MP's concern over failure to debate new law

March 15, 2006 5:00 PM

David Howarth, MP for Cambridge, has today expressed his concern that Parliament is only now debating a government Order which has already become law.

Mr. Howarth will be debating the Civil Proceedings Fees (Amendment) Order on Thursday but this debate is occurring after the Order has already become law. This is possible under the "negative resolution" procedure which the Government plans to extend to almost any type of legislation.

Commenting on his concerns, Mr. Howarth said:

"With the Government trying to pass a bill to allow almost any form of legislation to be passed through this negative procedure, it is worrying to see how the negative procedure already works in practice. We should not be debating orders after they have become law.

"In this case the order is fairly minor and uncontroversial but if the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill is passed this will no longer be the case. Any law could be passed unscrutinised, risking dangerous changes to the constitution at whim."

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