Clause 125 - Orders, rules and regulations

Part of Adoption and Children Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 2:30 pm ar 17 Ionawr 2002.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Robert Walter Robert Walter Ceidwadwyr, North Dorset 2:30, 17 Ionawr 2002

One might describe these as probing amendments, as part of my pursuit of joined-up government in these islands. The amendments come out of one part of my experience as a shadow Minister, dealing with one part of the kingdom, Wales. These Orders in Council—statutory instruments—can be

passed in Westminster, or in the Scottish Parliament or the National Assembly for Wales. The Bill goes on to lay down procedures for the annulment of those instruments, although not an Order in Council or subordinate legislation made by Scottish Ministers or the Assembly. I worry that we could end up with a series of practices and procedures in adoption law under legislation in Scotland, Wales and England, and that people will not necessarily all be singing from the same hymn sheet when the law is implemented.

I tabled three amendments in order to give the Government the opportunity to accept one or another. I am particularly concerned that it is possible for the House to annul an Order in Council under subsection (2)—it is specific about that—but there is no provision for the annulment of secondary legislation enacted in either the Scottish Parliament or the National Assembly for Wales. That seems to be an omission from the legislation. It would probably be far better if we did not include in this legislation provisions for annulment in this place, if there is no provision for annulment in either the Scottish Parliament or the National Assembly for Wales. It seems that the legislation is deficient, if only technically. I should be interested to hear the Minister's explanation for the exceptions that are made in subsection (4). If those exceptions are to persist, how will the Scottish Parliament or the National Assembly for Wales go about annulling a statutory instrument that they have made under this legislation?