What Forms Does Subsidiary Legislation Take-Types of subsidiary legislation
Individual instruments are typically said to be “made” rather than “enacted”. There is no special term in common use for the instrument before it is made. It is generally referred to as a “draft” instrument. The formal terms that you should use in your drafts to describe instruments, either collectively or individually, are indicated by the terminology adopted in the Interpretation Act/Laws. See the provisions of Section 37 subsection (1) of the Interpretation Act, Cap. 192 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990, for the definition of Subsidiary Instrument.
Example Box 1
The following is an example taken from the Model Interpretation
Act 1992, section 25 (1):
“subsidiary legislation” means proclamation, regulations, rules, rules of court,
byelaws, order, notice or other instrument made under a written law and having
The term “written law” is defined in the same section: “written law” means the provisions of the Constitution, an Act or subsidiary legislation for the time being in force.
Types of subsidiary legislation
Particular terms describe instruments when used for the following purposes.
Proclamation: the formal public announcement of legislation that is likely to be important or have significant consequences.
Regulations: subsidiary legislation of general application, especially that containing provisions of substantive law.
Rules: an instrument that prescribes procedural requirements rather than provisions of substantive law.
Rules of court: an instrument that prescribes procedural rules relating to court proceedings.
Bye-laws: subsidiary legislation made by statutory bodies to have local or specific application. Notice: a formal announcement of subsidiary legislation unlikely to have major significance for the general public.
Order: an instrument that applies provisions contained in the parent Act to specific persons, or classes of persons, or to specific cases or places.
We consider which is the most appropriate term for particular cases, in a later Course.
In conclusion, we discussed that particular terms describe instruments. The factor that distinguishes legislation from other kinds of rules or decisions is the source of the authority to make them. Only those bodies that have the legislative power conferred upon them can make legislative instruments.
In this Unit, you have confirmed your knowledge of the nature of legislative instruments, in particular Bill. You should now be able to describe the various types of legislative instrument in use in Nigeria and the forms primary/subsidiary legislation takes.