Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee - role

The Committee examines the policy merits of regulations and other types of secondary legislation that are subject to parliamentary procedure.


It normally considers statutory instruments within 12-16 days of their being laid before Parliament. This leaves plenty of time for any Member of the House to pursue any issues raised in the report by asking a question or tabling a motion for debate within the 40 day ''prayer'' period for rejecting negative instruments.

Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee Reports on Statutory Instruments

Through its reports, the Committee draws to the "special attention of the House" any statutory instrument (SI) laid in the previous week which it considers may be interesting, flawed or inadequately explained by the Government. The Committee's current full terms of reference provide more detail.

The Committee's weekly report also provides information on significant instruments of the week to help keep readers in touch with developments.

Committee Structure

The eleven members of the Committee are drawn from all the main political parties and the cross-benchers, and act on behalf of the House to ensure that every statutory instrument receives a degree of scrutiny. Their reports flag up those SIs they find to be interesting or flawed in some way.

The Committee also scrutinises Public Bodies Orders to consider whether they meet the tests set out in section 8 of the Public Bodies Act 2011: these require the Minister to demonstrate that the Order improves the efficiency, effectiveness, economy and accountability of public functions.

Further information

Other Committees looking at SIs

Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee - scrutinises the proposals in Bills that give Ministers the power to make statutory instruments

Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments - a Committee of both Houses that scrutinises the legal drafting of statutory instruments

European Statutory Instruments Committee - a Committee of the House of Commons that scrutinises proposed negative instruments under the EU (Withdrawal) Act

More information about SIs

Legislation.gov.uk - contains electronic versions of all statutory instruments since 1987

SI Tracker - find statutory instruments and follow their progress

EU Withdrawal Act 2018 statutory instruments - lists all proposed negatives under the EU (Withdrawal Act) 2018