Delegated Legislation


Delegated Legislation


Delegated legislation is a law, made by someone other than Parliament, but with the authority of Parliament. 

Authority is usually laid down in a 'PARENT ACT' known as a 'ENABLING ACT' - creates the framework of the law, allowing delegated legislation to make more detailed law in the area.


Parliament does not have the time to debate every detail of every Act.

Parliament will not always have the necessary expertise to deal with a particular issue.

Delegated legisation can be changed easily - allows quicker response to changing circumstances.

Parliament cannot always respond quick enough in emergencies.


1. STATUTORY INSTRUMENTS - Rules, regulations and orders, issued by ministers, national in effect.

2. BYELAWS - Issued in local authorities, local in effect.

3. ORDERS IN COUNCIL - Issued by the Privy Council, generally only used in emergencies.

Statutory Instruments

Most common procedure - introduced by Government ministers. Will become law unless rejected by Parliament within 40 days. For example, Codes of Practice under PACE.


Made by local authorities to cover local issues or by public corporations. Involves matters of local concern - passed under the Local Government Act 1972. For example, Local parking regulations.

Orders in Council

Introduced by the Queen and the Privy Council - in times of emergency under the Emergency Powers Act 1920. Only used in emergency when Parliament is not sitting. Main function is to give effect to EU directives. For example, Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (revised 2003).


Enabling Act:

  • States the powers of the Minister - power to make delegated legislation. 

Effectiveness: gives quite broad…


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