Orders in Council

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  • Created on: 08-05-10 15:22
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Parliament are the supreme law making body but sometimes it passes on the power to make laws to
other bodies. This is known as Delegated Legislation. The framework and power to do this is set out
in the Parent Act (Enabling Act). There are three types of delegated legislation.
Orders in Council are made by the Queen and Privy Council (Prime Minister and other senior members
of the Government). These are commonly used for dealing with emergency situations as a result of
the Emergency Powers Act 1920 and a more recent one the Civil Contingencies Act 2004. For
example, orders in council were used to deal with the Fuel Crisis in 2000 and the foot and mouth
outbreak in 2001. Similarly they may be used to deal with situations such as war or a pandemic.
Orders in Council can also be used to implement European Directives (ensuring EU law is brought into
effect in the UK). An order in council was used in 2004 to amend the Misuse of Drugs Act 1972 to
reclassify cannabis from Class B to Class C, and recently in 2010 to deal with Mephedrone to classify
it as a Class B drug.


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