Grand Committee. Debating instruments
in Grand Committee can take longer than the Chamber route, because
each instrument must be referred to Grand Committee by a motion
in the Chamber and, after it has been debated, must be approved
by a motion in the Chamber.
Such motions are usually taken formally, but they can be (and
occasionally are) debated, even though there has already been
a debate on the instrument in Grand Committee. As a consequence
of these considerations, emergency statutory instruments are likely
to be debated in the Chamber.
Instruments laid during recesses
56. If the House is in recess for more than
four days, the periods specified in relation to negative and made
affirmative instruments (ie. the 40 days for which a negative
instrument must lie before both Houses, and the specified period
within which a made affirmative instrument must be approved) are
suspended. Thus if a negative or made affirmative statutory instrument
is laid at the start of a recess it can come into force and remain
in force for a substantial period of time before it can be considered
by either House. This may mean that the two Houses cannot scrutinise
an instrument fully, particularly during the long Summer Recess.
This is the case whether or not the instrument in question is
laid in response to an urgent situation and, as such, would be
considered emergency legislation.
57. A draft affirmative instrument may not
be laid when the House is not sitting (and the relevant scrutiny
committees do not usually meet in a recess). When the House returns,
the committees would scrutinise the instrument in the usual way,
and either House could refuse to approve an instrument if it so
10 A v Secretary of State for the Home Department
 UKHL 56. Back
Saturday 12 March 2005. Back
A recent example was the Banking (Special Provisions) Bill, printed
under SO 51 on 19 February 2008 (see Annex B). Back
This is rare, but a recent example was the Northern Ireland (St
Andrews Agreement) (No. 2) Bill which went through both Houses
on 27 March 2007. Back
For example, the Northern Ireland (St Andrews Agreement) (No.
2) Bill. Back
Companion to the Standing Orders, House of Lords, 2007,
paragraph 7.03: "The following minimum intervals between
stages of public bills should be observed: (a) two weekends between
the first reading (whether of a new bill or one brought from the
Commons) and the debate on second reading; (b) fourteen days between
second reading and the start of the committee stage; (c) on all
bills of considerable length and complexity, fourteen days between
the end of the committee stage and the start of the report stage;
(d) three sitting days between the end of the report stage and
third reading." Back
The procedure is contained in a proviso to SO 88 which was
recommended by the Procedure Committee (3rd Report, 1971-72) and
agreed to by the House on 20 January 1972. The proviso was
a means of formalising what had been known as the "Supreme
Emergency Procedure" which was to be found only in the Companion.
This procedure had been used on a number of occasions between
1866 and 1939. Since its formalisation, the procedure has
only been used once: on 23 February 1972 in relation
to the Northern Ireland Bill. Back
Private Members' Bills are almost always taken in a Committee
of the Whole House because debates on them are unlikely to be
lengthy; only one bill per day may be considered in Grand Committee-Companion
to the Standing Orders, House of Lords, 2007, paragraph 7.98. Back
Divisions are not possible in Grand Committee-Companion to
the Standing Orders, House of Lords, 2007, paragraph 7.98. Back
Banking (Special Provisions) Act 2008. Back
See Annex B for details of the proceedings on the Bill. Back
A bill brought from the Commons after the House of Lords has risen
will be printed under SO 51 and receive its First Reading
the next day. Back
Or, on a Thursday or Friday, before the start of that day's proceedings
on the bill in question. Back
Manuscript amendments are not permitted at Third Reading stage
unless SO 49 has been dispensed with. Therefore, if Third
Reading takes place on the same day as Report stage no amendments
may be tabled at the final stage-this is commonly the case in
respect of emergency bills. Back
See the timetable for the Prevention of Terrorism Bill given in
Annex A. Back
See Companion to the Standing Orders, House of Lords, 2007,
paragraph 9.07. Back
This is the most common procedure for statutory instruments laid
before Parliament. Back
1st Report , 1972-73, para 47. Back
For example, ss 555(2) and 1291 of the Companies Act 2006. Back
Section 123. Back
Subsection (4). Back
Section 27(3). Back
See, for example, 17th Report of the Joint Committee on Statutory
Instruments, 2006-07, on SI 2007/882 and SR 2007/130; 43rd
Report of the Merits Committee, 2005-06 (correspondence between
the Committee and Lord Rooker, Minister of State, DEFRA). Back
For example, the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 (Data
Sharing Code of Practice) Order 2007 (SI 2007/3427). Back
For example, 26th Report of the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments,
2006-07, in respect of SI 2007/1947. Back
The role of the JCSI is to assess the technical qualities of statutory
instruments (including those not laid before Parliament, but not
including local instruments or those made by the devolved assemblies,
unless laid before Parliament) and to decide whether to draw the
special attention of each House to any instrument on any ground
other than the merits of the instrument or the policy behind it.
(The precise terms of reference can be found at the beginning
of each report.) Back
See also, 4th Report of the Merits Committee, 2008-09. Back
Previously SO 70. Back
29 July 1998 in respect of the draft Northern Ireland
(Sentences) Act 1998 (Specified Organisations) Order 1998;
24 June 1999 in respect of the draft Prevention of Terrorism
(Temporary Provisions) Act 1989 (Revival of Parts IVA and
IVB) Order 1999; and 13 June 2005 in respect of a Direction
given by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland under the
Northern Ireland Act 1998 regarding Reduction of Financial
On 1 and 14 July 1999. Back
HL Deb, 1 July 1999, col. 436. Back
The Merits Committee considers instruments with a view to determining
whether or not the special attention of the House should be drawn
to particular instruments on any of the following grounds: (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 legislation; (d) that it may imperfectly achieve
its policy objectives. Back
SI 2008/2645. Back
29th Report, 2007-08. Back
34th Report, 2007-08, paragraph 4. Back
See Companion to the Standing Orders, House of Lords, 2007,
paragraphs 9.36-9.43. Back
See, for example, the Local Transport Bill, and the comments of
the DPRRC in its 14th Report, 2007-08. Back
For example, s 259(2) of the Banking (Special Provisions) Act
29th Report, 1998-99, paragraphs 49-52. Back
Companion to the Standing Orders, House of Lords, 2007,
paragraphs 9.15-9.16. Back