Legal Services Act 2007 Explanatory Notes

Section 34: Enforcement of directions

129.Under section 32 the Board may use its power of direction where any of the threshold conditions in section 32(1) is satisfied, including that the Board has considered the impact of taking action on the other regulatory objectives.

130.In such circumstances, the Board may direct the approved regulator in question to take steps to remedy any failure or counter any adverse impact, mitigate its effect, or prevent its recurrence. It must publish any direction that it issues to a regulator.

131.Section 32(4) sets out the scope of a direction. A direction may only require an approved regulator to take steps which it has power to take, and it may require the regulator to take steps with a view to the modification of any part of its regulatory arrangements in order to achieve the desired effect.

132.The Board can monitor compliance with a direction, and it may revoke a direction by giving notice to the regulator, and publishing the notice.

133.Under section 33, when the Board gives a direction to a regulator to take specific steps, the procedure set out in Schedule 7 will apply. Schedule 7 includes requirements for giving notice to the approved regulator, for consulting with the Lord Chancellor, the OFT, the Consumer Panel and the Lord Chief Justice, and for making representations.

134.Under section 34, where an approved regulator has failed to comply with a direction, the Board may make an application to the High Court. Upon such an application, if the High Court agrees that the approved regulator has failed to comply with the direction, it may make an order requiring the approved regulator to take such steps as it considers appropriate in order to ensure that direction is complied with.

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