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[Delegated legislation - advantages and disadvantages]
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Used because:

  • Saves limited time in Parliament;

  • Allow rapid change;

  • MPs lack detailed or technical knowledge. E.g. Specific details in Abortion Act, Road Traffic detail

  • Quick response to new developments, e.g. Foot and Mouth outbreaks. The Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act allows the quick addition of new prohibited groups.

  • Enables minor changes to statutes, e.g. Variations in sentences, approval of motor vehicle changes.

  • Judicial review may be sought, by parties with locus standi, (i.e. Persons sufficiently affected by the legislation), so time is not wasted by Parliament considering them all.

  • Model bylaws available from Whitehall.

  • Withdrawal or amendment easy.

Using delegated Legislation

  • implies that Parliament has insufficient time to scrutinise it. Parliament is not reviewing legislation properly.

  • Sub-delegation of powers a further problem (although not for EU statutory instruments), which causes complexity and confusion.

  • Sheer volume causes complexity - it is impossible for anyone to keep abreast of all delegated legislation.

  • Lack of publicity, not known about by the public (and often lawyers).

  • It is undemocratic as most regulations are made by civil servant or other unelected people, except for local authority bylaws made by elected councillors

  • Henry VIII clauses can give power to delegated legislation or amend or repeal Acts of Parliament

        • Lord Hewart describes delegated legislation as "The New Despotism"
        • The Committee on Minister's Powers (1932)   "Whether good or bad", delegated legislation is inevitable. One member said that it was "a necessary evil, inevitable, ... But nevertheless a tendency to be watched with misgiving."

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