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Report Details

Committee Name:

Delegated Legislation Joint Committee (1987 - 2001)


Report Type:Report


Young Offenders Regulations 1995 and Director General's Rules
Report No:17
No of Pages:17
Physical Location:Legislative Council Committee Office

Presentation Date:


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      Hide details for Executive SummaryExecutive Summary

      (1) It is important to note that the Committee is not concerned with the policy of the creation of SDCs or indeed with the delegation of power to the Director General to make rules of an administrative nature. The Committee’s concerns relate solely to the legal form in which these policies have been effected.

      (2) The Committee is concerned by the apparent lack of understanding in the Ministry of Justice of the general nature of the legislative hierarchy, of the distinction between matters which are of legislative effect and matters which are administrative in nature and of the importance of publication of rules which have legislative effect. From its experience in reviewing most regulations, rules and by-laws made in the State since 1987, the Committee is aware that many agencies in Western Australia have a similar lack of understanding. The DGR provide an example of this misunderstanding. The Committee does concede, however, that the distinction is not always clear: consequently efforts need to be made to increase awareness of the distinction and encourage consistency in its application.

      (3) It is the function of the Committee to scrutinise subordinate legislation and identify matters of concern such as those contained in the Regulations and DGR. Nevertheless, the Committee considers it essential that agencies address issues such as whether or not proposed rules have legislative effect and are within power at an early stage in their preparation. The Committee notes that Parliamentary Counsel has an important role to play in this area.

      (4) It would be an extremely time-consuming and inefficient exercise if it became necessary for the Committee to identify many such errors in many pieces of subordinate legislation and, in each case, justify its conclusions in a report to Parliament, simply because agencies were not considering these matters. Where the Committee identifies legitimate concerns, agencies must be encouraged seriously to re-consider the relevant subordinate legislation.

      (5) The Committee recently tabled a report on the subordinate legislation system in Western Australia(Joint Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation, The Subordinate Legislation System in Western Australia, 16th Report, 23 November 1995). It is hoped that the recommendations for reform made in that report will significantly improve agencies’ understanding of the importance and legal effect of subordinate legislation.