Hybrid instruments

Statutory instruments, also known as SIs, are a form of legislation which allows the provisions of Acts of Parliament to be altered without Parliament having to pass a new Act.  They are also often used to provide the detail which is necessary but too complex to include in the parent Act.

Occasionally an SI which needs to be approved by both Houses (an affirmative instrument) affects some members of a group (be it individuals or bodies), more than others in the same group.  When this happens the SI is ruled to be a hybrid instrument.

Hybrid instruments are subject to a special procedure in the House of Lords which gives those who are specially and directly affected by them the opportunity to present their arguments against the SI to the House of Lords Hybrid Instruments Committee and then, possibly, to a select committee charged with reporting on its merits and recommending whether or not the SI should be approved by both Houses of Parliament.

The hybrid instrument procedure is unique to the House of Lords and the process must be completed before the SI can be approved by both Houses.

Hybrid Orders recently considered by the House of Lords

  • The Legislative Reform (Epping Forest) Order 2011

See right hand side column. For further information: House of Lords Hybrid Instruments Committee.

The Legislative Reform (Epping Forest) Order 2011

Proposals for Olympics police base on Wanstead Flats

This was a draft legislative reform order which was laid before Parliament to enable the Metropolitan Police to build a temporary muster station on land in Epping Forest (Wanstead Flats) and use it for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The muster point would be dismantled after the Games.

Eight petitions were lodged against the Order from local residents, a local campaigning group, two London borough councils and a wildlife group. These were considered by the Hybrid Instruments Committee on 23 May 2011. The Committee's report has now been published and the hybrid procedure on the Order has ended.

The House of Commons approved the Order on 30 June.  The House of Lords debated it in Grand Committee on 12 July and it was formally approved by the House of Lords on 14 July.  Fourteen days after the Minister signs the Order it will come into force. For further information please contact the Home Office.