Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Twenty-Fourth Report


TWENTY-FOURTH 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.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT FINANCE (NEW PARISHES) REGULATIONS 1998 (S.I. 1998/119)

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

  The reference in regulation 5(1) to a "relevant parish" should be to a "relevant parish council" (as defined in regulation 2). In the memorandum printed in Appendix I the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions admit the mistake and undertake to correct it at the next convenient opportunity. The Committee reports regulation 5(1) for defective drafting, acknowledged by the Department.

ANIMALS AND ANIMAL PRODUCTS (IMPORT AND EXPORT) REGULATIONS 1998 (S.I. 1998/190)

  3. The Committee draws the special attention of both Houses to these Regulations on the grounds that they are defectively drafted in three respects and they require elucidation in another respect.

  These Regulations revoke and re-enact with changes the Animal and Animal Products (Import and Export) Regulations 1995 (S.I. 1995/2428) (as amended). Regulations 6(1), 10(1) and (2), and 16(1) and (2) include references to "any additional legislation applicable in Great Britain". The Committee concluded previously that the use of the same phrase in the 1995 Regulations constituted defective drafting[2], firstly because it is unclear to which legislation the words refer, and secondly because in any event the words are otiose: in the context, the legislation is binding independently of the Regulations. The Committee asked the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what legislation was contemplated by the references and why it was not referred to specifically. The Department accept in their memorandum (Appendix II) that the phrase is "capable of giving rise to legal uncertainty" and say that they will delete it at the earliest opportunity. They also apologise for the failure to take account of the Committee's earlier report. The Committee reports regulations 6(1), 10(1) and (2), and 16(1) and (2) for defective drafting, acknowledged by the Department.

  Regulations 13(2)(a) and 21(5) authorise the issue by inspectors of notices whose requirements depend on "relevant legislation". The Committee asked the Department to identify the legislation contemplated by these words and to explain why it is not set out in the Regulations. The Department reply that the current legislation referred to in regulation 13(2)(a) is the Animals and Animal Products (Examination for Residues and Maximum Residue Limits) Regulations 1997 (S.I. 1997/1729). They accept that it would be more helpful for the reader if the legislation was specifically referred to and undertake to do this when the next version of the Regulations is made. The legislation referred to in regulation 21(5) is more complex and comprises the Residue Regulations referred to above, and all legislation which must be complied with before an animal can be slaughtered for sale for human consumption, of which they give examples. The relevant legislation will in future include legislation on cattle passports and ear tags. The Department undertake to rephrase the provision when the next version of the Regulations is made to make clear that what is being referred to is the entirety of the legislation which must be complied with before an animal can be slaughtered for human consumption. The Committee reports regulations 13(2)(a) and 21(5) for defective drafting, in both cases acknowledged by the Department.

  Regulation 13 authorises the issue by inspectors of three kinds of notices. Paragraph (4) authorises an inspector to seize any animal or product "in the event of a notice not being complied with" and to arrange for the requirements of the notice to be complied with. It is unclear which notice or notices are referred to. The Department explain that paragraph (4) is intended to cover all notices issued under regulation 13, and undertake to clarify the provision when the Regulations are next amended. The Committee reports regulation 13(4) for defective drafting, acknowledged by the Department.

  Regulation 28 entitles consignors and importers who are the subject of decisions on the entry of animals or animal products into Great Britain to written notice giving the reasons for the decision and details of their "right of appeal". The Committee asked the Department what right of appeal, under what provision, is referred to. The Department reply that regulation 28 implements Article 9 of Council Directive 90/425/EEC, which requires a member State to provide on request details of the rights of appeal which are available under the law in force in the member State of destination and of the procedure and time limits available. This is done in the United Kingdom by informing a person on whom a notice is served that he has a right to apply to the courts for a judicial review of the decision under Order 53 of the Rules of the Supreme Court. It appears to the Committee that this provision, though it does not in terms refer to the right to apply for judicial review, satisfactorily reflects the Directive. The Committee reports regulation 28 as requiring the elucidation provided.


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

2   Third Report, Session 1995-96 (HL Paper 16, HC 34-iii), p. 6. Back


 
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