Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Second Report


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.

  2. A memorandum by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions in connection with the Building Regulations (Amendment) Regulations 1988 (S.I. 1998/2561) is printed in Appendix I to this Report.

MERCHANT SHIPPING (PASSENGER SHIP CONSTRUCTION: SHIPS OF CLASSES I, II AND II(A)) REGULATIONS 1998 (S.I. 1998/2514)

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

  These Regulations revoke and replace a number of regulations relating to passenger ships and implement certain amendments to the Safety of Life at Sea Convention 1974 and part of EC Directive 94/57/EC on approval standards.

  Regulation 6 provides that except for specified regulations Part II applies to all ships. The Committee asked the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions why regulation 21 is included in the exceptions. In the memorandum printed in Appendix II the Department accept that the reference to regulation 21 is otiose. The Committee reports regulation 6 for defective drafting, acknowledged by the Department.

  In response to a question from the Committee the Department admit that the reference in regulation 11(4) to regulation 10(3) should be a reference to regulation 10(7). The Committee reports regulation 11(4) for defective drafting, acknowledged by the Department.

  The Department admit that in regulation 12(2) the saving for the Load Lines Rules 1968 should be a saving for the Merchant Shipping (Load Lines) Regulations 1998 (S.I. 1998/2241) (which revoked the 1968 Rules). The Committee reports regulation 12(2) for defective drafting, acknowledged by the Department.

  The Department acknowledge that the reference in regulation 32(2)(f) to regulation 31 should be to regulation 34. The Committee reports regulation 32(2)(f) for defective drafting, acknowledged by the Department.

  In regulation 43(1), the Committee asked the Department to identify the "relevant regulations" (containing stability criteria). The Department say that these are regulations 37, 42, 43, 44, 45 and 46 as applicable, and accept that this should have been made clear in the Regulations. The Committee reports regulation 43(1) for defective drafting, acknowledged by the Department.

  Regulation 62(5)(a) provides that pressure tests shall have regard to the "design/standards and materials of which the respective items are constructed". The Committee asked whether both "design" and "standards" should have been included. The Department state that the word "standards" is superfluous, and that as the Committee suggest the regulation should correspond to the similar provision in S.I. 1998/2515 (regulation 52(1)(a)). The Committee reports regulation 62(5)(a) for defective drafting, acknowledged by the Department.

  Regulation 91(5) and (6) creates offences which are triable either summarily or on conviction, but expresses the summary fine in terms of not exceeding a level on the standard scale. The Department accept that as the offences are triable either way the summary fine should be expressed by reference to the statutory maximum. The Committee reports regulation 91(5) and (6) for defective drafting, acknowledged by the Department.

  The Department state that they regret the errors and will correct them at the first convenient opportunity.

MERCHANT SHIPPING (PASSENGER SHIP CONSTRUCTION: SHIPS OF CLASSES III TO VI(A)) REGULATIONS 1998 (S.I. 1998/2515)

  4. The Committee draws the special attention of both Houses to these Regulations on the grounds that they are defectively drafted in five respects.

  These Regulations replace a number of previous regulations on passenger ships and implement part of EC Directive 94/57/EC on ship inspections.

  The Committee asked the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions whether the Regulations are intended generally (apart from the provision made by regulation 21(1)) to apply not only to United Kingdom ships but also to non-United Kingdom ships whilst they are in United Kingdom waters. The Department confirm in the memorandum printed in Appendix III that they are intended so to apply. The Committee considers as a matter of proper drafting practice that this should have been made clear in these Regulations as it was in the Regulations applying to larger classes of ships (S.I. 1998/2514 regulation 3(1)), and reports for defective drafting.

  Both regulation 8 and 32(2) require subdivided ships to be subdivided by bulkheads into compartments of a length calculated in accordance with Merchant Shipping Notice MSN 1699 (M) and impose the same requirements as to watertightness and design for other portions of the internal structure. In answer to a question from the Committee the Department admit that the provisions are duplicates and say that they will remove the otiose regulation 32(2). The Committee reports regulation 32(2) for defective drafting, acknowledged by the Department.

  Regulation 51(3) requires every ship with multiple propellers to undergo trials to determine the ability of the ship to manoeuvre with one propeller inoperative. The corresponding regulation 64(3) in S.I. 1998/2514 refers to manoeuvrability with one or more propellers inoperative. The Department admit that the inconsistency between the two provisions is a mistake and say that regulation 51(3) should refer to one or more propellers. The Committee reports regulation 51(3) for defective drafting, acknowledged by the Department.

  The Committee asked the Department two questions in relation to question 73 (on Penalties). First, the Committee asked whether the Department intended that no offence is committed by the officer appointed for the purposes of regulation 23 who reports a door to be closed and locked when it is not in fact closed and locked. The Department admit that there should be such an offence, as there is in S.I. 1998/2514. Secondly, in paragraph (3) which creates an offence triable either way, the Committee asked whether the summary fine ought not to be expressed by reference to the statutory maximum. The Department agree that the maximum summary fine should indeed be so expressed. The Committee reports regulation 73 for defective drafting in these respects, acknowledged by the Department.

  The Department say that they regret the errors and will make appropriate amendments at the first convenient opportunity.


1   The Orders of Reference of the Committee are set out in the First Report, Session 1998-99 (HL Paper 4; HC 50-i). Back


 
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Prepared 17 December 1998