Are EU Regulations more analogous to Acts of Parliament or Statutory Instruments - or something completely different?

Acts tend to be less frequent, while Statutory Instruments are subservient and implement Acts (or EU Directives).

Where do EU Regulations fit in terms of size, scope and frequency?

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    I think you may have misunderstood the distinction. An Act is primary legislation, debated and voted on in Parliament, a Statutory Instrument is secondary legislation created when a competent party (usually a government minister) issues it. Historically acts could be extremely specific, up to and including authorising a divorce parliament.uk/business/publications/parliamentary-archives/… – origimbo Oct 30 '18 at 13:42
  • Thank you. But SIs always have a parent Act (or EU Directive)? I have modified my observation about Acts. – 52d6c6af Oct 30 '18 at 13:50
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    Yes, there will be a parent Act in the sense that there needs to be something granting the person issuing the SI the authority to do so. – origimbo Oct 30 '18 at 13:57
  • It could be argued that they're closer (but not the same as) treaties, in that they apply to multiple countries, and supersede national laws. The key difference is that national parliaments are typically needed to ratify treaties, whereas EU regulations become law in EU countries without national parliaments being involved. – Steve Melnikoff Oct 31 '18 at 17:01

The EU has got a number of different legislative instruments that it uses.

A Regulation is (referring to your question) analogous to an Act of Parliament. Regulations are EU wide laws which directly take effect in all EU countries.

A Directive is a piece of legislation that sets out a goal which all member states have to comply with. Directives are not laws that directly take effect, but the member states have to pass their own laws in order to comply with the directive.

A Decision is binding to those who it is addressed to. I guess this is most closest to Statutory Instruments as related to your question.

A Recommendation is a non-binding proposal about what member states or their institutions should do.

An Opinion is a non-binding way for EU institutions to make their stand point known.

Depending on the instrument and legal area different processes take effect to pass the legislation. Most common is that the Commission makes a proposal and the council and parliament have to vote by majority in favor.

As to size, scope and frequency. EU Regulations are the most powerful pieces of legislation in the EU. Therefore they generally have a bigger scope and lower frequency, because in most cases Council, Parliament and Commission have to agree on a common piece of legislation.

  • Are decisions ECJ judgements, which are then applicable similar to case law precedent? – 52d6c6af Oct 30 '18 at 14:13
  • When searching for UK SIs that implement EU directives I could find 173 SIs in 2016. But when searching for EU regulations in 2016 I found 1759 results using the search engine linked below. Is there a problem with my search criteria of simply filtering for regulations? eur-lex.europa.eu/… – 52d6c6af Oct 30 '18 at 14:18
  • Decisions are not ECJ Judgments but are taken for example by the Commission. As to the search criteria I can't tell. But it seems surprising that there are 10 times as many regulations as directives. – redleo85 Oct 30 '18 at 15:01

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