What is Legislation ?

        Legislation is a law making body. Among all the sources of law, legislation is one of the most patent and sovereign source law making. It has all the powers of enacting laws and repealing old laws. The term "legislation" is derived from two Latin words, legis meaning law and latum meaning to make, put or set. Entomologically legislation means the making or the setting of law. There are two kinds of legislation-Supreme legislation and subordinate legislation.

Definition of Legislation - 

Some important definitions of legislation are as follows -


       According to Salmond, "Legislation is that source of law which consists in the declaration of legal rules by a competent authority".

Austin -

       According to John Austin, legislation includes an activities, which results into law making or amending,  transforming or inserting new provisions in the existing law. thus "there can be no law without a legislative act.


           According to  Holland, " the making of general orders by our judges is as true legislation as is carried on by the Crown", but we confine ourselves to the use of them term legislation in the sense which is commonly understood.

Kinds of Legislation - 

    According to Sir John Salmond, legislation is either Supreme or Subordinate.

         I) Supreme legislation -  

              Supreme legislation is that which proceeds from the sovereign power in the state. It cannot be repealed, annulled or controlled by any other legislative authority. It is enacted by the highest law-making authority in the state. For example parliament in India, USA and England.
         In England, Supreme legislation cannot be questioned in a court of law. The British Parliament is in every sense of sovereign law making body. In Britain, the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty implies supremacy and omnipotence of British Parliament. Therefore. It possesses the power of Supreme legislation. In India and United States of America however, the parliament is sovereign but not supreme because legislation can be declared ultra vires or unconstitutional by a court of law.  It may therefore, be amended or altered.

         II) Subordinate legislation - 
          Subordinate legislation is legislation made by the authority or other than the supreme authority in the state in the exercise of the power delegated to it by Supreme authority. This is controlled by the supreme authority.  Thus legislative authority is dependent for its continued existence and validity on the supreme authority. It can be repealed. Subordinate or delegated legislation increased in 19th and 20th century because of number of a reaction.

Kinds of subordinate legislation -

        According to Salmond,  delegated legislation is that which proceed from any authority other than sovereign power. Salmond refers to five Kinds of Subordindte Legislation which are as follows -

(1) Municipal legislation 

(2) Executive legislation

(3) Colonial legislation

(4) Autonomous legislation

(5) Judicial legislation

(1) Municipal legislation -

       The municipal authorities are given limited powers to enact laws for their governance. it is called  Municipal legislation.  It also called bye-laws. The power is conferred by Supreme legislation. for example, Bombay Municipal Corporation, Pune Municipal Corporation etc. 

(2) Executive legislation - 

         These powers are expressly delegated to the executive by the Parliament. Executive consists of President, Prime Minister, Governor, and govt. officers, who are interested, with the working administrative department of the State. Parliament simply delegates its functions to the executive to make their own laws. E.g. Dfence of India Act. President can make a rule for himself to regulate his office.

(3) Colonial legislation -

         It is the outcome of colony or colonies. by way of settlement. The colonies of British Empire were delegated with certain legislative authority for their own government. Such legislation is called colonial legislation. For example, laws passed by the Indian legislature before independence

(4) Autonomous legislation - 
         Sometimes the state allows private persons like universities, Railway companies, etc to make bye-laws which are recognized and enforced by law courts.Such legislation is usually called autonomic. Railway Company may make bye-laws for the regulation of its undertaking. Likewise, a University may take students for the Government of its members.

(5) Judicial legislation - 

          Judiciary is given powers to make certain rules to regulate the procedure. Such act of court during judicial proceeding is called judicial legislation. Bombay High Court Rules, which are rules governing Bombay High Court and matter coming before this Court.

 See also....


See Also..