Delegated Legislation

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Outline the different forms of delegated legislation. (10 marks)

Delegated legislation (secondary legislation) is law that is authorised but not made by Parliament. Parliament lays out a basic framework, known as the enabling Act and other people or bodies are delegated powers to make the more detailed rules.

Ministers and government departments can be given the power in the enabling Act to make statutory instruments (SI) relating to the jurisdiction of their ministry. These take the form of rules, regulations and orders. They apply to the whole country and they cover issues like road traffic signs and town and country planning general development orders. The Lord Chancellor has power to make delegated legislation under the Access to Justice Act 1999.

Orders in Council are made by the Privy Council. They are used when it would be inappropriate to use a statutory instrument, for example when transferring responsibilities between government departments. If Parliament is not sitting and there is an emergency, the Queen and Privy Council may make an Order in Council as in the fuel crisis in 2000. This power is found in the Emergency Powers Act 1920.

By-laws are when Parliament gives local authorities and other public bodies the right to make law in certain areas. They are local in effect, only applying to the area of the council or public body concerned. Public bodies can make by-laws to enforce rules concerning public behaviour, such as the National Trust rules for land use. Local councils can make by-laws to cover issues such as parking restrictions or drinking in public places. All by-laws must be approved by the relevant government minister.

Explain the controls on delegated legislation. (10 marks)

Delegated legislation is controlled by Parliament and the courts. This is to ensure that delegated powers are not abused. Parliament has limited control at the time the enabling Act is made as it sets out the perimeters for making delegated...
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