A Statutory Instrument comes into force on 11 April that changes the legal requirements for the release of certain types of genetically modified plants. Some argue that the changes should have been made by primary, rather than delegated, legislation. Where does the boundary between the two lie?
The Brexit process, the pandemic and the approach of the Johnson Government have all tended towards Parliament’s marginalisation and the accretion of executive power. For UK in a Changing Europe’s report on the constitutional landscape, we show how – in the legislative process and control of public money and executive action, including delegated legislation.
Sanctions are imposed on an individual in two stages - by Ministers first making regulations and secondly designating the individual, using a power in those regulations. Parliament has a role in the first stage, but not the second.
The UK Government’s ‘Benefits of Brexit’ Policy Paper proposes allowing changes to retained EU law to be made "more easily" via delegated legislation. This raises constitutional concerns about the undermining of Parliament’s legislative authority.
The UK’s new Russia sanctions Regulations, being debated by the House of Commons on 22 February 2022 with one day’s notice, highlight the use of delegated legislation to introduce sanctions regimes and the challenges posed for parliamentary scrutiny of urgent measures.
A forthcoming judicial review on children-in-care highlights parliamentarians’ inability to challenge only certain aspects, rather than the whole, of a Statutory Instrument. Courts can and do provide an important backstop against unlawful use of delegated powers, but this does not diminish the need for better parliamentary oversight of delegated legislation.
The scope and design of the delegation of legislative powers in any Bill affects the long-term balance of power between Parliament and Government. The House of Lords Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee (DPRRC) scrutinises all such delegation. This report distils standards for the delegation of powers from 101 DPRRC reports from 2017 to 2021.
Our submission to the Public Accounts Committee highlighted the financial and practical challenges that MPs face in deciding the fate of Parliament’s Restoration and Renewal programme. We particularly questioned the viability of the proposal to continue operating the House of Commons Chamber in the middle of a building site.
Our submission to the House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee inquiry into retained EU law (REUL) placed the issue in the context of our Delegated Legislation Review. It discussed REUL’s diversity and amendment; the people and organisations to whom REUL amendment may matter; and parliamentary scrutiny of delegated legislation arising from amending REUL.
The Bill seeks to crack down on ‘dirty money’ and corrupt elites in the UK and is being expedited through Parliament following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This briefing identifies four delegated powers in the Bill that should be amended to ensure future accountability to Parliament.
What is delegated legislation? What is Parliament’s role in it? And what is a ‘Henry VIII’ power? We answer your questions
What Covid Regulations will the House of Commons debate on 14 December, and how? Amid backbench unrest, the occasion will be shaped by the interplay between delegated legislation scrutiny, parliamentary procedures, and raw politics. The outcome could have profound consequences for both public health policy and the Prime Minister’s position.
What information and evidence does Parliament need to enable it to oversee government law-making? Is Parliament currently provided with sufficient information and, if not, how can this be improved?
On 2 November, the Society launched its Delegated Legislation Review to an audience of MPs, Peers and constitutional experts. The event – which included two panel discussions with Members from across the political spectrum and a keynote address by Steve Baker MP – unpacked the problems with the delegated legislation system and explored avenues for reform.
The Hansard Society hosted two online hustings for the candidates in the 2021 Lord Speaker election. The first event, on 25 March, was chaired by the BBC’s parliamentary correspondent Mark D’Arcy; and the second, on 13 April, was chaired by Jackie Ashley, former political correspondent and broadcaster.
On 15 October 2019, all nine original candidates to be the new Speaker of the House of Commons participated in a hustings event in Westminster, hosted jointly by the Hansard Society and The House magazine, and chaired by the BBC’s Carolyn Quinn.
On 20 March, Professor Sir John Curtice and a panel of leading commentators outlined their findings at the launch of the first major study of the 2017 general election, ‘Britain Votes 2017’.
Join us for the launch of our new Global Research Network on Parliaments and People, with a keynote speech on ‘Deepening Democracy’ by Baroness Amos.