Third Report Contents

Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee

The Committee was established on 17 December 2003 as the Merits of Statutory Instruments Committee. It was renamed in 2012 to reflect the widening of its responsibilities to include the scrutiny of Orders laid under the Public Bodies Act 2011.

The Committee’s terms of reference are set out in full on the website but are, broadly, to scrutinise —

(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 these specified 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 Union legislation;

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

(e) that the explanatory material laid in support provides insufficient information to gain a clear understanding about the instrument’s policy objective and intended implementation;

(f) that there appear to be inadequacies in the consultation process which relates to the instrument.

The Committee may also consider such other general matters relating to the effective scrutiny of secondary legislation as the Committee considers appropriate, except matters within the orders of reference of the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments.


Lord Faulkner of Worcester

Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbots

Lord Sherbourne of Didsbury

Lord Goddard of Stockport

Rt Hon. Lord Janvrin

Rt Hon. Lord Trefgarne (Chairman)

Baroness Gould of Potternewton

Lord Kirkwood of Kirkhope

Baroness Watkins of Tavistock

Lord Haskel

Baroness O’Loan

Registered interests

Information about interests of Committee Members can be found in the last Appendix to this report.


The Committee’s Reports are published on the internet at

The National Archives publish statutory instruments with a plain English explanatory memorandum on the internet at

Information and Contacts

Any query about the Committee or its work, or opinions on any new item of secondary legislation, should be directed to the Clerk to the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee, Legislation Office, House of Lords, London SW1A 0PW. The telephone number is 020 7219 8821 and the email address is

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