Delegated Legislation: What types are there, and how are they made?

Pywell, Stephanie and West, Tom (2023). Delegated Legislation: What types are there, and how are they made? The Hansard Society for Parliamentary Democracy, London.



Delegated legislation is the most common form of legislation in the United Kingdom. Relatively few Acts of Parliament (primary legislation) are passed each year compared to the volume of delegated legislation.

Whether it's the supply of single-use plastic items, eligibility for state benefits, court procedures, or pandemic-related lockdowns, the common factor is that all were introduced using delegated legislation.

But this form of law is procedurally complicated and difficult to digest.

This explainer, produced jointly with Dr Tom West, former Researcher and Delegated Legislation Review Manager at the Hansard Society, seeks to unpack the legislative layers and peel back the procedural complexities to reveal more about how delegated legislation works.

As well as introducing the various forms of delegated legislation, the explainer features a series of diagrams that illustrate the interconnections and overlaps between these different forms, building up a legislative picture that reveals the importance of this legislation but also its bafflingly labyrinthine nature.

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