Delegated Legislation

Revision for Delegated Legislation (AQA)

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  • Created by: Chloe
  • Created on: 25-05-10 19:52

What is Delegated Legislation?

It is law made by some person or body, other than Parliament but with the authority of Parliament.

Authority is usually laid down in a " Parent Act" of Parliament, also known as the Enabling Act. It creates a framework of the law, and then delegates power to others, to make more detailed laws in that area.

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Orders in Council...

Orders in Council, are laws made by the Privy council.
The Privy council= Politicians, Senior Judges, Members of Royal Family.

This type of Delegated legislation, allows government to make laws without! going through Parliament.

Order in Council can be used to:
- Bring an act into force.
- Used to implement emergency legislation.
( Emergency Parent Act 1920) ---> E.g Foot & mouth crisis 2001- Privy council used that EPA to ban movement of live stock.)

- Deal with foreign affairs.
- Deal with national affairs.

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Statutory Instruments...

Statutory instruments are, rules and regulations made by, Government minister, to do with, their specific area of responsibility.

E.g. Minister for transport, will be able to deal with necessary road traffic regulations.
Road traffic act 1988, enabled Minister for transport, to amend seatbelt laws.

Statutory instruments can be used to:
- Update an act.
- Bring an act/ part of an act into force.

Statutory instruments. > Major method of law making.
> 3000 brought in each year.

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By Laws

1. Can be made by local authorities, to cover matters in their area.
E.g. Many local by-laws will involve traffic control, such as parking restrictions.

2. Can be made by public corporations and certain companies, for matters within their jurisdiction, which involve the public.
E.g. Bodies such as British railways, can enforce rules about public behaviour, on their premises, such as, drinking.

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Controls- Initial Controls


Consultation-> Experts are usually consulted, before Delegated Legislation is passed, therefore, technical details should be okay.

Publication-> All Delegated Legislation is available for public scrutiny.


  • Too much Delegated Legislation, 3000 statutory instruments made alone each year.
  • Few people look up and read about Delegated Legislation.
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Controls- Parliamentary Controls

Affirmative Resolutions
- Small number of statutory instruments, will be subject to affirmative resolutions.
- Statutory instrument will not! become law unless, specifically approved by Parliament
- The need for affirmative resolution will be included in the enabling act.

E.g Affirmative resolution is required before new or revised police codes of practice. Under the Police and Criminal evidence act, 1984 can come into force.

Negative Resolutions
- Most other statutory instruments will be subject to Negative Resolutions
- The statute will become law, unless rejected by Parliament, within 40 days.

Scrutiny Committee- Aka- Joint scrutiny committee
- Reviews all statutory instruments.
- Then draws attention, to both houses of Parliament, to points that need further consideration.
- Can only report findings, has no power to alter ANY! statutory instruments.

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Controls- Judicial Controls

Judicial controls Aka Court controls

1. Uses ultra-vires: Which are the orders court set, stating that Delegated legislation, goes beyond the powers, set in the enabling act.

2. Procedural ultra-vires: This is when court believes there is a problem, with the way the law was made.
E.g. Aylesbury Mushroom case, where mushroom farmers were not consulted about the new statute.

3. Substantive ultra-vires: This is when an enabling act didn't give powers too pass a specific Delegated legislation.
E.g. NUT case-> Access to higher pay for teachers went beyond powers given under Education act 1996.

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- It saves parliamentry time.

- Technical expertise.

- Allows consultation.

- Quick law making.

- Easy to amend.

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- It takes law making away from democratic elected house of commons.

- Sub-delegation.

- Large volume of Delegated legislation is made, so it is difficult to discuss, what present law is.

- Delegated legislation may be worded obscurly so it is hard to understand.

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