Skip to Main Content

LAW 200, 220, 250, 260 | Common Law in England

Professor Benesch, Professor Hubler.

Find Primary Legislation

Acts of Parliament are the supreme law in the United Kingdom. Acts of Parliament are sometimes called Primary Legislation, and fall into one of three categories: 

  • Public General Acts which are universally applied;
  • Private Acts which affect only specified localities, entities or individuals;
  • Hybrid Acts combines elements of both public and private acts.  

The majority of UK legal research involves Public General Acts.  

Links below search various aspects of and will provide UK legislation.

Image: Palace of Westminster (House of Parliament) at night as seen from the south bank of the River Thames, London. Diliff. Wikimedia Commons.  CC BY-SA 2.5.

Find Secondary Legislation

Secondary legislation, also known as delegated legislation, refers to specialized rules and regulations issued by ministers or governmental entities acting under authority delegated to them by an Act of Parliament. It is analogous to regulations issued by United States administrative agencies.

There are three types of secondary legislation:

  • Statutory Instruments (SI) are most common;
  • Orders in Council;
  • Orders of Council. 

This House of Commons Background Paper on Statutory Instruments (PDF) will provide more information on the distinctions between various types of secondary legislation.