Exemption of delegated legislation from parliamentary oversight

The Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Delegated Legislation (the committee) is responsible for the non-partisan, technical scrutiny of delegated legislation in accordance with Senate standing order 23.

The committee raised significant concerns about the increasing exemption of delegated legislation from parliamentary oversight in the 2019 report of its inquiry into parliamentary scrutiny of delegated legislation. Such concerns are also relevant to the exemption of delegated legislation made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic from parliamentary oversight.

The committee acknowledges that, on 8 April 2020, the Senate resolved to establish a Select Committee on COVID-19 (the select committee) to inquire broadly into the Australian Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unlike the select committee, this committee is exclusively concerned with the technical matter of parliamentary oversight of delegated legislation, rather than the policy merits of the government’s response.

Terms of reference

The committee has resolved, under standing order 23(12), to inquire into and report on the exemption of delegated legislation from parliamentary oversight, with particular regard to:

  1. the appropriateness and adequacy of the existing framework for exempting delegated legislation from parliamentary oversight, including:
    1. the amount and nature of delegated legislation currently exempt from parliamentary oversight;
    2. the grounds upon which delegated legislation is currently made exempt from parliamentary oversight;
    3. the manner in which delegated legislation is currently made exempt from parliamentary oversight; and
    4. the appropriateness of exempting delegated legislation made in times of emergency, including in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, from parliamentary oversight; and

  2. whether the existing framework for exempting delegated legislation from parliamentary oversight should be amended, and, if so, how, including:
    1. the grounds upon which it is appropriate to exempt delegated legislation from parliamentary oversight; and
    2. the options available to ensure appropriate and adequate parliamentary oversight of delegated legislation in times of emergency.

The closing date for submissions was 25 June 2020.

Committee Secretariat contact:

Committee Secretary
Senate Scrutiny of Delegated Legislation Committee
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: +61 2 62773066
Fax: +61 2 62775881
sdlc.sen@aph.gov.au

About this inquiry

The Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Delegated Legislation has resolved, under standing order 23(12), to inquire into and report on the exemption of delegated legislation from parliamentary oversight.
Track Inquiry

Inquiry Status

Submissions Closed

Accessibility

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