By-laws (Byelaws - bye-laws - bylaws all acceptable spellings)
By-laws are locally made and have local effect.
Made by local
authorities, public bodies (for example
Railway companies (and other
transport authorities, Universities, water (and other utility)
authorities, and the National Trust)
They are made in response to local problems
for example parking, control of activities for example
on beaches, drinking in parks by tramps.
Passing of by-laws
The procedure for passing local authority by-laws is started by the local
authority and then confirmed by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister,
there is an outline
Water Authorities may make by-laws
For example by-laws for preventing waste,
misuse or contamination.
Ports and harbour
authorities may have general powers to make by-laws.
Examples of by-laws
Local Authorities and National Trust
The National Trust
regulates the use of its land (which is private property just like
Railways and your garden) by its own by-laws, for example "No
unauthorised person shall ride a horse [or bring a dog] on any part of
Trust Property where horse riding is prohibited..."
but the Trust creates designated areas where horses and dogs are allowed.
The nudist beach at
Studland exists as part of the National Trusts' power to regulate use of
its land under its own
by-laws of 1965 The Trust allows this activity between "authorised
notices exhibited on Trust Property".
Their authority comes from the National Trust Act 1971 section 24 which
allows them to "...make byelaws for the regulation and protection of and
for the prevention and suppression of nuisances.. "
Bournemouth Borough Council by-laws
regulate the use of beaches, notably the control of dogs and their "mess".
The case of Peter Boddington
Smoking a cigarette in a railway carriage
where smoking is prohibited is contrary to by-law 20 of the British
Railways Board's Byelaws 1965. The by-law was made under section 67 of the
Transport Act 1962, as amended.
Peter Boddington was fined £10 for breaching this by-law and appealed.
The case eventually reached the House of Lords, where his conviction was
upheld. Their Lordships examined the powers to make by-laws by
statutory bodies such as Railway authorities.
The basis of his appeal was that the
by-law or administrative decision was "bad on its face."
In addition to Home
Office controls the court can exercise the same jurisdiction over by-laws
as it does over any other type of delegated legislation. (see
Office can annul by-laws
by-laws are based on Home Office guidelines
Not subject to
direct parliamentary control, but of no effect unless approved by the
By-laws subject to
Unlawful parts of
orders may be severed.
Staden v Tarjanyi (1980)
By-law quashed for
The by-law made it
unlawful to fly a glider "in the pleasure ground".
uncertain because it must mean in or over, but for it to mean this there
must be "some lower level below which the glider must not fly."
Kruse v Johnson (1898)
The meaning of
unreasonableness was laid down.
Per Lord Russell:
should be] "benevolently" construed. A by-law would be unreasonable "for
instance, [if] they were found to be partial and unequal in their
operation as between different classes; if they were manifestly unjust; if
they disclosed bad faith; if they involved oppressive or gratuitous
interference with the rights of those subject to them as could find no
justification in the minds of reasonable men, the court might well say,
'Parliament never intended to give authority to make such rules; they are
unreasonable and ultra vires.' A by-law is not unreasonable merely because
judges may think that it goes further than is prudent or necessary or
convenient, or because it is not accompanied by a qualification or an
exception which some judges may think ought to be there."
Notice must be given a
month before publication in local press. A copy must be available for
public inspection, at the local authority office, and for sale for a sum
not exceeding 20p; but these obligations are frequently flouted.
Authority powers to make local by-laws
Local authorities are statutory corporations
and operate within a framework laid down by statute. They have no powers
to act other than where they are expressly authorised by law to do so.
There is a wide range of statutory duties which authorities are required
to fulfil, and an even wider range of permissive powers enabling them to
undertake defined activities if they so wish.
By-laws often made under
the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 or the Local
Government Act 1972; in order that the local authorities may "promotion
of economic, social and environmental well-being
of their area or their inhabitants"
Local Government Act
2000 clarifies their positive right to make local enactments.
The Secretary of State may, by order
amend, repeal, revoke or disapply any enactment which obstructs
authorities from taking steps to promote the well-being of their