Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Forty-Eighth Report


Memorandum by the Scottish Office


1.  This Memorandum is submitted to the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments in response to their letter of 4th November 1998 in which they ask for an explanation of the following point arising in connection with the above Statutory Instrument.

2.  The Committee seeks an explanation as follows:—

    The Committee seeks an explanation as to why this Order does not set out the amendments to Schedule 3 to the Road Traffic Act 1991 in its application to Scotland but instead effects the amendments by reference to an existing Order, making amendments for England and Wales.

3.  The amendments made to Schedule 3 by the draft Order are identical (with one amendment excluded) to the amendments made to that Schedule for England and Wales by the 1996 Order. The 1996 Order makes the amendments textually and so, to make sense of them, the reader has to look at both the 1984 Act and the 1991 Act.

4.  The purpose of the current draft Order is to make the amended version of the Schedule which applies in England and Wales apply also in Scotland (subject to that one exclusion). The technique of amending by reference to the 1996 Order lets the reader see at once the similarity in the provisions which are to apply in the two jurisdictions. It would be more difficult for him to see this if he were left to compare the two amended texts. It is considered that the use of this technique is the neatest and most economical way of making the amendments.

5.  Scottish Parliamentary Counsel was shown an early draft of the Order and recommended, for the reasons mentioned above, that the amendments should be made by reference to the earlier Order. A further relevant factor in reaching that decision was that the referential technique would have been chosen as the preferred way of amending the Schedule if the amendments had been made in primary legislation.

6th November 1998

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