How to find subordinate legislation

March 1998

51.27 Constructive notice

The authority for the making of subordinate legislation can be found in any parent Act. It is not so easy to discover the subordinate legislation that has been made under that authority and passed into law, although as subordinate legislation has statutory force, any person bound by the provisions of the parent Act is deemed to have constructive notice of its existence.

51.28 Publications

The best source of information to discover all relevant subordinate legislation is a specialist publication which aims to bring the whole together. For the purpose of insolvency law, publications such as Butterworth’s "Insolvency Law Handbook", "The Annotated Guide to the Insolvency Legislation" (Sealy & Milman), "British Companies Legislation" (CCH Editions), Tolley’s "Insolvency Law Guide" and "Insolvency" by Totty and Moss aim to bring together most relevant legislation ie the Companies Acts, Company Directors Disqualification Act and others as well as the Insolvency Act, together with all supporting subordinate legislation. Official receivers with access to these publications on computer will find that cross referencing from a parent Act to its subordinate legislation is a simple windows based process ensuring that all relevant connections in the legislation are made.

51.29 Overlapping legislation

There is often an overlap in subject matter between Acts themselves and also between pieces of subordinate legislation. For example the Employment Rights Act 1996 and the Financial Services Act 1986, inter alia, will carry provisions having a bearing on insolvency practice. Sometimes an Act will insert new sections into another Act, as the Companies Act 1989 did with section 22A of the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 in applying the provisions of that Act to Building Societies. Section 22A itself cross references with the Building Societies Act 1986. The use of general insolvency publications such as those in paragraph 51.28 will ensure that official receivers have informed themselves fully.

51.30 Amendments to subordinate legislation

Subordinate legislation may also be amended by other subordinate legislation. For example, the Banking Co-ordination (Second Council Directive) Regulations 1992 which were made under the European Communities Act 1972 amended Regulation 2 of the Insolvency Regulations 1986 defining a bank to include European deposit-takers in England and Wales. This was then incorporated into the Insolvency Regulations 1994 which revoked those passed in 1986 subject to transitional savings.

51.31 Other applications

Statutory instruments can be drawn very narrowly to cover a particular aspect of the subject of a parent Act. These are also contained in general publications and cover such diverse matters as the Insolvency Practitioners Tribunal (Conduct of Investigations) Rules 1986 and the Insolvency Practitioners (Recognised Professional Bodies) Order 1986.

51.32 Totty and Moss annex

All extant subordinate legislation is given in an annex to "Insolvency" by Totty and Moss. A list of such legislation is produced as an annex to this chapter.


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