Devolved legislative competence

27.12The second criterion for certification in respect of an instrument and initial certification in respect of a bill is that the bill, bill provision or instrument ‘is within devolved legislative competence.’ This term is defined by reference to the ability of the Scottish Parliament or the Northern Ireland Assembly (or the National Assembly for Wales, in relation to a provision or instrument relating exclusively to England) to ‘make corresponding provision’ for the relevant territory.1 For this criterion to be met, a bill as a whole, a provision or an instrument needs to be within the competence of at least one of those legislatures, so that it is possible for this criterion to be met where the Northern Ireland Assembly has competence, but the Scottish Parliament does not.2 In determining legislative competence, account may be taken of prospective amendments to the powers of a devolved legislature, provided that they are to come into force on a day fixed by law which is likely to precede the coming into force of the provision under consideration for certification.3 There have been instances where provisions of bills have not been certified because they deal in part with information-sharing with Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, which is not within devolved legislative competence.4

Footnotes

  1. 1. SO No 83J(3)–(4).
  2. 2. Public Bill Office Memorandum for Procedure Committee inquiry into EVEL – Technical review (EVL 14), paras 26–27.
  3. 3. SO No 83J(7).
  4. 4. Public Bill Office Memorandum for Procedure Committee inquiry into EVEL – Technical review (EVL 14), para 23; HC (2016–17) 189, para 18 and note 17.