Who should make statutory laws? The legislature! The answer to this question seems self-evident. Still, all legislatures in Europe pass on some of their power to make statutes to other actors. Traditionally, legislative power has been conferred to the executive. More recently, independent agencies and private actors are receiving legislative powers. Whereas the executive was still controlled by voters or by parliamentary representatives of the voters, these 'non-democratically legitimized actors' are not or to a lesser extent.
When may the legislature outsource to these non-democratically legitimized actors? Which guarantees must be met in the norms of these actors? Constitutions are mostly silent on these fundamental questions. Therefore, policy makers, politicians and legal practitioners remain in the dark on the legal sustainability and outer limits of legislative outsourcing to non-democratically legitimized actors.
This research first aims to derive, from existing treaties, constitutions and statutes, the constitutional principles that determine the limits for legislatures to confer their legislative powers. Second, the research establishes minimum legal safeguards that the norms, made by nondemocratically legitimized actors pursuant to legislative outsourcing, must meet. Ultimately the comparative conclusions for Belgium, France, Germany and the UK will enable us to understand a crucial practice in modern European law-making.