Legislation

Legislation

An important part of our work is drafting legislation to give effect to decisions on policy by Government.

Proposals for legislation are called “Bills” and they must be passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas (Dáil Eireann and Seanad Eireann) and signed by the President to become law. A process of consultation with Government Departments and groups likely to be affected by the Bill will have taken place beforehand.

Our Legislative Programme includes legislation being developed by other Government Departments.

Department of Health legislation

Further information on the different stages of a Bill

Statutory Instruments

Secondary legislation, in the form of Statutory Instruments, is governed by the Statutory Instruments Act 1947. There are five main types of statutory instrument orders, regulations, rules, bye-laws and schemes.

Statutory Instruments have a wide variety of functions. They are not enacted by the Oireachtas but allow persons or bodies to whom legislative power has been delegated by statute to legislate in relation to detailed day-to-day matters arising from the operation of the relevant primary legislation. Statutory instruments are used, for example, to implement European Council Directives and delegate the powers of Ministers.

Specified Government Ministers and other agencies and bodies are authorised to make Statutory Instruments and several hundred instruments are made annually.

The electronic Irish Statute Book (eISB) includes Acts of the Oireachtas and Statutory Instruments, the official versions of which remain the printed versions published by Government Publications. The eISB also includes the Legislation Directory.

Statutory Instruments from the Department of Health