Nov 05, 2012— read in full
You’re probably used to some local laws, like those against skating or drinking alcohol in certain areas. But did you know some laws can be made by private companies?
What is a byelaw?
Not all laws are made by the government. Some Acts of Parliament give other organisations the power to make laws– usually local councils. These local laws are called “byelaws”.
For example, the Local Government Act 1972 allows local authorities to make their own laws against causing damage to road signs and urinating in public.
However, local authorities cannot just invent any law they like.. All new byelaws have to be approved by the Government before they come into force.
Who can make byelaws?
Although most byelaws are made by local authorities, some powers are given to organisations like the National Trust and even to private companies.
In these cases, the laws usually cover a very small area. For example, companies which run airports can make byelaws to control safety rules and speed limits on airport roads.
What are byelaws for?
There are two big advantages to passing on law-making powers.
- Efficiency: It would take a long time for the details of local laws to be worked out in Parliament. Passing powers on frees up ministers so they can work on other things.
- Expertise: Bye-laws control issues in specific places.I It does not make sense for them all to be set by central government, which may not be familiar with the area or the issue. Therefore, it is easier for local councils to make laws that fit their area.