Statutory Instruments

There are two types of Statutory Instruments: Affirmative Resolution Procedure and Negative Resolution Procedure.

Where the Affirmative Resolution Procedure applies, no statutory instrument can be made unless a draft of the Instrument has been laid before both Houses of the Legislature and a resolution approving the draft has been agreed to by each House, such approval is to be officially communicated to the Governor in writing. Once this has been done, the Minister in charge signs the instrument into law (i.e. makes the Instrument) and arranges for it to be published in it entirety in the Official Gazette.

Under this procedure, the Statutory Instrument does not have to be debated in either House, but it can be if the appropriate action is taken. The Minister responsible, with the concurrence of his Cabinet colleagues, has the authority to make the Instrument without consulting parliament and to appoint the debate on which it comes into operation. However, draft copies have to be "laid" (introduced) in both Houses of the Legislature as soon as is practicable after the Instrument is "made" and published in the Official Gazette. When the draft legislation is laid, copies of the Instrument are distributed to members of the Legislature, which allows them the opportunity to study its content and to decide whether it should remain in operation or be annulled in part or in its entirety. The Statutory Instrument Act 1977 allows either House a period of twenty - one days or three sittings or meeting days after the Instrument has been tabled for information of its members to decide whether the legislation should remain in effect. If before the expiration of that period, a member of either House moves the appropriate motion and a resolution to annual the legislation is carried, the relevant message is sent to the Governor, and the Instrument ceases to be operative.