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31.34Under Lords Public Business Standing Order No 73, no motion may be moved for an affirmative resolution of the House of Lords in connection with any instrument subject to examination by the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments until the report of the Joint Committee has been laid before the House (see para 31.28 ).1 The House of Commons is not similarly prevented from taking proceedings on any instrument, notwithstanding that the Committee has not concluded its consideration of it.2 The scrutiny committees have expressed concern, however, that the timing of debate in the Commons on an instrument within their order of reference should not precede the completion of their work.3 The Government has agreed that, where possible, such a situation should be avoided. Such cases will be kept to a minimum but, in the Government's view, circumstances may arise where the pressure of business necessitates an occasional breach of the general rule.4 When a notice of motion relating to an instrument (other than a notice given for ‘an early day’) appears first on the Order Paper, if a scrutiny committee has not begun its consideration of the instrument, or having begun its consideration, has not concluded it, an italicised note is printed below the notice of motion, drawing the attention of the House to the fact.

When a notice stands on the Order Paper in respect of an instrument to which a scrutiny committee has drawn special attention, this fact too is noticed. In the Lords, notice is given of reports by the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee (for which see below).

There is no special procedure in either House in cases where a scrutiny committee has drawn special attention to an instrument.


  1. 1. Similar provision requires the Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee to have reported on a draft order proposed to be made under Part 1 of the Regulatory Reform Act 2006, a subordinate provisions order made or proposed to be made under the Regulatory Reform Act 2001, a draft order laid under or by virtue of ss 7 or 19 of the Localism Act 2011, or a draft order laid under or by virtue of s 5E of the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004, and the Joint Committee on Human Rights to have reported on a remedial order or draft remedial order laid under the Human Rights Act 1998, sch 2, before motions to approve such instruments may be debated. Measures laid under the Church of England Assembly (Powers) Act 1919 and regulations made Part 2 of the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 are exempted from the requirements under SO No 73.
  2. 2. For example, HC Deb (1963–64) 696, c 1487, and ibid (1974) 872, cc 379–80.
  3. 3. First Special Report of the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments, HL 51, HC 169 (1977–78); Sixth Report (HL 40, HC 15-viii (1981–82)). See also Fourth Report of the Procedure Committee, HC 152 (1995–96), para 20; First Special Report of the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments, HL 103, HC 582 (1995–96) para 16; and First Report of the Procedure Committee HC 48 (1999–2000) para 21.
  4. 4. Cmnd 8600 (July 1982).