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Reversable Statutory Instruments

Comment 10th July 2010

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/stat

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Once modifications to a law have been thrashed out, a Statutory Instrument is sent before the House of Commons for approval (or not). However lists of Instruments seem to go through "on the nod" late in the sitting and often to an almost empty chamber.

Given that any tweak is likely to have unforseen and unintended consequences, surely it would be prudent to make implementation of the Instrument reversable during a running in period. This would avoid the need for a further instrument to modify the damage caused by the first one. Instead one could delete it and concentrate on writing a better Instrument to sort out the original problem.

By way of an analogy, amendments to law might be written as a word processing document rather than carved on tablets of stone.

Why does this matter?

I heard a senior judge bemoaning the weight of paper that the system generates and the impossibility of keeping up to date with the amendments to any piece of legislation.

Follow the link to see just how many Statutory Instruments have been enacted annually since 1987:

 





http://www.opsi.gov.uk/stat

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