Subordinate Legislation

Government Ministers (or another authorised person) can make laws called subordinate, delegated or secondary legislation, if they have the required powers under an Act of Parliament.

Subordinate legislation is often used to:

  • provide the details of how a law will be applied
  • bring a specific section (or sections) of an Act into force
  • amend existing Acts.

Further information on this process can be found on the Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee Webpage.


Negative Instruments

Negative instruments are usually made (that is, signed by a Minister) before they are laid before the Parliament, and they come into force generally 28 days after being laid.

Affirmative Instruments

Affirmative instruments are normally laid before the Parliament in draft form and require the approval of the Parliament in order to come into force or (more rarely) to remain in force. 

Consideration of instruments

Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016 (Register of Persons Holding a Controlled Interest in Land) (Scotland) Regulations

The Cabinet Secretary wrote to the Committee regarding the laying of a second draft of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016 (Register of Persons Holding a Controlled Interest in Land) (Scotland) Regulations. This is accompanied by a draft explanatory document, including a report outlining key changes made to the regulations following their first laying and a public consultation—

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Miscellaneous Amendments and Revocations) (Scotland) Regulations 2018

The Committee considered the above Regulations on 29 January 2019 and noted the findings of the Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee’s report of 23 January 2019. This report highlighted several drafting errors in these Regulations. Read Committee's letter:

The following instruments will be considered by the committee in due course:

The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (Keeping and Release and Notification Requirements) (Scotland) Amendment Order 2019

The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (Prohibition on Sale etc. of Invasive Animal and Plant Species) (Scotland) Order 2019

The Environment (EU Exit) (Scotland) (Amendment etc.) Regulations 2019

The Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) (EU Exit) (Scotland) (Amendment) Regulations 2019

The Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Amendment (Scotland) Regulations 2019

The Conservation of Salmon (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2019

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