Posted by / Monday 21 November 2016 / No comments

The disadvantages of Delegated Legislation

Definition of Delegated Legislation
Delegated Legislation simply refers to rules, laws, and orders issues by bodies other than the Legislature of a state. Law making is the main duty of a Legislature, however, there are times when because of time, expertise or for any other reason, the Legislature defers its power to make laws to other bodies. The laws that are made by these other bodies are referred to as Delegated Legislation.

It is undemocratic
Democratic ethics allows that those who rule must be freely elected by those who are ruled. In addition, those who make laws for others must be elected by the people. However, the practice of delegated legislation allows for people who are not popularly elected to make laws and enforce same. This is undemocratic.

Violates the concept of Supremacy of Parliament
This concept postulates that in the arena of law making, the Parliament has no rivals. It so happens that the power of delegation allows bodies other than parliament to make laws and people are compelled to abide by those laws. This is a violation of the Supremacy of Parliament.

Violates the concept of Separation of Powers
The concept states that in the operation of government, the three organs of government, legislature, executive and the judiciary must independent in membership, powers and functions. In the exercise of delegated legislation, this concept is ignored, as an official becomes the legislator, the executive and the judiciary in one breath.

May be difficult to control
The number of bodies issuing delegated legislation is so numerous that at one point there are bound to be too many of them. Parliament may not have to time to monitor how the bye-laws impact the people on the ground. This being so, Parliament may have a tough time controlling them.

Open to abuse
Some officials have the tendency to take advantage of the discretion granted in the enabling act to violate the rights and liberties of the citizens.

Violates the concept of Rule of Law
One of the cardinal elements of Rule of Law is that the law must be certain at all times. In other words the citizen must know, at all times, exactly what the law is. However, the practice of Delegated Legislation allows for so many laws to exist in the form of bye-laws, so in the event that not much publicity is given to such bye-laws, it is difficult for a citizen to know exactly what the law is at all times.

1. a. Highlight six disadvantages of delegated legislation. [12 marks]

2. a. What is delegated legislation? [2 marks]
     b. Highlight five disadvantages of delegated legislation. [10 marks]

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