The Scottish Parliament and law making
The Scottish Parliament and law making

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1 Secondary legislation

An Act of Parliament (whether of the Scottish or UK Parliament) may give a Minister, or some other body, power to make detailed regulations in a specified area of their responsibility. In passing a Bill the Parliament accepts the principles and general objectives but subordinate (also referred to as secondary or delegated) legislation can then be used for the detail of the laws needed to achieve those objectives. It is becoming increasingly common for Acts of Parliament to provide a framework into which much of the real detail and impact of the law will subsequently be added through secondary legislation. Secondary legislation may also be used to state the date upon which an Act will come into force.

Subordinate (secondary or delegated) legislation is generally regarded as a tool for producing detailed legislation.

Box 1 Primary / Secondary / Subordinate / Delegated

An Act of Parliament is referred to as primary legislation. Secondary, Subordinate and Delegated legislation are the terms used to refer to legislation which is made under the authority of an Act of Parliament.

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