Lords Select Committee report – use of delegated powers

Released 20 November 2018

The House of Lords Constitution Committee has published a report criticising the increased use of delegated powers by the Government.

In a report released as part of an ongoing inquiry on the legislative process, the House of Lords Committee on Constitution has criticised the increased use of delegated powers by the Government. Delegated powers allow Parliament to focus on the important policy frameworks and decisions in primary legislation and to leave the detail of implementation to secondary legislation. They provide the Government with the flexibility to deliver its policy and adjust its operation as circumstances change, through a less onerous scrutiny process. The Committee comments that the seeking of broad delegated powers that permit the determination as well as the implementation of policy is ‘constitutionally objectionable’, as is the use of such powers to create criminal offences and establish public bodies. The Government should not seek broad or vague powers simply for convenience or flexibility and must provide a compelling justification for all delegated powers.

For more information and to view the report, see Increased use of delegated powers concerning, Committee warns.

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