This report, based on new research data collected by the Hansard Society over the last year, seeks to plug the statistical hole in our understanding of the delegated legislation process.

Westminster Lens builds on our earlier study, The Devil is in the Detail: Parliament and Delegated Legislation, which laid bare the complexity, weaknesses, and contradictions in the scrutiny process, in the first comprehensive study of this process in decades.

Table of contents


Henry VIII powers


  • Number of pages
  • By department
  • EU-related instruments

Type of instrument

  • House of Commons-only instruments
  • English votes for English laws (EVEL)

The scrutiny process

  • Scrutiny time
  • Scrutiny of negative instruments
  • The 21-day rule
  • Scrutiny of affirmative instruments 19

Rejecting instruments

Withdrawn and correcting instruments