Types of Delegated Legislation

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Types of Delegated Legislation | Forms of Delegated Authority

Types of Delegated Legislation
Types of Delegated Legislation

The concept delegation can be defined as the process whereby an individuals or groups, transfer to some other individuals or groups, the duty to carry some particular action and at the same time taking some particular decisions.

In other words, delegated legislation or delegated authority is a situation where authority has been given or delegated to a person, group of people or department to carry out specific duty or responsibilities.

When authority is delegated, it means that another person has been mandated with forces of the law to do something on behalf of the superior person and failure to obey incurs the prosecution at the ordinary courts of the land or at the administrative courts.

The fact that the superior delegate authority to subordinate does not imply that superior has surrendered his responsibilities because no superior is ever likely to relieve himself of his ultimate responsibilities.

It should be noted that the subordinate is accountable to the superior who delegated the power to them.

The essence of delegation is to make organization possible. It is not possible for one person in an organization to do all the jobs necessary to accomplish specific goals, since there are many decisions that involves the utilization of expertise.

What are the Types of Delegated Legislation?

There are four major types of delegated legislation. They include:

  1. Orders-in-Council
  2. Statutory instruments
  3. Provisional Orders
  4. Bye-Laws
  • Orders-in-Council

Orders in council were laws made during the colonial era under the authority of an enabling law, but which had to be ratified by the Privy Council in London (as example). There were two types of orders in council, namely, prerogative orders and proclamations.

  • Statutory Instruments

Statutory instruments are rules made by a minister under the authority of an enabling law passed by the legislature. To avoid abuse, the British Statutory Instrument Committee scrutinizes every statutory order laid before parliament for confirmation or annulment.

Such delegated legislation may include the imposition of a curfew in an area by a local government authority and the prohibition of smoking in public places and the sale of alcoholic drinks in motor parks. In each case, there is a penalty for breaking the rule, and offenders may be fined or jailed depending on the gravity of the offence.

The persons or bodies given the power to make these delegated legislation include ministers, government departments, public corporations and local government authorities. The authority to make such rules and regulations is usually granted by the legislature and it may also withdraw the authority when it considers it necessary, especially when the conditions under which such rules are to be made are being violated.

  • Provisional Orders

An Act of Parliament may authorize a minister to make an order conferring power upon an individual or body to perform a specific duty. Until such an order is confirmed by parliament, it has no legal effect.

  • Bye-Laws

Local government authorities and public corporations can make bye-laws which are valid in their respective area of jurisdiction. It is not possible for parliament to legislate in detail on all subjects and it becomes necessary for parliament to delegate some of its powers to ministers and public corporations that administer public utilities.

Other forms of delegated legislation include;

Special procedure orders: The minister makes the order and presents it to the parliament. The order comes into force after 14 days, unless petitions of a general objection have been lodged against it.
Rules of professional bodies: There are rules and ethics guiding the activities of every member of a professional body e.g. Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) and Nigerian Bar Association (NBA). This rules are constitutionally legal and must be adhered to.
Warrants: For example, search and bench warrants. This is legal document that is signed by a Judge and gives the Police authority to do something e.g. a warrant to search or arrest someone.
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