RELATIONS WITH OTHER PARLIAMENTARY
COMMITTEES AND ORGANISATIONS
8. The Delegated Powers and Deregulation Committee
was originally modelled, with modifications, on the Australian
Senate's Scrutiny of Bills Committee, and we have always sought
to keep in touch with our Australian roots, and indeed, via the
with the work of other Parliaments. On 13 December 1999 the Committee
met a delegation from the Regulation Review Committee of the Parliament
of New South Wales.
In discussion, the following issues were amongst those raised:
- regulatory impact statements;
- the importance of consultation and cost-benefit
- the effectiveness of Sunset Clauses in culling
regulations in New South Wales.
9. On 24 May 2000 we welcomed Professor Jim Davis,
Legal Adviser to the Australian Senate's Scrutiny of Bills Committee.
Professor Davis outlined the similarities and differences between
the two Committees, including the following points:
- in common with the Delegated Powers and Deregulation
Committee, there was a high degree of consensus on the Committee,
which had never divided on party lines;
- the Committee's reports were always agreed unanimously,
again like this Committee;
- the Committee had six members, three Government,
two major Opposition and one minor Opposition;
- the powers of the executive were much more limited
in Australia. Although the Australian Parliament had passed the
Interception Act 1979 before the Senate's Scrutiny of Bills Committee
was established, the powers in that Act were much more limited
than those in the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Bill which
was currently before the Westminster Parliament, and they could
only be extended by primary legislation.
We also noted that the Australian Senate rarely sits
beyond 7 pm, and refuses to consider Bills for which inadequate
scrutiny time has been provided.
10. On 7 November 2000 we welcomed the Hon. Doug
Kidd, a former Speaker of the New Zealand Parliament and the current
Chairperson of the New Zealand Parliament's Regulations Review
Committee. Mr Kidd noted the following similarities between the
- there is a very high success rate for their recommendations;
- both Committees have to work hard and fast;
- the Committees' recommendations are confined
to achieving specific objectives within the terms of reference;
- there has never been a vote in either Committee.
11. The Chairman and Clerk were invited to give evidence
on 23 November 1999 to the House of Commons Procedure Committee
for its enquiry into delegated legislation.
12. The Chairman talked about the Committee in a
Constitution Unit Lecture on 28 June.
13. The Clerk also talked about the Committee in
the Statute Law Society's Annual Lecture on 16 May,
and attended the 5th Commonwealth Conference on Delegated Legislation
in Harare in October.
THE PURPOSE OF THIS SPECIAL REPORT
14. Although other House of Lords Committees do not
it has been our practice at the end of each session to produce
a report evaluating our work during the session. We send these
reports to representatives of the front benches and to the Chairman
of the Procedure Committee and of the Liaison Committee. In our
last such special report we made a number of recommendations,
not all of which have been taken up by the appropriate House Committee.
Some of the recommendations in the present report - summarised
in the executive summary - are made to Government Departments,
some to the Procedure Committee and some to the House as a whole.
We look forward to their further discussion.
1 There appears to have been a small decline in the
number of statutory instruments laid before the Westminster Parliament
this session. It is too early to judge whether this will be a
continuing trend as a consequence of power devolved to the Scottish
For example, this session some 9 per cent of all instruments were
made under the European Communities Act 1972. This is not a complete
count of instruments implementing Directives as it is frequently
possible to use existing delegated powers for this purpose. Back
A former member of this Committee. Back
House of Lords Hansard, 7 December 1999, cols. 1243-1270. Back
Cm 4534, Royal Commission on the Reform of the House of Lords,
A House for the Future (January 2000), especially chapter 7. Back
On 22 February 2000 the House of Lords declined to approve the
draft Greater London Authority (Election Expenses) Order 2000
by 215 votes to 150. On the same day, the motion for the annulment
of the Greater London Authority Elections Rules 2000 was carried
by 206 votes to 143. Back
House of Commons Procedure Committee, 4th report (1995-96), Delegated
Legislation (HC 152); 1st report (1999-2000), Delegated
Legislation (HC 48). Back
House of Lords Hansard, 27 July 2000, col. 579. Back
The 2nd report of the Procedure Committee for 1993-94 (HL Paper
58), which recommended that we should undertake this work, was
ordered to be printed on 23 May 1994 and approved by the House
on 20 October 1994. Back
The Committee has power to travel only within the United Kingdom. Back
The Chairman met a further delegation from the same Committee
informally at the House of Lords in July 2000. Back
This was printed as HC 48-i. Back
"Wakeham in the Long Grass: Can the Lords guard democracy?"
This lecture was subsequently published by the Constitution Unit. Back
"Secondary legislation: second class or crucial?" This
lecture will shortly be published in Statute Law Review,
2000, vol. 21, no 3, pp 149-162. Back
Details of the staffing and work of each select committee in the
House of Commons are published each year in the Sessional Return
(for Session 1998-1999, the House of Commons Paper number is HC
(1999-2000) 1). For the past two sessions the Joint Committee
on Statutory Instruments has published a Special Report comprising
action taken by Departments in respect of instruments reported
by that Committee. The Joint Committee's first special report
for 1999-2000, ordered to be printed on 18 July 2000, sets out
these Departmental returns for 1999 (HC Paper 819; HL Paper 103). Back