HC Deb 11 June 2002 vol 386 c1161W
Mr. Allen

To ask the President of the Council if he will ensure that each new Bill undergoes pre-legislative scrutiny similar to that of the Communications Bill. [60065]

Mr. Robin Cook

As I made clear to my hon. Friend in answer to his question of 23 May 2002,Official Report, column 395, it is our intention that pre-legislative scrutiny should become the norm for Government legislation. However, capacity constraints, including the number of the Parliamentary draftsmen, mean that it may take some years to achieve this. The appropriate form of scrutiny will vary from Bill to Bill. Many draft Bills will fall naturally to pre-existing Select Committees, some may be scrutinised by Joint Committees and others by ad hoc Committees of either House. The detailed method of scrutiny is a matter for the Committee examining a particular Bill.

The Government nevertheless welcome the use of electronic forms of communication to involve the public in such scrutiny.

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