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.
We hope that, by drawing DPRRC standards across a range of issues together into a single document, this Compendium will prove a useful resource for all those involved in the production, scrutiny, interpretation and use of delegated powers and what they should – or should not – be used for. By distilling over a hundred DPRRC reports, the Compendium should convey a sense of the Committee’s thinking and concerns, and the wider landscape of debate and recommendations about delegation and scrutiny procedures across government.
The standards presented in the Compendium have been derived from a comprehensive analysis of DPRRC reports over three parliamentary Sessions (2017-19, 2019 and 2019-21) – Sessions that have seen Bills introduced and delegated powers sought during exceptional and tumultuous social and political circumstances.
The Compendium presents the list of legislative standards derived from DPRRC reports in four categories:
- General principles underpinning the delegation of legislative powers: What may constitute inappropriate delegation of power, and are there certain principles that apply to assessing the scope of such delegation?
- Parliamentary scrutiny of the use of delegated powers: What standards apply to prescribing parliamentary scrutiny procedures and requirements as to the nature of accompanying documents?
- Types of provision: What standards apply to certain types of legislative provision?
- Policy areas: What standards apply to delegated powers in certain policy areas?
Appendix I sets out in more detail the remit and practice of the DPRRC, utilising material from the Committee’s own reports.
Appendix II comprises an extract from the DPRRC’s ‘Guidance for Departments’.
Appendix III comprises a glossary of key terms.
Image credit: © UK Parliament / Parliamentary Archives
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