Inquiry into the use of the made affirmative procedure during the coronavirus pandemic

Closes 20 Dec 2021

Opened 19 Nov 2021

Overview

The 'made affirmative procedure' is a type of secondary legislation, which was only used a handful of times a year before the Coronavirus pandemic. However, since March 2020, it has been used more than 100 times.

The Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee has recognised the need to use the made affirmative procedure during the pandemic to allow the Government to respond quickly to challenges presented by Coronavirus.

It has also said that bringing substantial changes into force immediately, before any parliamentary scrutiny, should only be used when essential and should not become standard practice when time would allow the affirmative procedure to be used.

The Committee wants to ensure the procedure continues to be used appropriately and necessarily.

Background

The Scottish Government’s use of the made affirmative procedure for covid instruments is based on powers in four Acts.

Scottish Parliament legislation:

  • Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020
  • Coronavirus (Scotland) (No. 2) Act 2020
  • Public Health etc. (Scotland) Act 2008

UK Parliament legislation:

  • Coronavirus Act 2020

Key questions

The Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee wants to hear your views on the following questions:

  1. Has the made affirmative procedure generally been used appropriately for bringing forward urgent public health measures during the coronavirus pandemic? Please set out your reasons why.
  2. Are changes required to:
    1. the use of the made affirmative procedure
    2. how Parliament scrutinises the made affirmative procedure.
    Please set out what those changes should be.

How to submit your views

Please submit your views using the online submission form.

We welcome written views in English, Gaelic, Scots or any other language. 

The call for views closes on 20 December 2021.

Interests

  • Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments