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.

The Committee receives instruments on a regular basis and the most up-to-date information on these can be found here: SSI Tracker.

For instruments considered previously by the Committee, use the following link.

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

Right to Buy Land to Further Sustainable Development (Eligible Land, Specified Types of Area and Restrictions on Transfers, Assignations and Dealing) (Scotland) Regulations 2020

The Committee wrote to the Cabinet Secretary on Part 5 of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016 (The Act). Read the letter and the response:

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—

The Committee wrote to the Cabinet Secretary in March 2020 requesting further information on the instrument. Read the letter and the response

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