Advantages of delegated legislation:
1) It allows laws to be enacted without using up scarce Parliamentary time on technical matters, for example the fine detail of a public sector pension scheme or the precise design of traffic signs, thereby freeing Parliament to discuss matters of broad principle and policy.
2) It allows laws relating to technical matters to be prepared by those with the relevant expert knowledge.
3) Delegated legislation is flexible enough to deal speedily with changing circumstances, for example increasing costs of services, developments in scientific knowledge or minor changes in policy. This also makes it invaluable in emergencies when very swift action is required – delegated legislation made under emergency powers can be drafted, enacted and brought into force in a matter of hours rather than the days, weeks or months that would be required to pass an Act of Parliament.
Dis-advantages of delegated legislation:
1) Delegated legislation can also be criticized on the grounds that it is subject to less parliamentary scrutiny than primary legislation and thereby may potentially be used by the Government in ways which Parliament had not intended or appreciated when it conferred the power.
2) Another disadvantage is in the sheer volume of laws that are passed as delegated legislation. Because of
this bulk, there is normally little publicity or knowledge about the changes that are being made. However there are both parliamentary and judicial controls on delegated legislation which are discussed below.
Control over Delegated Legislation:
There are both parliamentary and judicial controls over delegated legislation. Judicial control is exercised through the means of judicial review. Because delegated legislation is made by a person exercising a power conferred by an Act of Parliament for a specified purpose, rather than by Parliament exercising its sovereign law-making powers, it can be struck down by the courts if they conclude that it is ultra vires This would be the case if the Government attempts to use delegated legislation for a purpose not envisioned by the parent Act, or if the legislation is an unreasonable use of the power conferred by the Act, or if pre-conditions imposed by the Act (for example, consultation with certain organizations) have not been satisfied.
Judicial review (= a court’s power to review the actions of the other branches of government)
Ultra vires (= beyond the power)
Envisioned (= predicted; foresaw)
Unreasonable (= illogical; irrational)