Statutory Instruments greatly outnumber Acts of Parliament. They are divided into three categories: Orders, Rules and Regulations. All Statutory Instruments are available on the Legislation website.
Each Act will have at least one Commencement Order associated with it, in some cases there will be more than one Order bringing individual sections into force. For example, the Equality Act has 11 Commencement Orders associated with it, over a period of two years. Although the Act was enacted in 2010, some provisions did not come into force until two years later. Orders are divided into articles and subsections referred to as “Art 1(2). Most orders are very short and, other than Commencement Orders, the majority relate to temporary road closures and traffic restrictions.
Rules are the main source of procedural law, they explain in detail the process to be followed in specific cases. Rules are divided into numbered paragraphs in the same way as Acts, however, each paragraph is referred to as a ‘Rule’ rather than a section as in “r11(3). Like Acts of Parliament, rules also have introductory text containing the date when they were made. Most rules commence on the date when they were made unless specific details are given in the rules themselves.
Civil Procedure Rules
The Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) provide the framework for the whole of the civil litigation system in England and Wales and are extremely important. See Civil Procedure Rules for more information about their application to consumer matters. The Rules are supplemented by Practice Directions that provide detailed guidance for every stage of the civil litigation process. The full set of Rules and Practice Directions are found here.
When referring to the Civil Procedure Rules, it’s common to refer to them as CPR 15.4(1)(a). In these rules, paragraphs are numbered in two levels to start with, i.e. CPR 31.14 or CPR 24.2, followed by either a letter or a number and then a letter, for example we have CPR 24.2(a) and (b) and CPR 24.3(1)(a). Paragraphs referring to Practice Directions are referred to as “PD 7C1.2(3)(e)(1)”. By using the initials CPR is not necessary to make reference to the Civil Procedure Rules again within the paragraph.
Regulations complement statute law by addressing specific areas in greater detail. Statutes lay down the overall framework and regulations fill in the detail. They are also divided into numbered paragraphs, however, each paragraph is referred to as a ‘Regulation’, rather than a section or a rule, as in “reg 12(2). Regulations are followed by sub-paragraph numbers in the usual way. Some Regulations are divided into parts and may also have schedules. Most regulations commence on the date when they are made, unless otherwise indicated.