Discuss disadvantages of delegated legislation

Discuss disadvantages of delegated legislation

This essay will discuss the disadvantages of delegated legislation. One of the disadvantages of delegated legislation is that it is partly undemocratic. Delegated legislation is not debated by Parliament. However, statutory instruments are an exception. Statutory instruments are drafted by unelected, permanently employed civil servants and are only rubber stamped by the appropriate Minister. The Queen and Privy Council are not elected but still approve Orders In Council. Another disadvantage of delegated legislation is that it has a lack of publicity. Delegated legislation is not debated in Parliament which means that the media is not able to raise public awareness and much remains unpublished. There is no general effective way to publicise delegated legislation so this means that an enormous volume of law is passed without the public being aware of it. Another disadvantage of delegated legislation is that it has no effective control. Not all statutory instruments are subject to an affirmative or negative resolution, this is due to many of the Parliamentary and Judicial controls being limited. Judicial controls rely on a person challenging the validity of the law which is due to limited knowledge, finance and time.

Some delegated legislation is ultra vires and is never challenged which means that it remains in force. A further disadvantage of delegated legislation is that it contradicts separation of powers. The legislative, executive and judiciary should all operate separately. No-one should be a member of more than one of the three branches of power. They shouldn’t perform each other’s duties and declare whether the law is valid or not. Another disadvantage of delegated legislation is that there is a risk of sub-delegation. This is where the body/person who has been given the power to make law may pass this power down to another. For example, statutory instruments are supposed to be made by Government Ministers. However, in reality, they rubber stamp laws which are made by their civil servant. An additional disadvantage of delegated legislation is the implementation and enforcement. There is a time lag to enforcement and this may result in things having to change around to enforce the new laws. To conclude, the disadvantages of delegated legislation are that it is partly undemocratic, it has a lack of publicity, it has no effective control, it contradicts separation of powers, there is a risk of sub-delegation and it has an effect on the implementation and enforcement.