The Report of the Regulatory Responsibility Taskforce was presented to the Hon Bill English, Minister of Finance, and the Hon Rodney Hide, Minister for Regulatory Reform, on 30 September 2009.
The report recommends a draft Regulatory Responsibility Bill which if enacted would be of immense constitutional significance. The draft bill’s title is confusing, for it applies to all legislation. The stated purpose of the bill is to improve legislation by specifying principles of responsible regulation and by introducing mechanisms to ensure that legislation conforms to those principles. Specifically, the bill requires legislators and officials to certify that legislative proposals conform. The bill also authorises the courts to declare legislation incompatible with the principles and to interpret legislation consistently with them.
The Taskforce’s report is important and should receive careful scrutiny. To that end, this short article briefly outlines the report and considers its merits.