Primary legislation

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Primary legislation is law made by the legislative branch of government. This contrasts with secondary legislation, which is usually made by the executive branch. Secondary (or delegated) legislation must be authorised by primary legislation, and conform to boundaries it has laid down.

In the United Kingdom, and other Commonwealth nations, primary legislation takes the form of an Act of Parliament, and in the United States, it is (at federal level) an Act of Congress. In European Union law, the founding treaties are the main primary legislation.[1]

Section 21(1) of the Human Rights Act 1998 contains a definition of "primary legislation".


  1. ^ "Sources of European Union law". Europa. 28 August 2010. 

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