Henry VIII clauses

The Government sometimes adds a provision to a Bill which enables the Government to repeal or amend it after it has become an Act of Parliament. The provision enables the amendment of primary legislation using delegated (or secondary) legislation. Such provisions are known as "Henry VIII clauses". The House of Lords Select Committee on the Scrutiny of Delegated Powers in its first report of 1992-93 defined a Henry VIII clause as: a provision in a Bill which enables primary legislation to be amended or repealed by subordinate legislation, with or without further Parliamentary scrutiny. [HL 57 1992-93, para 10] The clauses were so named from the Statute of Proclamations 1539, which gave King Henry VIII power to legislate by proclamation.


Related information can be found from the following links.

Related glossary term: Bills

Brief Guide: Delegated Legislation (PDF PDF 350 KB) 

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