The role of the Regulations Review Committee

Published date: 16 Apr 2012
Front cover of the guide Making a complaint to the Regulations Review Committee.

Updated guide Making a complaint to the Regulations Review Committee. Photo: Office of the Clerk.

You may be surprised to learn that most of the legislation created each year is not made directly by Parliament. This is because there are different types and levels of legislation. Acts of Parliament (or statutes) are known as primary legislation.

Parliament may also delegate its law-making power to other persons or bodies by authorising the making of delegated legislation (usually known as “regulations”).

Regulations are usually developed within the government department responsible for administering the Act of Parliament that delegates the power to make the regulations.

About the Regulations Review Committee

The Regulations Review Committee acts on the Parliament’s behalf to ensure that the delegated law-making powers are being used appropriately. It examines all regulations, investigates complaints about regulations, and examines proposed regulation-making powers in bills for consistency with good legislative practice. The committee reports to the House and other committees on any issues it identifies. The House can “disallow” a regulation, meaning it no longer has force.

Grounds for complaints about regulations

Anyone can make a complaint to the Regulations Review Committee about the operation of a regulation. Before doing so you should make sure you understand the grounds for a valid complaint about a regulation. Those grounds are listed in Standing Order 315(2) (see related documents on this page).

Guide to making a complaint

You can find more information about making a complaint, including the standard format you should use for your complaint, in the guide Making a complaint to the Regulations Review Committee. An updated version of this is now available on this website (see related documents). It will also be published in hard copy in the next few months.

This guide is designed to help those making a complaint to the Regulations Review Committee to prepare it in a form that contains all the necessary information and is easily understood by the members of the committee. It also covers the committee’s procedures for considering complaints, provides guidance on how to present oral evidence to the committee, and outlines natural justice provisions applicable to select committees.