There are problems with both the delegation of powers to make delegated legislation and the scrutiny of the Statutory Instruments (SIs) that arise from those powers. This report sets out some of the central problems that need to be resolved with respect to each of these two aspects of the system.
A number of case studies included in the report evidence the problems and provide practical illustrations of why reform is needed.
This report was produced in November 2021 for the public launch of our Delegated Legislation Review, to help ground our case for change. Through our Review, we aim to harness the increased awareness and dissatisfaction that now exists about SIs in order to galvanise reform.
We are conducting our Delegated Legislation Review with funding support generously provided by The Legal Education Foundation.
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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?
A recent House of Lords debate on a ‘made negative’ Statutory Instrument highlights Peers’ greater appetite and ability to secure such debates compared to MPs. Data on debate lengths suggests parliamentarians are more likely to give meaningful scrutiny to SIs that they wish to debate than those on which they are obliged by current procedures to spend time.
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.
Statutory Instruments (SIs) have been a key tool in the government’s response to shortages of heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers. These SIs showcase the usefulness of this type of law-making but also highlight again some of the longstanding problems with its parliamentary scrutiny.