Problems with Delegated Powers

Delegated powers are powers given to a person or organisation by a higher authority to make decisions or take actions, can raise several problems in the context of UK administrative law. Here are some of the most significant issues:

Accountability: When powers are delegated, it can be challenging to determine who is ultimately responsible for the actions taken. Ministers may delegate authority to civil servants or other officials, but they remain accountable to Parliament for the actions of their department. However, if something goes wrong, it may not be clear who should be held responsible.

Lack of transparency: Delegated powers may also raise issues of transparency, particularly when decisions are made behind closed doors by unelected officials. This lack of transparency can undermine public trust in the decision-making process.

Abuse of power: There is a risk that delegated powers may be abused by those who hold them. Officials may use their delegated powers to make decisions that are not in the public interest, or to further their own personal interests.

Inconsistency: Delegated powers may also lead to inconsistent decision-making, as different officials may interpret their powers differently. This can create confusion and uncertainty, particularly for those affected by the decisions.

Lack of oversight: Finally, there may be a lack of oversight when powers are delegated. While ministers are ultimately responsible for the actions of their department, they may not have direct oversight of every decision made by officials. This lack of oversight can lead to mistakes and misjudgments that may have serious consequences for those affected.

These issues highlight the need for careful consideration when delegating powers, and for adequate systems of accountability and oversight to ensure that decisions are made in the public interest.
Back to blog
UOL Case Bank

UOL Case Bank

Upon joining, you become a valuable UOL student and gain instant access to over 2,100 case summaries. UOL Case Bank is constantly expanding. Speed up your revision with us now.

Subscribe Now

Where are our students from?

Yale University
Council of Europe
Baker Mckenzie 
University of Chicago
Columbia University
New York University
University of Michigan 
University College London (UCL)
London School of Economics (LSE)
King’s College London (KCL)
University of London
University of Manchester
University of Zurich
University of York
Brandeis University
University of Exeter
University of Sheffield
Boston University
University of Washington
University of Leeds
University of Law
Royal Holloway, University of London 
Birkbeck, University of London
SOAS, University of London
University of Kent
University of Hull
Queen’s University Belfast
Toronto Metropolitan University
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
University of Buckingham

  • Criminal Practice

    Diagrams and Charts

    Our carefully designed diagrams and charts will guide you through complex legal issues.

  • Criminal Law

    Clear and Succinct Definitions

    Key concepts are concisely defined to help you understand legal topics quickly.

  • Property Law

    Statutory Provisions

    Statutory provisions are provided side by side with legal concepts to help you swiftly locate the relevant legislation.

  • Public Law

    Case Summaries

    We have summarised important cases for you so that you don't need to read long and boring cases.

  • Evidence

    Rules and Exceptions

    Rules and exceptions are clearly listed so that you know when a rule applies and when it doesn't.

  • Company Law


    Legal terms and key concepts are explained at the beginning of each chapter to help you learn efficiently.

  • Case Law

    Case law is provided side by side with legal concepts so that you know how legal principles and precedents were established.

  • Law Exam Guide

    Law Essay Guide

    You will learn essential law exam skills and essay writing techniques that are not taught in class.

  • Law Exam Guide

    Problem Question Guide

    We will show you how to answer problem questions step by step to achieve first-class results.

  • Conflict of Laws

    Structured Explanations

    Complex legal concepts are broken down into concise and digestible bullet point explanations.

  • Legal System and Method

    Legal Research

    You will learn legal research techniques with our study guide and become a proficient legal researcher.

  • Jurisprudence and Legal Theory


    All essential concepts, principles, and case law are included so that you can answer exam questions quickly.