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Delegated powers can allow Ministers to enact significant policy measures. However, because the exercise of these powers is subject to less scrutiny than primary legislation, they affect the long-term balance of power between Parliament and Government. Our toolkit will help you understand and scrutinise delegated powers contained in Bills.
Researcher, Hansard Society
Researcher, Hansard Society
Dheemanth joined the Hansard Society in July 2021 as a Researcher to contribute to the Review of Delegated Legislation. His role also involves supporting the day-to-day delivery of the Society’s legislative monitoring service, the Statutory Instrument Tracker®.
Dheemanth has a diverse professional background that includes experience in both the legal and non-legal sectors. He completed his MBBS degree at the University of East Anglia. He has since attained a Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) while working full-time as a junior doctor at an NHS hospital trust. He has previously conducted legal research with the hospital’s legal services department. As a research assistant, he has also contributed to a public international law project concerning citizenship and statelessness. Additionally, he has experience conducting scientific and laboratory-based research during his BMedSci degree in Molecular Therapeutics at Queen Mary University of London.
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The Hansard Society’s long-running research in this area suggests that delegated powers can sometimes be challenging for parliamentarians to scrutinise effectively, particularly given the often-limited time available for scrutiny. Our toolkit comprises a set of sequential questions adopting a ‘traffic-light’ system to categorise your answers.
Specifically, the toolkit will help you assess:
whether a clause or paragraph delegates a legislative power;
whether the delegated power form part of a ‘framework’ / ‘skeleton’ approach;
whether the delegated power is appropriately justified;
the scope of the delegated power;
the applicable parliamentary procedure and its appropriateness;
whether the delegated power is a ‘Henry VIII power’; and
whether there are any other specific standards that may apply.
We have developed this toolkit based on research into delegated powers that we are conducting as part of our wider ongoing Delegated Legislation Review.
Delegated legislation is the most common form of legislation in the United Kingdom. It is the legislation of everyday life, impacting millions of citizens daily. But the terminology and procedures that surround it are complex and often confusing. This explainer unpacks delegated legislation - the terminology and Parliament's role in scrutinising it - to reveal more about how delegated legislation really works.
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