Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Twenty-Third Report


TWENTY-THIRD REPORT

FROM THE JOINT COMMITTEE OF BOTH HOUSES APPOINTED TO SCRUTINISE STATUTORY INSTRUMENTS, ETC.[1]

ORDERED TO REPORT:

  1. The Committee has considered the instruments set out in the Annex to this Report and has determined that the special attention of both Houses does not require to be drawn to any of them.

HORSE PASSPORTS ORDER 1997 (S.I. 1997/2789)

  2. The Committee draws the special attention of both Houses to this Order on the ground that it is defectively drafted.

  Council Directive 90/47/EC requires registered horses to be accompanied by an identification document prescribed by the European Commission. Commission Decision 93/623/EEC prescribes the form of this document, and provides that the passport may accompany horses born before 1st January 1998 and must accompany horses born on or after 1st January 1998. Article 9 of this Order provides that "the keeper of a horse in respect of which a horse passport has been issued shall ensure that the horse is accompanied by its horse passport" in the circumstances specified. The Committee asked the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether article 9 is intended to apply to horses born before 1st January 1998 in respect of which passports have been obtained voluntarily. The Department reply in their memorandum (Appendix I) that the article is not intended to apply to horses born before 1st January 1998, and state that they will take steps to amend the provision. The Committee reports article 9 of the Order for defective drafting, acknowledged by the Department.

ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT FOR EXPLOSIVE ATMOSPHERES (CERTIFICATION) (AMENDMENT) REGULATIONS 1998 (S.I. 1998/81)

  3. The Committee draws the special attention of both Houses to these Regulations on the ground that they are defectively drafted.

  These Regulations amend the Electrical Equipment for Explosive Atmospheres (Certification) Regulations 1990 (S.I. 1990/13). Paragraph (4) of new regulation 12A (inserted by regulation 2(4)) provides that a certification body may not issue a certificate of conformity under either paragraph (2) or (3) after 30th September 1998. Paragraph (5) provides that certificates of conformity issued before 30th September 1998 are to be regarded as in force for the purposes of regulation 11 (use of the Community mark) up to and including 30th June 2003. The Committee asked the Department of Trade and Industry why certificates of conformity issued on 30th September 1998 are excluded from the scope of the Regulations, and whether, in paragraph (5), "before 30th September 1998" ought to have read "before 1st October 1998". In their memorandum (Appendix II) the Department acknowledge that the words "before 30th September 1998" in paragraph (5) should have read "before 1st October 1998", and undertake to make an appropriate amendment. The Committee reports new regulation 12A(5), inserted by regulation 2(4), for defective drafting, acknowledged by the Department.

COMPANY ACCOUNTS (DISCLOSURE OF DIRECTORS' EMOLUMENTS) REGULATIONS (NORTHERN IRELAND) 1997 (S.R. 1997/545)

CONSTRUCTION (USE OF EXPLOSIVES) REGULATIONS (NORTHERN IRELAND) 1997 (S.R. 1997/555)

  4. The Committee draws the special attention of both Houses to these instruments on the grounds that there was unjustifiable delay in laying them, and that one instrument (S.R. 1997/555) is defectively drafted and contains unnecessarily referential legislation.

  S.R. 1997/545 was made on 19th December 1997 but was not laid before Parliament until 21st January 1998. S.R. 1997/555 was made on 19th December 1997 but was not laid until 22nd January 1998. The Committee asked the Northern Ireland Office to explain these delays. The Department do not in their memorandum (Appendix III) give a satisfactory explanation, and the Committee therefore reports both instruments on the ground that there was unjustifiable delay in laying them before Parliament.

  Regulation 7(2) of S.R. 1997/555 provides that the Regulations are not to apply to vessels which are registered outside the United Kingdom and are on passage through territorial waters. The Committee asked the Department to explain the need for this provision, given that paragraph (1) provides that the Regulations are to apply within territorial waters to certain activities in relation to any building or other structure not being a vessel. The Department accept that paragraph (2) is superfluous and state that they will revoke it at the next suitable opportunity. The Committee reports regulation 7(2) of S.R. 1997/555 for defective drafting, acknowledged by the Department.

  The Committee asked the Department why regulation 7(3) of S.R. 1997/555, instead of referring the reader to the concise definitions of "territorial waters" and "vessel" in regulation 2(1) of the Offshore Installations and Pipeline Works (Management and Administration) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1995, did not set out the definitions themselves. The Department accept that it would be more convenient for the reader to have the definitions set out in the 1997 Regulations, and undertake to amend them at the next suitable opportunity. The Committee reports regulation 7(3) of S.R. 1997/555 on the ground that it is drafted in an unnecessarily referential manner.


1  
The Orders of Reference of the Committee are set out in the First Report, Session 1997-98 (HL Paper 4; HC 33-i). Back




 
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