What is Delegated Legislation

    Delegated legislation refers to the process of delegating the power to make laws for a particular state, defined area, or unit of government to another body. The word delegation can be used synonymously with the delegation of legislative powers.

Delegated legislation refers to all law-making that takes place outside the legislature and is generally expressed as rules, regulations, bye-laws, orders, schemes, directions or notifications, etc. 

In other words, when an instrument of a legislative nature is made by an authority in the exercise of the power delegated or conferred by the legislature is called subordinate legislation or delegated legislation.

In Simple words,  Delegated legislation is the type of legislation that is introduced by the government to ensure the smooth functioning of the state administration.

The most important aspect of delegated legislation is that it has no effect on the jurisdiction of Parliament, but it can have an impact on its powers.

Definition of Deligated Legislation -

Sir John Salmond defines Delegated Legislation, as "That which proceeds from any authority other than the sovereign power and is therefore dependent for its continued existence and validity on some superior or supreme Authority.

Scope of Delegated Legislation 

1. Wide general powers: A standard argument for delegated legislation is that it is necessary for cases where Parliament cannot attend to small matters of detail.

2. Taxation: Even the tender subject of taxation has been invaded to a considerable extent.

3. Power to vary Acts of Parliament: It is quite possible for Parliament to delegate the power to amend statutes. This used to be regarded as incongruous, and the clause by which it was done was nicknamed 'the Henry VIII clause'.

4. Technicality: The legislators are often ignorant of legal and technical points and leave the law-making power to the administrative agencies.

5. Emergency Powers: A modern society is many times faced with occasions when there is a sudden need for legislative action. The legislature can't meet at short notice, thus executive needs to have standby power.

Types of Delegated Legislation 

     Administrative rule-making or delegated legislation in India is commonly expressed by the term 'statutory rules and orders. Parliament follows no particular policy in choosing the forms of delegated legislation, and there is a wide range of varieties and nomenclature. The

Delegated legislation can be classified under various classes depending on the purpose to be achieved:

1. Title-based classification: An Act may empower an authority to make regulations, rules, or bye-laws, to make orders, or to give directions. There is scarcely a limit to the varieties of legislative provisions which may exist under different names.

2. Discretion-based classification (Conditional Legislation): Another classification of administrative rule-making may be based on discretion vested in rule-making authority. On the basis of 'discretion' administrative rule-making may be classified into subordinate and contingent or conditional legislation.

3. Purpose-based classification: Another classification of administrative rule-making would involve the consideration of delegated legislation in accordance with the different purposes which it is made to serve. On this basis, the classification may be an Enabling Act, Alteration Act, Taxing Act, Supplementary Act, Classifying and Fixing Standard Act, Penalty For Violation Act, etc.

4. Authority-based classification (Sub-Delegation): Another classification of administrative rule-making is based on the position of the authority making the rules. Sometimes the rule-making authority delegates to itself or to some other subordinate authority a further power to issue rules; such exercise of rule-making power is known as sub-delegated legislation. Rule-making authority cannot delegate its power unless the power of delegation is contained in the enabling Act.

5. Nature-based classification (Exceptional Delegation): Classification of administrative rule-making may also be based on the nature and extent of delegation. The committee on Ministers Powers distinguished two types of parliamentary delegation:

a) Normal Delegation:

(i) Positive: Where the limits of the delegation are clearly defined in the enabling Act.

(ii) Negative: Where the power delegated does not include the power to do certain things.

b) Exceptional Delegation: Instances of exceptional delegation may be:

(i). Power to legislate on matters of principle.

(ii) Power to amend Acts of Parliament.

(iii) Power conferring such a wide discretion that it is almost impossible to know the limits.

(iv) Power to make rules without being challenged in a court of law.

Such exceptional delegation is also known as the Henry VIII clause to indicate executive autocracy.

Conclusion - 

Delegated legislation is a term used to describe legislative actions taken by another branch of government. Delegated legislation is a concept that aims to enable easy access for common citizens to the legislative process.

See Also - 

1) Consultation: Meaning Definition and Kinds of Consultation 

2) Discuss the Role of Administrative Law in a Democratic State?

3) What is Administrative Law and what is the utility of Administrative Law

4) What is Subordinate legislation? Kinds of Subordinate Legislation

5) Difference between Supreme Legislation and Subordinate Legislation


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