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Parliamentary Papers at MU: Non-Parliamentary Papers

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Non-Parliamentary Papers


Non-Parliamentary Papers refers to legislation not directly enacted by Parliament.  Some are permitted by Parliament while another type, delegated legislation, is specifically authorized by Parliament.

Prior to 1921, there was a clear distinction between Parliamentary and Non-Parliamentary Papers.  Also, before 1921 many of the Non-Parliamentary Papers of today were published as either House of Commons Papers or Command Papers, but new rules dictated that these publications could no longer be included because they did not directly relate to the legislative process.  This led many Departmental Committees reports that were once Command Papers to become Non-Parliamentary, which was perhaps the largest change.

Three main categories:

Statutory Instruments: Is a type of delegated legislation.  Statutory Instruments are made by a minister with the authority of a Parliamentary Act or an Order in Council made by the sovereign.  They can be made general, or nation-wide, and local.  General instruments are published, while local ones are often not.  General instruments are published singularly first and later bound into annual volumes.  Also considered secondary legislation.

Reports:  These include annual reports of government institutions, reports of standing commissions and committees, departmental committees, reports of ad hoc investigative committees, and reports of working committees.  Some examples are Royal Mint reports and reports of the Commonwealth Graves Commission.  Some reports may be statistical based.

Information Publications:  Publications meant to inform the populace on a wide range of topics.  Generally for reference usage.

Types of Parliamentary Papers that may be published as Non-Parliamentary (mostly after 1921):

Reports of Departmental Committees--See Command Papers

Reports to accompany Reports of Royal Commissions--See Command Papers

Private Bills/Local and Personal Acts--See Sessional Papers 

Locating Non-Parliamentary Papers:

  1. Search for the promoting organization (e.g., Royal Mint, Committee on...) in MERLIN Catalog or MOBIUS Catalog; results are hit and miss.
  2. Search DirectGov which lists all secondary legislation for public services.