Commons Select Committee on Statutory Instruments

31.33When the House of Commons nominates Members to join with the committee appointed by the Lords on statutory instruments as the Joint Committee, an instruction is given to those Commons Members nominated not to join with the Lords for the consideration of certain instruments. The excluded instruments are those which are directed by Act of Parliament to be laid before and subject to proceedings in the House of Commons only, being statutory instruments, schemes requiring approval by statutory instrument, and other instruments where, pursuant to statute, the proceedings are by way of affirmative resolution in that House only. Instruments not subject to any parliamentary proceeding but laid before the Commons only are not within the Select Committee's orders of reference and therefore fall to be scrutinised by the Joint Committee.

The Commons Members enjoy the same powers in the consideration of such instruments as they do when joined with the Lords as a joint committee to consider instruments laid before both Houses. In addition, the Commons Committee (only) has power to appoint sub-committees to consider any of the matters within its order of reference (although the power has rarely been invoked), and any sub-committee is empowered to sit notwithstanding the adjournment of either House (see para 38.27 ). Though the membership so far as the Commons is concerned is the same, the reports and proceedings of the Joint and Select Committees are distinct. However, in practice, the Select Committee publishes a report only when it has drawn an instrument to the special attention of the House of Commons, or when there is some other reason to do so.