What is Legislation in Layperson’s Tone

Legislation, both in the form of Parliamentary Statute or Government Regulations, are classified as substantive and procedural provisions;

  • Substantive Provisions (Rules) express norms of acceptable behaviors or public policy. One should violate the rights of others is a norm prescribed by a legal rule. One should necessarily obtain the receipt of goods purchased is a public policy. Norms of acceptable behaviors or public policy affect how people deal with each other  and government.

–      Procedural Provisions (Rules) express process or methods or ways of application of rules in practice.

Technical Definition of Legislation

“Legislation is a general term that covers laws enacted by Parliaments and laws made by persons and bodies to whom Parliaments” have delegated law-making powers[1]. The laws made by Parliament itself are called Acts or statutes. The laws made under delegated authority of the Parliament are known as delegated legislation or subordinate legislation. These laws take the form of by-laws, rules, ordinances or regulations. They are usually made by the Governor-General or State Governors but may also be made by others. Delegated legislation emanates from an Act and contains details necessary to carry out specific matters relating to the Act. For example, the University of Wollongong Act 1989 (NSW) provides for the University Council to make by-laws covering a number of areas including the form and use of academic dress. Laws enacted by Parliament or institution using the parliamentary authority are called ‘legislation’. In technical sense, such laws are referred to as “statutes”, and in this sense they distinguish laws from those made by courts or people customarily.

Legislation refers to the set of statutory laws which have been passed by a legislature and confirmed by the executive; it should be noted that some nations have little executive power, for example in the case of a parliamentary system. Passing legislation is formally known as “enacting law.” A statute is a formal, written law of a country or state, written and enacted by its legislative authority, ratified by the highest executive in the government and published, sometimes informally referred to as “black letter. The term statute is sometimes also used to refer to an international treaty that establishes a Court, for example the Statute of the International Court of Justice and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The term statute is also sometimes used to refer to international agreements establishing institutions other than courts or tribunals, such as the Statute of the European Central Bank (a protocol to the Treaty of Maastricht).

Statutory Law is written law (as opposed to oral or customary law) set down by a legislature or other governing authority such as the executive branch of government in response to a perceived need to clarify the functioning of government, improve civil order, answer a public need, to codify existing law, or for an individual or company to obtain special treatment. (Contrast common law.) In addition to the statutes passed by the national or state legislature, lower authorities or municipalities may also promulgate administrative regulations or municipal ordinances. The processes of creating these administrative decrees are generally classified as rulemaking. While these enactments are subordinate to the law of the whole state or nation, they are nonetheless a part of the body of statutory law.

Ordinance can mean:

  • Temporary enactment of law by sovereign,
  • A law made by a non-sovereign body such as a city council or a colony.
  • A piece of internal regulation in a university
  • An important ritual in Christianity
  • It should not be confused with ordnance, which describes ammunition, explosive devices and similar items. See also Ordnance Survey; Master-General of the Ordnance.
  • A private bill is the term used for legislation that originates from a particular member of a legislature or parliament or from a member of the public. Private bills developed in the United Kingdom as a means of obtaining redress from a specific wrong or obtaining a benefit that was not otherwise available through statute or the common law.
  • Legal Aid Act and National Human Rights Commission Act were Private Bills in the Parliament.

Legislation an Effective Instrument of Social Change and Regulation

  • Legislation is an effective instrument of social change, as it is often difficult for evolve custom in a short period of time. 20th Century has seen tremendous force of legislation in bringing about the changes in the society.
  • Birta Unmulan Ain, Land Reform Act, Evidence Act, are very few examples in Nepal.