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House of Commons Delegated Legislation 28.11.13


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House of Commons Delegated Legislation 28.11.13

  1. 1. Parliament Explained: Delegated Legislation
  2. 2. What is delegated legislation? • Usually: – Made by a Minister – Using powers granted by an Act of Parliament – Called a Statutory Instrument (over 3,000 a year) (Order/Regulations/Rules/Scheme) • But there are exceptions
  3. 3. Parliamentary Control • Set out in the enabling Act. It can be – Affirmative (Parliament needs to say yes) – Negative (Parliament can say no within a set time period) – No procedure (but may still engage Parliament)
  4. 4. Laying Before Parliament • All instruments subject to procedure (and some not subject) must be laid • Two copies to each House, with covering letters, delivered by hand to Commons Journal Office and Lords Printed Paper Office – Some financial SIs are only laid in the Commons • SIs must pass through Registrar’s system on before laying
  5. 5. JCSI – scrutiny on form • Looks at all affirmatives and negatives, and general (i.e. not local) no-procedure instruments • Considers drafting; unexpected use of powers; whether rules on timing have been complied with and various other grounds set out in Standing Orders • Does not look at policy or merits • Draws instruments to the attention of both Houses
  6. 6. Commons Procedure - Affirmatives • Government lays SI and tables motion to approve it • SI automatically referred to a Delegated Legislation Committee • DL Committee Considers SI for 1½ hours on motion “that the Committee has considered the instrument” (2½ hours for a N Ireland SI) • Motion to approve then taken forthwith in House • Alternatively SI debated for 1½ hours on the floor of the House
  7. 7. Commons Procedure - Negatives • Member tables a “prayer” • Government may refer the SI to a DL Committee • DL Committee considers instrument on neutral motion • Normally no further action (occasionally Opposition puts a debated SI down for a forthwith vote on an Opposition Day) • Instruments are very rarely annulled
  8. 8. Where to get help • Contact the Journal Office: – Guidance at • Contact JCSI: • Contact Registrar