Parliamentary and judicial controls on delegated legislation

notes on parliamentary and judical controls

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Law ­ Parliamentary and judicial controls of delegated legislation - Bethan Goy
Parliamentary controls
Delegated legislation is legislation made by people who have had their power to make this
legislation delegated to them by parliament. There are thousands of different legislations passed
every year in the UK from delegated legislation and so parliament need some way of keeping checks
on the legislation passed to make sure the legislation is relevant, is no biased, to prevent the abuses
of power and to ensure that the delegated legislation has stayed within the guidelines of the
enabling act.
Legislation - Parliament is supreme and has precedence over delegated legislation and
therefore can revoke any delegated legislation they do not think is in the best interests of
who it is effecting. Parliament can also pass Acts on the same subject.
Negative Procedure ­ some delegated legislation can be cancelled if voted against in either
of the Houses of Parliament if they pass a motion calling for annulment within a certain
number of days, which is usually around 40 days). This motion is known as a prayer. If there is
no motion or it is not passed the legislation then becomes law.
Affirmative procedure ­ This procedure is less common than the negative procedure. Under
some enabling acts delegated legislation must be approved by both houses (Commons when
financial matters are concerned) within a certain number of days. Either of the House can
reject the legislation. This procedure is a stricter control than the negative procedure as the
legislation cannot be passed without the approval of parliament and the legislation is
ALWAYS considered by parliament rather than in certain circumstances.
Scrutiny Committee ­ This is a joint committee including members from both Houses and it
hears evidence from Government departments on SI's. The committee does not decide if the
delegated legislation is good or bad but may recommend that parliament reviews SI's when
it considers:
o The authority of the parent act has been exceeded
o Unexpected use has been made of powers given to ministers
o There is defective drafting ( not properly worded)
o The instrument requires further explanation.
Standing Committees on delegated legislation- These were first set up to relieve the
pressure of time on the House of Commons. They usually have 17 members and although
only a committee member may vote any member is allowed to attend and speak. SI's are
referred to a committee by a minister, subject to the approval of the whole house, so that
parliament can scrutinise without taking up time on the floor of the house.

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Law ­ Parliamentary and judicial controls of delegated legislation - Bethan Goy
Judicial Controls (judges/courts)
The validity of delegated legislation can be challenged by the courts. This can be through the process
of judicial review in the Queens Bench Divisional Court.
Procedural ultra vires ­ Procedural ultra vires involves a complaint that procedures laid
down in the enabling act have not been adhered to. E.g.…read more


Smith E

Text-heavy, but this will suit some. The types of ultra vires is dealt with well as are the prerogative orders in judicial review cases. 

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