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
CARE STANDARDS ACT 2000 (COMMENCEMENT NO. 9 (ENGLAND)
AND TRANSITIONAL AND SAVINGS PROVISIONS) ORDER 2001 (S.I. 2001/3852)
2. The Committee draws the special attention of
both Houses to this Order on the ground that it is defectively
3. Paragraph 3(1) of the Schedule to this Order requires
the relevant authority to send certain information and documents
to the relevant provider. This obligation is expressed to be subject
to sub-paragraph (7), which in certain circumstances requires
that person to send copies of the information and documents to
the existing care home manager, but does not appear to qualify
the requirements in paragraph 3(1). The Committee therefore sought
an explanation from the Department of Health for the inclusion
of the qualifying words. In its memorandum printed at Appendix
1, the Department accepts that the duty in sub-paragraph (1) is
not subject to or otherwise dependent on sub-paragraph (7), and
that it was unnecessary to make the former subject to the latter,
and it undertakes to make an appropriate amendment at the first
available opportunity. In the Committee's view, the inclusion
of the words of subjection was not only unnecessary, but also
cast doubt on the scope of the duty.
4. The Committee accordingly reports this Order
for defective drafting, acknowledged by the Department.
PLANT PROTECTION PRODUCTS (PAYMENTS) REGULATIONS
2001 (S.I. 2001/3898)
5. The Committee draws the special attention of
both Houses to these Regulations on the ground that no compatibility
statement was provided with the Regulations.
6. These Regulations, made under section 2(2) of
the European Communities Act 1972, amend the Food and Environment
Protection Act 1985 by modifying the application of section 18
of that Act. Paragraph 40 of the guidance to government departments
on the Human Rights Act 1998 states that, as a matter of good
practice, the Minister in charge of secondary legislation not
subject to affirmative resolution which amends primary legislation
should always make a written statement regarding its compatibility
with Convention rights in an appropriate form, such as by letter
to the Committee. No such statement was received in this case.
7. The Department of Environment, Food and Rural
Affairs, in a memorandum printed at Appendix 2, acknowledges that,
as a result of an oversight, no such statement was provided.
The Department states that it considers that the Regulations are
compatible with Convention rights.
8. The Committee accordingly reports these Regulations
for failure to provide a compatibility statement as envisaged
by the guidance to departments.
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT (UNCULTIVATED LAND
AND SEMI-NATURAL AREAS) (ENGLAND) REGULATIONS 2001 (S.I. 2001/3966)
9. The Committee draws the special attention of
both Houses to these Regulations on the ground that they are defectively
10. These Regulations prohibit the carrying out of
a relevant project without the consent of the Secretary of State.
An application for consent must include an environmental statement,
which is defined in regulation 2(1) as a statement which includes
certain information. Regulation 10(1) requires the Secretary of
State to take certain action if she reaches the opinion "that
the environmental statement should contain additional information
in order to be an environmental statement". It appeared to
the Committee that this proposition was a logical impossibility.
11. The Department of Environment, Food and Rural
Affairs, in a memorandum printed at Appendix 3, explains that
the intention is that regulation 10(1) should apply where the
statement provided by the applicant is found to be defective in
that it does not contain all the information necessary for it
to be an environmental statement. The Department accepts that
the provision as drafted is defective, and proposes to remedy
the defect when the Regulations are next amended.
12. The Committee accordingly reports these Regulations
for defective drafting, acknowledged by the Department.
LEGAL AID IN CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS (COSTS) (AMENDMENT
NO. 2) RULES (NORTHERN IRELAND) 2001 (S.R. 2001/426)
13. The Committee draws the special attention
of both Houses to these Rules on the ground that there has been
a failure to comply with Statutory Instrument Practice in respect
14. These Rules were laid before Parliament on 12
December 2001 and came into force on 30 December 2001. They therefore
contravene the 21day rule contained in paragraph 5.21 of Statutory
Instrument Practice, which requires that instruments subject
to negative procedure should normally not be brought into force
until 21 days after laying. In its first memorandum, which is
printed in Appendix 4, the Northern Ireland Court Service states
that the breach was due to an administrative error which resulted
in insufficient time to secure the required signatures of two
Lords Commissioners of the Treasury.
15. In response to the Committee's request to elaborate
on this explanation the Court Service, in its second memorandum
also printed in Appendix 4, explains that the original instrument,
when signed by the Lord Chancellor, was returned in error to Belfast
without being signed by two Lords Commissioners. The Committee
therefore reports the Rules for an unjustified breach of the 21
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
Other written evidence submitted to the Committee in connection
with this instrument is not printed. Back