Delegated legislation

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Delegated legislation (also referred to as secondary legislation or subordinate legislation or subsidiary legislation) is law made by an executive authority under powers delegated from a legislature by enactment of primary legislation; the primary legislation grants the executive agency power to implement and administer the requirements of that primary legislation. It is law made by a person or body other than the legislature but with the legislature's authority.[1] The power to create delegated legislation is limited to making regulation that is incidental to administering the primary legislation. Otherwise it will be considered as invalid or ultra vires.[2]

Often, a legislature passes statutes that set out broad outlines and principles, and delegates authority to an executive branch official to issue delegated legislation that flesh out the details (substantive regulations) and provide procedures for implementing the substantive provisions of the statute and substantive regulations (procedural regulations). Delegated legislation can also be changed faster than primary legislation so legislatures can delegate issues that may need to be fine-tuned through experience.

In the United States the terminology is as follows:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Delegated Legislation". Retrieved 18 September 2012. 
  2. ^ "see Shanahan v Scott [1957] ALR 171". Austlii.