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Legislation: Subordinate legislation

Key points

  • named because Parliament has delegated power to a government department or local council to make further laws under an Act
  • often administrative in nature (eg, expiation fees or forms)
  • contain content that can change frequently
  • also called legislative instruments or subordinate legislation

Photo by Thennicke, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Types of subordinate legislation

  • the most common form of subordinate legislation
  • developed under an enabling Act (sometimes called a parent Act)
  • provide a lot of detail about the framework that the Act has set up
  • often administrative in nature (eg. including expiation fees or forms)
  • do not need to be debated to Parliament to change
  • published in the Government Gazette on the day they are made

Quick links

  • created and function in the same way as Regulations
  • Examples include court rules, Australian Road Rules

Quick links

  • made by a public authority such as a local government body or statutory corporation
  • having effect only within the area of responsibility of the authority
  • A wide range of statutory authorities are commonly authorised to make by-laws for specific purposes and also generally for purposes incidental to carrying out their statutory functions.
  • By-laws are generally subject to the usual rules concerning delegated legislation including that they be reasonable, published and not ultra vires (beyond their power). (Encyclopaedic Australian Legal Dictionary)

Where to find by-laws

By-laws can usually be found on the relevant Council or body website; eg, Adelaide City Council by-laws can be found on the Council website.

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