Delegated Legislation

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  • Topic: Legislature, Parliament, Statutory law
  • Pages : 5 (1847 words )
  • Download(s) : 679
  • Published : January 21, 2013
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INTRODUCTION
Delegated legislation refers to the rules and regulations, which are passed by some person or body under some enabling parent legislation. The Interpretation Act 1967 defines it as ‘any proclamation, rule, regulation, order, by-law or other instrument made under any Act, Enactment, Ordinance, or other lawful authority and having legislative effect’. BODY

The Parliament and State Legislative Assemblies conferred legislative powers from the Federal Constitution. However, only small portion is directly made by these legislative bodies, while the larger portion of the legislation emanates from administrative authorities. In order to enact the legislation, the legislature confines itself to enunciating the general principles and policies relating to the subject matter in question. It also delegates some power to some other agencies, in order to legislate and fill in the details. Basically there are several general reasons of subsidiary or delegated legislation like to economize the legislative time, lack of expertise and specialist, there is an urgent need of response by the state and this method is said to be more flexible and elastic. The primary factors for the phenomenal popularity of delegating legislation are that modern governments are multifunctional and modern legislatures work under severe limitations. The legislature has to delegate its law-making power for the following reasons: firstly, the legislature has insufficient time to enact all the legislation, detailed in every aspect, required in a modern society. Secondly, much modern legislation is highly technical and is best left to experts or administrators on the job that are well versed with the technicalities involved and lastly, the legislature is not continuously in session and its legislative procedures are burdensome. In times of emergency, quick action is required to be taken. The legislative process is not equipped to provide for urgent solution to meet the situation. Delegated legislation is the only convenient remedy. Therefore, in times of war and other national emergencies, such as aggression, break down of law and order, strike, etc. the executive is vested with special and extremely wide powers to deal with the situation. There was substantial growth of delegated legislation during the two World Wars. Similarly, in situation of epidemics, floods, inflation, economic depression, etc. immediate remedial actions are necessary which may not be possible by lengthy legislative process and delegated legislation is the only convenient remedy. The practice of delegated legislation enables the executive to experiment. This method permits rapid utilization of experience and implementation of necessary changes in application of the provisions in the light of such experience, e.g. in road traffic matters, an experiment may be conducted and in the light of its application necessary changes could be made. Delegated legislation thus allows employment and application of past experience. At the time of passing any legislative enactment, it is impossible to foresee all the contingencies, and some provision is required to be made for these unforeseen situations demanding exigent action. A legislative amendment is a slow and cumbersome process, but by the device of delegated legislation, the executive can meet the situation expeditiously, e.g. bank-rate, police regulation export and import, foreign exchange, etc. For that purpose, in many statutes, a ‘removal of difficulty’ clause is found empowering the administration overcome difficulties by exercising delegated power. Sometimes, the subject-matter on which legislation is required is so technical in nature that the legislator, being himself a common man, cannot be expected to appreciate and legislate on the same, and the assistance of experts may be required. Members of Parliament may be the best politicians but they are not experts to deal with highly technical matters which are required to handle by...
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