Affirmative procedure

Statutory instruments can be introduced by an ‘affirmative procedure’ (which involves some debate).

The affirmative procedure can be commended on the basis that it brings about a debate and therefore increases awareness.  It also means that in effect this form of delegated legislation can only be brought into effect if approved by Parliament.

However, in reality, only a small number of S.I.’s are introduced in this way.  The enabling Act sets out whether an affirmative resolution is required.  The procedure has been used where individual rights are affected and an example of this being that any new or revised Codes of Practice under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 can only be introduced using this method.  The significance is that Parliament cannot amend the statutory instrument.  Under this procedure it can only be approved, annulled or withdrawn.

Negative Resolutions  are much more common.  This means that under this procedure the new regulations will become law unless they are rejected by a resolution within 40 days. 


Affirmative procedure - Glossary page - UK Parliament