Introduction: Delegated Legislation
Through primary legislation, Parliament allows others to enact laws and rules through delegated legislation. The law established through delegated legislation must be consistent with the Act’s objectives.
Delegated legislation serves the purpose of allowing the government to alter a law without having to wait for a new Act of Parliament to be approved. Delegated legislation can also be used to make technical modifications to the law, such as changing the punishments under a certain act.
A Local Authority, for example, has power granted to it under specific statutes to establish delegated legislation and law that is applicable to its territory.
Because there is more delegated legislation issued each year than Acts of Parliament, it plays a vital role in the creation of law. Furthermore, delegated legislation has the same legal status as the Act of Parliament that originated it.
Why delegated legislation is important:
Delegated legislation is useful for various reasons. For starters, it avoids overburdening Parliament’s restricted timeline since delegated legislation may be altered and/or created without the need to pass an Act via Parliament, which can be time-consuming.
Changes to the law can therefore be made without the requirement for a new Act of Parliament, and it also prevents Parliament from having to spend a lot of time on technical things, such as clarifying a specific section of the statute
Second, delegated legislation allows those with relevant expert knowledge to make laws. For example, a local government can develop laws based on what their community needs rather than having a single rule that may or may not apply to them.
A specific Local Authority can establish legislation to meet local requirements, and that Local Authority, rather than Parliament, will determine what is best for the community.
Third, delegated legislation can deal with an emergency issue as it happens, rather than having to wait for an Act to be approved by Parliament. Finally, delegated legislation can be utilized to address a circumstance that Parliament did not anticipate when it adopted the laws, making it flexible and beneficial in law-making.
Delegated legislation can thus satisfy evolving societal requirements as well as situations that Parliament did not anticipate when they adopted the Act of Parliament.
There are certain drawbacks to delegated legislation:
- It lacks democracy because unelected persons make too much delegated legislation, and delegated legislation is subject to less Parliamentary scrutiny than the main As a result, Parliament has little influence over delegated legislation, which might lead to discrepancies in the law.
- The absence of attention regarding delegated legislation. When law is formed through statutory instruments, the public is usually not notified, but Acts of Parliament, on the other hand, are highly publicized.
Inherent Danger in the Process of Delegation: Judicial Perspective
According to the Supreme Court, delegated legislation is a “necessary evil” and an unpleasant violation of the idea of separation of powers, which holds that “law-making” is the unique authority of the legislature. The Supreme Court has also emphasized the inherent hazard in the delegation process, in which an overburdened legislature may overstep the acceptable bounds of delegation and fail to enunciate the basic guidelines in which the delegated law shall work.
The Supreme Court ruled that the legislature cannot delegate “essential legislative powers” to the executive branch. Furthermore, the formation of ‘legislative policy’ as a norm of behavior is an essential legislative role that cannot be transferred to the administration.
It has been observed that in the field of corporate law, the delegated legislation directly touches the substantive part of the law and it is mostly seen in this field because the technicalities involved in the sector are not known by the parliamentarians who draft the law and thus despite knowing that the law-making should be enjoyed by the legislature, the complexities involved in the corporate laws do not allow this to happen.
Though delegated legislation in the corporate legal system has many advantages, it also leads to frequent alterations in the law, and many of these overnight changes have substantial ramifications for the design and execution of commercial transactions. Aside from creating uncertainty, such frequent changes have a significant influence on the stability of our legal system.
Overall, judicial review of delegated legislation has more symbolic than practical utility as a control tool over delegated legislation. To improve the efficacy of judicial control, delegating legislation must not grant power in very broad and generic terms.
In such a circumstance, the court may find it exceedingly difficult to hold a regulation to be outside the extent of delegated power.