The Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations (the committee) plays a vital role in the parliamentary oversight of federal regulations. Whenever Parliament delegates legislative authority to the executive branch or other regulation-making bodies, the committee ensures that this delegated authority is exercised lawfully and appropriately.
In practice, the committee’s work begins after a regulation has been made and published in Part II of the Canada Gazette. Once published, the regulation is reviewed against criteria that range from questions of validity and legal effect to matters of drafting and clarity. Generally, the committee does not challenge the merits or underlying policy of a regulation. If a regulation is found to contravene any of the criteria, correspondence is exchanged with the regulation-making authority to resolve the matter.
Depending on how a file progresses, measures beyond correspondence may be considered. In addition to all the powers common to other standing committees, the committee possesses the unique ability to recommend the disallowance (repeal) of a regulation, a powerful tool for holding the regulation-making authorities accountable for their use of delegated law-making powers.
Read the full text of the HillStudy: The Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations
By Cynthia Kirkby, Library of Parliament
Revised by Shawn Abel and Geoffrey Hilton, Library of Parliament