Delegated Legislation

Revision notes on delegated legislation

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  • Created on: 02-01-11 21:37
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Delegated Legislation
Law made & amended by person or body other than Parliament.
Why is it needed?
A lack of Parliamentary time; meaning that every small detail can be debated, which can be
lengthy.
Technical expertise may be needed; Parliament may not have the Technical expertise
necessary when considering more complex law.
Consultation can be more extensive; this can be important for law on technical matters.
They are quicker to pass law; passing laws quick enough for its requirements.
The law is easier to amend; law may need constant updating due to changes in society.
By Laws;
Are introduced by local authorities.
They involve an area on local matters of concern.
An example of this would be the London Underground drinking ban
Statutory Instruments;
An Enabling Act is passed by Parliament giving authority to Ministers.
Negative Resolution; pass law if not objected by Parliament within 40 days. This is the most
common Statutory Instrument.
Affirmative Resolution; Bills are debated in Parliament & voted by both Houses. This is
uncommon.
For example Lord Chancellor was given permission to guide on recommending judges.
Orders in Council;
The privacy council & the queen have the power to pass a law.
The privacy council is made up of the Prime Minister & other senior members of the
Government.
Used in times of emergency.
They are instant.
If Parliament is not in session.
An example of this would be the altering of the misuse of Drugs Act 19 71, where they
changed cannabis to a class C drug.
Controls by Parliament;
An enabling Act is written to limit power delegated to those who have responsibility for
making legislation.
All Delegated legislation must be published & can be scrutinised by others.
Parliament can revoke the delegated power.
Affirmative/negative resolutions offer limitations on delegated legislation.
A Parliament committee watches over the legislation.
Controls by Courts;
Ultra Vires; Going beyond the powers granted by Parliament. Involved in By Laws.
Substantive; going beyond the power given in what they were meant to do, or by being
deemed unreasonable law can become invalid e.g. Strictland v Hayes Borough Council (18
96). An act prohibited any absence singing & absence language. This was deemed as going
against freedom of speech.

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Procedural; not following the correct procedure to pass a law e.g. Aylesbury Mushroom
case (19 72). The Minister of Labour failed to consult the Mushroom Growers Association, a
concerning organisations to the law.
Criticisms;
The system is undemocratic.
Too much sub delegation takes place.
Large volume of legislation is done though delegation.
Lack of publicity compared with primary legislation.
Difficult to understand with difficult language.
Controls are not always effective & are questionable.…read more

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