The Hansard Society has long argued that the system of delegated legislation is not fit for purpose. This leaflet explains our Delegated Legislation Review.
The leaflet sets out why we are undertaking the Review, some of our plans for the process, and how it could make a difference – for government, Parliament and the public.
The leaflet also summarises some of the problems with the delegation of powers in Bills, and the scrutiny of the Statutory Instruments that arise from those powers, that need to be resolved.
A more detailed presentation of the problems, together with a number of illustrative case studies, is in our November 2021 report Delegated legislation: the problems with the process.
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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.
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.
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.