Delegated Legislation

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Delegated Legislation
Here are the 8 stages of the law making process:
Consultation Stage ­ The government sets out ideas/drafts for bills which are
called `Green Paper'.
First Reading ­ Lets the MPs know that a new bill is coming up for discussion. There
is no vote here.
Second Reading ­ The minister in charge explains its main purpose and they have a
Committee Stage ­ There is a detailed discussion of the bill in the committee.
Amendments are proposed.
Report Stage ­ The amended bill is passed back to the Houses for consideration.
Third Reading ­ A formal, final debate where only verbal amendments are permitted.
The Lords Stage ­ Can suggest amendments and, if needed, send them back down
to the House of Commons.
The Royal Assent ­ The Queen signs off the bill as a new Act of Parliament.
There are 3 different types of delegated legislation. These are:
Orders in Council ­ Used to implement laws of great importance. Generally only
used in emergencies and can be made overnight. These are laws created when
parliament is not sitting.
Statutory instruments ­ These are made by government ministers of the relevant
departments. These update current legislation. For example, the minister of
transport can change the speeds on roads.
By-laws ­ These are laws which are made by local authorities. These only apply within
their geographical area. For example, the local council in Hull created a by-law to
prevent drinking alcohol in Queen's Gardens.
Why is delegated legislation needed?
Orders in Council ­ It would take too long to go through Parliament ­ can be used
in times of emergency. For example, Foot and Mouth Disease 2000.
They may not understand the area which they are creating the law in.
In Parliament everyone has to vote but it sometimes needs a fast response ­
Parliament is not always sitting.
Statutory Instruments ­ The government could lack knowledge in that area.

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There are too many to go through Parliament each year ­ up to 4000 statutory
instruments are made every year.
The minister in that area would know more about what is going on in that area.
By-laws ­ They are specific for each area.
Might need to be changed quickly; Parliament don't have the time.
They won't know the problems within each geographical area.…read more

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Who are they made by?
They are drafter by government ministers and given formal approval by the Queen
and Privy Council.
When are they used?
When transferring responsibilities between government departments (Eg: Scotland
Act 1998).
Dissolving Parliaments before an election.
Bringing an Act of Parliament in.
Compliance with EU directives.
In times of emergency.
Dealing with foreign affairs.
What delegated legislation was made under these parent acts?
Scotland Act 1998
It transferred responsibility between government departments. It gave Scotland
some law making power.…read more

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Who are they made by?
Drafted by the legal departments of the relevant government departments within
their area of expertise.
When are they used?
It is a good way to update existing legislation and adapt law.
It is used to implement European Union directives into English law. (Eg: Illegal to
advertise tobacco.)
It is used to bring an Act of Parliament into effect on a certain date (commencement
order).…read more

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Who are they made by?
Local authorities in geographical area (Eg: Leeds City Council).
Public Corporations (Eg: Arriva buses ­ make laws when on their property: no drinking
alcohol on their buses).
When are they used?
They are used to control public behaviour. (Eg: No alcohol in public park.)
They are used to maintain order in a property.
They are used for parking restrictions ­signs, double yellow lines, permits.
They are used for orders such as no balls games in residential areas.…read more

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Initial Controls
Parliament decides who to delegate law making power to.
Within the parent act they set out:
Who it has been delegated to,
The framework and the limitations.
The Delegated Powers Scrutiny Committee ensures that the power has been delegated
to the correct people.
Parliament has the right to inspect all delegated legislation
The Joint Select Committee has no power to amend bills, but they pass their findings back
to the House of Lords and the House of Commons.…read more

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The courts have the power to review any piece of delegated legislation and decide if t is valid
or not. They have no power to question Acts of Parliament as Parliament is supreme.
It is reviewed by judges in the High Court. An interested party can challenge the validity of a
piece of delegated legislation. This means that anyone who has been affected by the law.
It may be declared ultra vires which means it is not valid or has gone beyond the
powers.…read more

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Time Saving
It saves parliament's time. Delegated legislation can be passed quickly. Parliament
doesn't have enough time to pass all the delegated legislation.
Special Knowledge
Parliament does not always possess specialist knowledge. For example, local
councils have a greater knowledge of the local area. Cableway Installation
Regulations 2004 required Transport Minister.
Parliamentary Control
Statutory Instruments are subject to affirmative or negative resolution or
scrutiny committee.
By-laws approved by relevant minister.
Judge declares any delegated legislation void if it goes beyond powers.…read more

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Many of the Parliamentary and judicial controls are limited in effect. For
example, not all statutory instruments are subject to affirmative/negative
resolution and may be overlooked.
Some ultra vires delegated legislation is never challenged and so remains in force.
Lack of Publicity
Delegated Legislation is insufficiently publicised.
Not the same opportunity for the press to raise public awareness.
Lots of laws passed without the public knowing about it.…read more


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