Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Thirty-Second Report


THIRTY-SECOND 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.

SURREY AND SUSSEX HEALTHCARE NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE TRUST (ESTABLISHMENT) ORDER 1998 (S.I. 1998/651)

SURREY OAKLANDS NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE TRUST (ESTABLISHMENT) ORDER 1998 (S.I. 1998/653)

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

  Article 1(2) of each instrument provides that the "establishment date" of the new trust shall be 1st April 1998, and article 5(1) of each instrument provides that the operational date shall be the same. Considering that articles 6 and 7 cannot have any effect unless the operational date follows the establishment date, the Committee asked the Department of Health whether article 5(1) ought to have provided for an operational date later than the establishment date of 1st April 1998. The Department admit in the memorandum printed in Appendix I that in both cases a mistake was made and go on to explain that the operational date was correct but the establishment date should have been earlier (some time in February). The Committee reports article 1(2) for defective drafting, acknowledged by the Department.

NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE (GENERAL MEDICAL SERVICES) AMENDMENT REGULATIONS 1998 (S.I. 1998/682)

  3. The Committee draws the special attention of both Houses to these Regulations on the ground that they contain non-legislative material.

  Regulation 2 indicates that the amendments in Part II are the result of the coming into force of certain provisions of the 1997 Act and certain regulations made thereunder. The Committee asked the Department of Health to explain whether this provision has any legislative effect and, if not, why it appears in the instrument. The Department reply in the memorandum printed in Appendix II that the provision is intended to help the reader to understand why the provisions were made. They consider that it has legislative effect "in that it is part of the law" but say that it is "merely declaratory". The Department point to three provisions in primary legislation to support the inclusion of regulation 2; section 19(1) of the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997, section 180(1) of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 and section 1 of the Legal Aid Act 1988. The Committee considers that these examples do not justify the inclusion of regulation 2 because each of the three examples cited has a different function. Section 19(1) of the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997 provides an overview of Part II of the Act; section 180(1) of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 states the nature of the complex rights conferred; and section 1 of the Legal Aid Act 1988 states the purpose of the Act in a way that is meant to affect the meaning of its provisions. Regulation 2, on the other hand, has no discernible legal effect and, for that reason, is not "part of the law". The Committee considers that the information contained in regulation 2 should have been put in the Explanatory Note, and reports on the ground that the Regulations contain material of a non-legislative character.

HOUSING RENEWAL GRANTS (AMENDMENT) REGULATIONS 1998 (S.I. 1998/808)

  4. The Committee draws the special attention of both Houses to these Regulations on the ground that they contain non-legislative material.

  Regulations 3(b), 4, 7, 10 and 11 correct typographical errors in the Housing Renewal Grants Regulations 1996. The Committee asked the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions to explain why these were dealt with by provisions of a substantive amending instrument and not by means of an earlier correction slip or corrections to the bound volume. The Department admit in their memorandum (Appendix III) that the corrections should have been made by a correction slip or in the bound volume and apologise for the error. The Commitee reports regulations 3(b), 4, 7, 10 and 11 on the ground that they are of a non-legislative character.


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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