Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Overseeing the COVID-19 law

The COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020 is currently being reviewed by a select committee, ahead of the first vote (in early August) on whether to extend it. The law includes clauses requiring orders to be approved by Parliament, and allowing them to be revoked at any time by the House. Today's Order Paper includes a sessional order establishing rules around that. Firstly, no motion to continue or revoke the Act will be allowed before the select committee has reported. Secondly, all new orders will be sent to the Regulations Review Committee, which must report back within 12 working (not sitting) days, and approval motions will not be permitted until the committee has reported back. Finally, disallowance motions moved by a member of the Regulations Review Committee will be given priority over other business.

All up, this looks like a good set of measures to ensure proper Parliamentary oversight of the law, and ensure the House can properly perform its functions.