Delegated Legislation (OCR)

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Delegated Legislation


  • Delegated Legislation: A law made by some person or body other than Parliament, but with the authority of Parliament.
  •  Parliament outlines the framework of the law and grants authority to the relevant body in a Parent / Enabling Act. Note: Parliament delegates power to others to make more detailed law in that particular area. 

Orders in Council:

  • Made by the Queen and Privy Council (the Prime Minister and other leading government ministers). Orders in Council affect the whole country.
  • This method can be used to make laws quickly without going through the Bill To An Act process (as in Parliament) when Parliament is not siting or in times of emergency under the Emergency Powers Act 1920.
  • Orders in Council can be used to implement EU directives under the European Communities Act 1972. They can also be used for other purposes: e.g. in 2004 to amend the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, making cannabis a Class C drug.
  • Examples: Used in the Fuel Crisis (2000) to take special measures to preserve fuel supplies. Also, the Iraq Order (2000) meant law could be passed quickly to prevent funds being made available from the UK to the Iraqi government.

Statutory Instruments:

  • Made by government ministers for their area: e.g. Secretary of State for Education (Nicky Morgan) will make laws on education and the Secretary of State for Defence (Michael Fallon) will make laws on defence.
  • Statutory Instruments affect the whole country. Over 3000 are made per year. These can also be used to implement EU directives.
  •  Statutory Instruments are regulated by the Statutory Instruments Act 1946. 
  • This method allows ministers to use their technical knowledge to implement appropriate law / regulations. SIs can be made by either the affirmative resolution procedure (voted in by Parliament) or negative resolution procedure (automatically become law unless an MP requests a debate within 40 days).
  • Examples: the Home Secretary can implement Codes of Practice for the police under powers given to her by PACE 1984. Also, the Secretary of State made the Road Vehicle Regulations 2003 to ban the use of mobile phones whilst driving a motor vehicle.


  • Made by Local Authorities or Public Corporations. Local Authorities make provisions for their area as they have local knowledge, e.g. Portsmouth City Council, under the Local Government Act 1972. Public Corporations, e.g. London Underground or British Airways make provisions for their service users.
  • Examples: British Railway banned smoking in railway carriages where smoking is prohibited under the British Railways Boards By-Laws 1965. Also, the Portsmouth City Council (Review of Parking Restrictions) Order 2009 changed the law regarding parking restrictions in several roads in Southsea.

Control of Delegated Legislation - Parliamentary Control:

o   Regulations on new provisions:

  • Parliament has initial control with the Enabling Act.

·       Scrutiny Committees:

  • Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments: It is a permanent fixture, not an ad hoc. It was reintroduced in 2010 and meets most weeks; the Committee reviews Statutory Instruments and reports its findings to


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