New Zealand Law Society - Law Society celebrates the enactment of the Secondary Legislation Act 2021

Law Society celebrates the enactment of the Secondary Legislation Act 2021

This week the New Zealand Law Society | Te Kāhui Ture o Aotearoa co-hosted an event at Parliament to celebrate the enactment of the Secondary Legislation Act 2021. We were invited to co-host the event with the Parliamentary Counsel Office and the Attorney-General to reflect our broader contribution to the Act’s development and the value of the mahi leading up to the Act’s enactment.

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The Secondary Legislation Act was enacted on 24 March 2021 and will operate alongside the Legislation Act 2019 to implement some of the Regulations Review Committee’s recommendations for change and to establish another category of law known as secondary legislation.

Secondary legislation is law made by someone other than Parliament under a power that Parliament has formally delegated in a particular Act of Parliament – the primary legislation. The Act ensures Parliament has oversight and can disallow secondary legislation unless it is made exempt. The Act also requires secondary legislation made following the reforms to be notified in the New Zealand Gazette and published online.

“The Act is now a constellation of laws of enormous practical importance to New Zealand” says Jason McHerron, convenor of the Law Society’s Public and Administrative Law Committee.

“One of the core statutory functions of the Law Society is to assist and promote law reform for the purpose of upholding the rule of law and facilitating the administration of justice.

“The Law Society prepares submissions on Bills and other law reform proposals on behalf of the legal profession and in the public interest.

“For this task it relies on the commitment and industry of its committee members – they are lawyers who volunteer their time and expertise because they care about improving the quality of legislation for the benefit of the community.

“Nothing could be closer to this kaupapa than the Secondary Legislation Act that was celebrated at this event.

“In the Law Society’s submissions, which were presented by members of its Public and Administrative Law Committee, we welcomed the improvements these laws will make to people’s ability to access the law and to understand their obligations and rights.

“As well, we welcomed the fact that these laws uphold the constitutional principle that Parliament is the supreme legislative power in our democracy” says Jason.