Delegated Legislation – Meaning
In democratic settings, there are usually three arms of the Government and the various arms have their distinct functions and duties that are mandated to be carried out in accordance with the provisions of the law that created them. The legislation is saddled with the power of enacting and promulgating laws in the state. These powers to enact laws are exclusively meant for the Legislatures (the Lawmakers). However, there are times when lawmakers may not be on the seat to enact laws to meet the immediate needs of society. This and other factors may support the motion of delegated legislation.
Delegation is the transfer of power by one Body or person to another to act for him. The person that desires to transfer power, must in himself have the power. The delegation usually empowers the person to whom such power to act is transferred. It would be worthy of note that a delegate is therefore a person who is appointed, authorized, empowered, or commissioned to act in place of the person giving him the authority to act.
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Delegated Legislations are laws, regulations, orders, and, ordinances made by those bodies that are not created to enact laws. These are regulations that usually sprung up from the daily activities of the other arms of the government, which are permitted by the legislation of the legislatures to do so. The legislatures have different laws enacted by them permitting other arms of the government, some powers to enact laws that will guide them for a particular period. The delegated legislations are usually time bound and it is usually enacted by experts in the field.
Advantages of Delegated Legislation
- It reduces Parliamentary Workload: one of the major arguments in favour of delegated legislation is that it reduces the stress and workload of the parliaments. The parliaments are indeed saddled with the power to enact laws but there are areas of human that they shall be expected to enact laws to guide the activities of individuals there, but they cannot make laws to cover everywhere. So delegating some of the powers to other bodies will assist them and reduce their workload.
- It enables Experts to legislate on technical Matters: it allows those that have proficient in those areas of life to enact laws to meet the activities of people there. The lawmakers are usually not vast in all areas of life. However, they may delegate the power to enact laws to persons that have proficient knowledge in those areas of life.
- It saves the time of the Parliament/National Assembly: it also permits the parliaments to focus on the pressing issues in society. It saves the time that they would have wasted in enacting laws in all endeavors of life.
- It saves cost for the National Assembly: the cost of enacting laws is usually exorbitant as the law shall be expected to have emanated from the bill moved in the house and which shall pass many stages to become law. However, laws enacted by the delegates are not expected to pass those stages.
- It brings Government nearer to the people: It brings the government nearer to the people that the laws are enacted to govern. The members of the executives that exercise the delegated power are members of the society.
- It enables quick response to a State of Emergency: it works fast in meeting to emergencies. The Legislators are not always in session. However, issues continue to come up and laws shall be expected to be enacted to savage issues as they arise.
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Disadvantages of Delegated Legislation
- It is contrary to the doctrine of separation of powers, especially when people other than parliament members are empowered to make laws.
- It reduces the Supremacy of the Legislature/Parliament: it tends to reduce the supreme power that the parliament members have to make laws.
- It is undemocratic and therefore, prone to abuse: Delegates may decide to abuse this power delegated to them to enact laws.
- It is a violation of the Rule of Law: it tends to violate the tenets of rule of law. The Executive may even enact laws that shall not be binding on them. Delegated legislation reduces the firm fist of rule of law.
- Control of delegated legislation is inadequate: the control that the parliaments have in delegated legislation is usually feeble and not much.
- Inadequate publicity of delegated legislation: the masses may not be informed of these laws made through delegated power.
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