Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Seventeenth Report


SEVENTEENTH 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 from the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions in connection with the Motor Vehicles (Compulsory Insurance) Regulations 2000 (S.I. 2000/762) is printed in Appendix 1.

  3. A memorandum from the Home Office in connection with the Young Offender Institution (Amendment) Rules 2000 (S.I. 2000/700) is printed in Appendix 2.

RADIO EQUIPMENT AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS TERMINAL EQUIPMENT REGULATIONS 2000 (S.I. 2000/730)

  4. The Committee draws the special attention of both Houses to these regulations on the ground that they are defectively drafted in two places.

  5. These regulations implement Directive 1999/5/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on radio equipment and telecommunications equipment and the mutual recognition of their conformity.

  6. Regulation 6(2) makes two "principles" (permitted displays of apparatus and restriction of switching on of radio equipment) apply in respect of the Telecommunications Act 1984 and the Wireless Telegraphy Acts 1949 and 1967. The Committee asked the Department to indicate which provisions of those Acts are intended to be amended or qualified by the principles. In the memorandum printed in Appendix 3, the Department of Trade and Industry identify the sections to which the principles apply. In the 1949 Act sections 1, 1A, 3, 10, 11 and 12 are amended, in the 1967 Act section 7 is amended and in the 1984 Act, the sections amended are 5, 28, 29 85 and 86. In all but three of those sections the principles are applied to the exercise of a statutory discretion such as the power to issue enforcement notices or to make regulations: the Committee has no objection to this application. However, in the case of sections 1 and 1A of the 1949 Act and section 5 of the 1984 Act the Committee finds that it is virtually impossible for the reader to ascertain the effect of applying the principles. These sections are not concerned with discretionary powers: in each an offence is committed if certain acts are carried out without a licence. In circumstances such as these, where a penalty is the consequence of a failure to comply with the legislation, the effect of the application of the principle must be clear. The proper course of action would have been for the Department to amend the relevant sections of the Acts rather than to leave the reader to work out the intended modifications. The Committee accordingly reports regulation 6(2) for defective drafting.

  7. The Committee also asked the Department why paragraph 1(2) of Schedule 9 to the regulations did not omit as inapplicable section 38(1)(c) of the Consumer Protection Act 1997, given that sections 38(1)(a) and (b) were so omitted. In the memorandum, the Department say that the failure to omit section 38(1)(c) is an oversight which will be corrected at a suitable opportunity. The Committee accordingly reports paragraph 1(2) of Schedule 9 for defective drafting, acknowledged by the Department.

  

FOOD STANDARDS ACT 1999 (TRANSITIONAL AND CONSEQUENTIAL PROVISIONS AND SAVINGS) (ENGLAND AND WALES) REGULATIONS 2000 (S.I. 2000/656)

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

  9. These regulations make transitional and consequential provisions and savings in preparation for and in connection with, the coming into force of the Food Standards Act 1999. They transfer functions to the Food Standards Agency. The Committee asked the Department of Health why paragraph 3 of Part VIII of Schedule 4 to the regulations provides that in regulation 5(2) of the Fresh Meat (Beef Controls) (No. 2) Regulations 1996 (S.I 1996/2097), the words "the Agency" are to be inserted after, rather than as a replacement for, the words "the Minister". In a memorandum printed in Appendix 4, the Department accept that the modification should have provided for the substitution of the words "the Minister" and undertake to correct the error shortly. The Committee accordingly reports paragraph 3 of Part VIII of Schedule 4 for defective drafting, acknowledged by the Department.


1   The Orders of Reference of the Committee are set out in the First Report, Session 1999-2000 (HL Paper 4; HC 47-i). Back


 
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