Legislation




The word legislation is derived from Latin words ‘legis’ which means a law and ‘latum’ to make. Legislation means making and setting the law. This term is used in three senses (according to some jurist)

In a broad sense: All methods of law-making (contracts judge made law etc.)

In a technical sense: every expression of the will of the legislature. It includes all will of the legislature, which may have legal effect or not.

In a strict sense: It means the morality of rules and laws to be followed and enforced. Competent law-making body under the constitution of the state.

Legislation is a general term that covers laws enacted by parliament and laws made by persons and bodies to whom parliaments have delegated law- making powers. The laws made under delegated authority of the parliament are know as delegated legislation or sub- ordinate legislation.



Legislation encompasses within itself making of laws, criminalization as well as decriminalization of acts, enactment , amendment, repeal of law.

Legislation refers to the process of enactment of laws by a legislative body through its law making process. The legislative process includes evaluating amending and voting on proposed laws and is concerned with the words used in the bill to communicate the values, judgements and proposes of the proposal.

Legislation is the decision made through a deliberative process of elected officials. It is also called written law, statutory law, enacted law and law of parliament.

 

As per Salmond, “Legislation is that source of law, which consists in the declaration of rules by a competent authority.”

As per Gray, “Legislation is the formal utterance of the legislative organs of the society.”

Legislation is a positive, active and artful process. It is also the art of making law which is also called as enacted law.

As per Merriam-Webster, legislation is the action of legislating. Specially the exercise of the power and function of making rules (such as laws) that have the force of authority by virtue of their promulgation by an official organ of a state or other organization.

As per Salmond based on British legal system and practice there are two types of legislation they are supreme legislation and subordinate legislation.

The term ‘legislation’ connotes two different meanings; the laws made by the legislature itself are also called legislature whereas the process by which the laws are made is also termed as legislation.

Legislation refers to the set of statutory law which has been passed by a legislature and confirmed by the executive.

Black law dictionary, “The process of making or enacting a positive law in written form according to some formal procedure by a branch of government constituted to perform this process.”

Legislation is an action of legislating; specially the exercise of the power and functions of making laws that have the force of authority by virtue of promulgation by an official organ of the state. 

According to Allen “Legislation is the characteristic law making instrument of modern societies, expressing the relationship between individuals and the state. In modern societies legislation is the most direct and prolific source of law.   

 

Legislation is making of law or creating new legal norms by sub- legislative authority.

Legislation is creation, alteration or repeal of law by a sovereign authority.

Legislation is the characteristic law making instrument in modern society.

Holland: The making of general orders by our judges is as true legislation as is carried on by the crown.

Austin: Activities, which results into law making or amending, transforming or inserting new provisions into the existing law.

UK Parliament: Legislation is a law or a set of laws that have been passed by Parliament.

The making of legislation is done with the following principle in mind:

omnis definitio in iure civili periculosa

Or, 

“Every definition of law is dangerous”  

  • Legislation is law which has been promulgated by a legislature or other governing body or the process of making it.
  • Legislation can have many purposes:

To regulate

To authorize

To outline

To provide

To sanction

To grant

To declare

To restrict

  • Legislation is the laws enacted by parliament or institution using the parliamentary authority. 

 

According to:

Cambridge Advanced Lerner’s dictionary: A law or set of laws suggested by a government and made official by a parliament. 

Collins English Dictionary: Legislation consists of laws or laws passed by the government. 

Sir Henry Maine: Legislation is the last ameliorative agency of social reform and social change after legal friction and equity.

Merriam Webster: The exercise of the power and function of making rules that have the force of authority by virtue of their promulgation by an official organ of a state or other organizations. 

UK Parliament: Legislation is a law or set of laws that have been passed by a parliament. 

Austin: There cannot be legislation without a legislative act. 

The exercise of the power or function of making rules that have the force of authority by virtue of this promulgation by an official organ of state or other organization.

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 the 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.