Advantages and Disadvantages of Delegated Legislation

  • Created by: peronella
  • Created on: 04-12-18 21:24


Saves Parliamentary Time:

Parliament already have a lot of jobs to do, such as debating and passing more important laws, and does not have time to properly debate and pass all the laws needed to run the country effectively. It has to pass 70 Acts per year already, and it barely has enough time to do these without the delegated legislation. It is much quicker for parliament to delegate it out to other responsible bodies.

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Parliament doesn't have the knowledge/expertise:

Delegated legislation is made by specialised government departments who have experts in the relevant field. MPs would not have this technical expertise.

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Local people know local needs:

Byelaws are made by local authorities who are much closer to the need, so know just what is required. Parliament does not have the same local awareness.

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Passed more quickly:

It is far quicker to introduce a piece of delegated legislation than a full Act of Parliament. Orders in Council can be used in an emergency when a law is needed very urgently.

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Delegated legislation is easily revoked:

Delegated legislation is often used to amend existing legislation. It is easier to use delegated legislation than to pass a new Act of Parliament. It is also easier to amend delegated legislation - they can be revoked when necessary

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Delegated legislation is made by unelected people or bodies. As this is meant to be a democratic country, it is often argued that this goes against our democracy.

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The people to whom the legislation is delegated often sub-delegated to those not given the original authority to pass law, for example, from a government minister to a department and then to a group of experts. This further undermines our democracy

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So much delegated legislation is made each year - around 30,000 SIs - thus making it very difficult to find laws and keep up with them.

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Lack of publicity:

There is little publicity of delegated legislation in comparison to Acts of Parliament, and this means that people may be unaware that a ruling exists.

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Ineffective controls:

Control by Parliament isn't always effective; few affirmative resolutions exist and MP's are too busy to look over them, and controls are often not used anyway.

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Limited powers of Scrutiny Committee:

Most SIs are published by negative resolution as the Scrutiny Committees don’t have enough time to scrutinise all of them. Therefore about 2/3 of SIs are not actually considered by parliament.

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Limitations on judicial controls:                 

Courts are unable to review delegated legislation, so it depends on those who make the claim and bring it to the courts' attention. Since the courts don’t have any general authority to keep such legislation to be reviewed, it poses a problem. This is because the process should be time-consuming and costly. Also, the process can only happen if the individual claimer does have the necessary funding.

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