Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Nineteenth Report

4 S.I. 2003/830: unjustified breach of the 21-day rule

Police (Revocation of Secretary of State's Objectives) Order 2003 (S.I. 2003/830)

4.1  The Committee draws the special attention of both Houses to these Regulations on the ground that there was an unjustified breach of the 21-day rule.

4.2  This Order was made on 24 February 2003, laid before Parliament on 24 March 2003, and came into force on 1 April 2003. It therefore contravened the 21-day rule mentioned in paragraph 5.21 of Statutory Instrument Practice, which requires that instruments subject to annulment should normally not be brought into force until 21 days after laying. The Home Office, in the second memorandum printed at Appendix 4, elaborates on the "administrative error" referred to in its first memorandum. It explains that there was a delay between the Minister making the Order and the Order being passed to the officials responsible for laying statutory instruments. The Home Office states that it has reviewed the procedures for checking that instruments sent for signature have been signed, and is taking steps to try to avoid future such delays.

4.3  The Committee welcomes this assurance but notes that there was a four week delay between signing and laying this order. The Committee accordingly reports this Order for an unjustified breach of the 21-day rule.

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