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ISLAMABAD: Former chairman of Senate Mian Raza Rabbani has said that the question of post-legislative scrutiny is in essence a nicety of developed and functioning democratic systems.

He said this while chairing a session of a seminar titled “Laws Enactment and Legal Aspects of Post-Legislative Scrutiny” at the University of London, stated a message sent to Islamabad on Wednesday.

The concept of legislative scrutiny could not be bifurcated between pre- and post-legislative scrutiny as parliament needed to adopt a holistic view while addressing this very concept, he said.

“Legislature has to perform its core function, the enactment of laws, and for legislative scrutiny it has to respect the principle of trichotomy of power. In Pakistan, the legislature adopts a special mechanism for the purpose of pre-legislative scrutiny involving a detailed process starting from the introduction of a bill till it’s becoming an act as it is practiced in most of the bicameral legislatures. Each house stands as a watch dog,” he said.

“To cater for post-legislative scrutiny by the parliament there exists no specific mechanism in our system, except the Senate Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation. Like many other transient democracies, here in Pakistan, the executive seeks to hedge around the text of the statute and often issues statutory regulatory orders (SROs) tampering with or overriding certain provisions of the law,” Mr Rabbani said.

Published in Dawn, July 12th, 2018