Canllawiau

Mae canllawiau a gyhoeddwyd gan Adrannau Llywodraeth wedi dod yn rhan gynyddol bwysig o led-ddeddfwriaeth. Mae’r erthygl hon yn trafod statws canllawiau.

Trosolwg o’r pwnc

1. Mae statudau yn aml yn rhoi’r pŵer i Weinidog neu gorff rheoleiddio roi canllawiau i awdurdod penodedig ynghylch sut i weithredu swyddogaethau penodol.

2. Mae canllawiau statudol yn fath o led-ddeddfwriaeth, ac ni phriodolir yn awtomatig iddynt unrhyw ddarpariaeth o blith y rhai arferol ar gyfer cyhoeddusrwydd, gorfodi neu faterion eraill.

3. Ni chyhoeddir canllawiau, boed statudol neu beidio, drwy offeryn statudol ac ni fyddant felly yn ddarostyngedig i’r rheolau ar argraffu a chyhoeddi yn y Statutory Instruments Act 1946.

4. Felly, os yw canllawiau i’w cyhoeddi, gwneir darpariaeth benodol gan y statud sy’n rhoi pŵer i’w rhoi nhw, naill ai i ganiatáu neu ei gwneud yn ofynnol eu cyhoeddi, gan nodi o bosibl sut y gellid eu cyhoeddi neu sut mae’n rhaid eu cyhoeddi. Yn benodol, efallai bydd deddfwriaeth fodern yn gofyn am gael cyhoeddi’r canllawiau ar wefan - gweler, er enghraifft, y  Consumers, Estate Agents and Redress Act 2007 s.19A  (Canllawiau ar gyfer defnyddwyr ynni  -

"(6) The Council must publish the first version of the energy consumer guidance and the concise guidance on its website by 1 December 2011.")

5. Nid yw canllawiau byth yn orfodol, ac yn hynny o beth maent yn wahanol i gyfarwyddiadau a allai fod yn orfodol (er nad ydynt bob amser).  Oherwydd hynny, mae’n angenrheidiol i’r statud sy’n rhoi pŵer i roi canllawiau bennu beth yw eu heffaith i fod. 

6. Y dull arferol yw mynnu bod y corff y mae’r canllawiau wedi’u cyfeirio ato’n “rhoi  sylw” iddynt.  Effaith y ddyletswydd i roi sylw (neu weithiau "sylw priodol") i ganllawiau yw bod rhaid i’r person y maent wedi’i gyfeirio ato eu cynnwys yn y meini prawf a ddefnyddir wrth wneud y penderfyniad perthnasol neu gymryd y camau perthnasol.  Mae’n agored i’r sawl sy’n gwneud penderfyniad i benderfynu o dan amgylchiadau achos penodol a yw’r meini prawf a nodir yn y canllawiau yn cael eu gorbwyso gan ffactorau eraill;  ac mae’n agored i’r sawl sy’n gwneud penderfyniad i benderfynu am unrhyw reswm arall bod angen addasu’r canllawiau neu hyd yn oed eu datgymhwyso i adlewyrchu amgylchiadau penodol. Ond nid yw’n agored i’r sawl sy’n penderfynu anwybyddu’r canllawiau, neu i benderfynu eu bod yn "anghywir" yn yr ystyr o fod yn gyfeiliornus neu’n amhriodol o ran egwyddor. Gellid herio penderfyniad ar y sail honno drwy adolygiad barnwrol fel penderfyniad anghyfreithlon oherwydd y ddyletswydd statudol i roi sylw i’r canllawiau.  

7. Hyd yn oed os nad oes darpariaeth ddatganedig yn mynnu bod y sawl sy’n gwneud  penderfyniadau yn rhoi sylw i ganllawiau statudol, bydd y llysoedd, mae’n debyg, yn barod i ddatgan bod yna ddyletswydd i roi sylw i’r canllawiau ymhlyg yn y statud, ar y sail y byddai’r pŵer i roi canllawiau fel arall yn ddiwerth. 

8. Mae hynny’n berthnasol, fodd bynnag, dim ond yn achos canllawiau statudol, a roddwyd yn unol â darpariaeth statudol benodol sy’n caniatáu, neu’n ei gwneud yn ofynnol i Weinidog neu awdurdod cyhoeddus arall roi canllawiau.  Mae adrannau Llywodraeth ac eraill yn aml yn cyhoeddi deunydd gwirfoddol a ddisgrifir fel canllawiau, ond nad yw’n lled-ddeddfwriaeth ac nid oes unrhyw awdurdod cynhenid ar Weinidogion i roi canllawiau y mae angen i ddinasyddion roi sylw iddynt. (Gall awdurdod rheoleiddio gyhoeddi canllawiau gwirfoddol a fydd yn ennill rhywfaint o awdurdod fel mynegiant o awdurdodaeth rheoleiddio goruchwylio cyffredinol.) 

9. Nid oes canllawiau wedi’u cynnwys yn y rhestr yn adran 14 yr Interpretation Act 1978, sy’n awgrymu pŵer i ddiwygio, dirymu ac ailddeddfu. Fodd bynnag, mae’n debygol y byddai’r llysoedd yn barod i awgrymu bod yna bŵer i amrywio neu ddirymu, o leiaf mewn achos lle mae’r cyd-destun yn ei gwneud hi’n annhebygol (fel y bydd fel arfer) y gallai’r Senedd fod wedi disgwyl i un set o ganllawiau bara am byth heb yr hyblygrwydd i addasu i amgylchiadau sy’n newid.

10. Mae’n aml yn aneglur pa lefel o gyffredinolrwydd neu benodoldeb a ganiateir gan bŵer i roi canllawiau.  Fel rheol gyffredinol, mae’r pŵer i roi canllawiau i gorff ynglŷn â’r modd y mae’n gweithredu ei swyddogaethau yn debygol o gael ei ddehongli fel caniatáu dim ond canllawiau o natur gyffredinol a strategol.  Mae’n debyg y byddai’n rhaid bod rhywbeth penodol neu awgrym clir i ganiatáu i ganllawiau geisio ymyrryd ar lefel achos unigol.

11. Gellir gweld agwedd y llysoedd at ganllawiau statudol yn y penderfyniad enghreifftiol canlynol:

" 35. In summary, therefore, the guidance does not have the binding effect of secondary legislation and a local authority is free to depart from it, even ‘substantially’. But a departure from the guidance will be unlawful unless there is a cogent reason for it, and the greater the departure, the more compelling must that reason be. Conversely a minor departure from the letter of the guidance while remaining true to its spirit may well be easy to justify or may not even be regarded as a departure at all. The court will scrutinise carefully the reason given by the authority for departing from the guidance. Freedom to depart is not necessarily limited to reasons resulting from ‘local circumstances’ (see [18] above), although if there are particular local circumstances which suggest that some aspect of the guidance ought not to apply, that may constitute a cogent reason for departure. However, except perhaps in the case of a minor departure, it is difficult to envisage circumstances in which mere disagreement with the guidance could amount to a cogent reason for departing from it. "

R. (on the application of X) v Tower Hamlets LBC [2013] EWHC 480 (Admin); [2013] 3 All E.R. 157.

12. Farah v Hillingdon LBC [2014] EWCA Civ 359; [2014] H.L.R. 24:

" I accept, of course, that it is neither realistic nor necessary to expect already burdened local authorities to identify each and every paragraph of the guidance they have taken into account or provide an over-detailed set of reasons for reaching their financial conclusions."

13.   Gall canllawiau anstatudol gael rhywfaint o effaith gyfreithiol yn ymarferol hyd yn oed, yn yr ystyr o osod neu ddylanwadu ar y safonau a ddefnyddir gan y llysoedd i bennu cydymffurfedd â dyletswyddau statudol neu gyfraith gwlad. Gweler, er enghraifft: "The Guidance is exactly that. It is not binding on a court and has no legal force. Nevertheless, in reality it forms the backdrop against which multidisciplinary medical teams conduct their assessments when they address what is described in the Guidance as "the complexity, challenge and pain of that most difficult of decisions: is the treatment we are providing no longer in the best interests of the child". Each of the experts has used the Guidance in this case." 

(A Child), Re [2016] EWCA Civ 759.

14. "The principle that guidance given by HMRC to taxpayers can give rise to a legitimate expectation is by now very well established. The origins of the principle can be found in the decision of the Divisional Court in R v IRC ex p M.F.K. Underwriting Agents Ltd [1990] 1 WLR 1545 ("MFK"). In that case financial institutions proposing to issue certain bonds made approaches to the Revenue seeking assurances that indexation gains on the bonds would be taxable as capital not income. When the Revenue later sought to tax the gains as income, the taxpayers complained that this was unfair and unlawful. The particular claims failed on the facts, but Bingham LJ accepted that if a taxpayer approached the Revenue with an inquiry as to how a proposed transaction would be taxed and received a clear ruling or statement, it would often be unfair for the Revenue to go back on it. For this principle to be applicable however the taxpayer had to put all his cards face upwards on the table, and the ruling or statement had to be "clear, unambiguous and devoid of relevant qualification" (1569G). Judge J agreed, also referring to the requirement for "complete frankness" on the part of the taxpayer about his proposals, and an "unequivocal statement" from the Revenue (1575A-B)." 

R. (on the application of Veolia ES Landfill Ltd) v Revenue and Customs Commissioners [2016] EWHC 1880 (Admin); [2016] S.T.I. 2201.

15. Statws canllawiau:"As was submitted by Ms Jenni Richards Q.C. for the Council and by Mr Bryan Cox Q.C. for Mr Doree, the guidance provided by the Council in the Indicative Sanctions Policy is just that; it is guidance. It does not have the force of statute or regulation. It is guidance of the kind contemplated by article 3(15) of the 2001 Order, published by the Council to indicate the general approach to be taken by panels to the imposition of sanctions. And as the title of the document makes plain, the guidance is not intended to be prescriptive; it is "indicative". Any doubt about that is dispelled as soon as one reads the "Introduction". The Council deliberately refrained from setting any "tariff" for sanctions, stated emphatically that the policy is "only guidance", and enjoined panels to "decide each case on its merits" - a principle which, it took care to add, "includes deciding what, if any, sanction to impose" (paragraph 2). The explicit purpose of the guidance was not to dictate to panels how they must proceed, but "to aid [them] in their deliberations and assist them in making fair, consistent and transparent decisions" (paragraph 3). The guidance provided by the Council in the Indicative Sanctions Policy is not akin to the code of practice considered in Munjaz. That code of practice had been prepared under section 118 of the Mental Health Act 1983, which required the Secretary of State to prepare it, consult upon it, and lay it before Parliament. As Lord Bingham of Cornhill said (in paragraph 21 of his speech), the code did "not have the binding effect which a statutory provision or a statutory instrument would have", but was "guidance which any hospital should consider with great care, and from which it should depart only if it (had) cogent reasons for doing so". Lord Steyn described the code of practice as "a very special type of soft law", which "(derived) its status from the legislative context and the extreme vulnerability of the patients which it serves to protect" (paragraph 44). He referred to the dictum of Sedley J., as he then was, in R. v Islington LBC Ex p. Rixon (1996) 1 C.C.L.R. 119, at p.123J-K, that local authorities may only depart from the Secretary of State's guidance under section 7(1) of the Local Authority Social Services Act 1970 for good reason (paragraph 46). Lord Hope of Craighead said that although there was "no statutory obligation" to comply with it, the code "(could not) be divorced from its statutory background, from the process of consultation and from the parliamentary procedure that must be gone through before it is published under section 118(6) as "the code as for the time being in force" (paragraph 68). By contrast, the guidance in the Indicative Sanctions Policy has no specific statutory provenance and status. It is guidance provided in a wholly different context, but also of a wholly different nature and effect. This is not to say, of course, that a panel is at liberty to disregard it, or that they need not give adequate reasons for departing from it (see, for example, Attorney-General of Hong Kong v Ng Yuen Shiu [1983] 2 A.C. 629, P.C.). In this case, however, the Panel made neither of those errors." 

Professional Standards Authority v The Health and Care Professions Council [2017] EWCA Civ 319. 

 

Nid oes unrhyw erthyglau am y pwnc hwn