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Statutory authority

A statutory authority is a body set up by law which is authorised to enact legislation on behalf of the relevant country or state. They are typically found in countries which are governed by a British style of parliamentary democracy such as the UK and British Commonwealth countries like Canada, Australia, New Zealand and India. They are also found in Israel and elsewhere. Statutory authorities may also be statutory corporations, if created as a body corporate.

Federal statutory authorities are established under the PGPA Act 2013. "A statutory authority is a generic term for an authorisation by Parliament given to a person or group of people to exercise specific powers. A statutory authority can be established as a corporate Commonwealth entity or a non-corporate Commonwealth entity. A statutory authority may also be a body within a Commonwealth entity, exercising the powers given by Parliament but administratively part of the entity."

A statutory corporation is defined in the government glossary as a "statutory body that is a body corporate, including an entity created under section 87 of the PGPA Act" (i.e. a statutory authority may be a statutory corporation). An earlier definition describes a statutory corporation as "a statutory authority that is a body corporate", and the New South Wales Government's Land Registry Services defines a state-owned corporation as "a statutory authority that has corporate status".

Statutory authorities at the State or Territory level are established under corresponding State or Territory laws. Each statutory authority tends to have its own enabling legislation, or originating act, even if it was established before the relevant over-riding legislation, For example, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) was established in 1949 by the Science and Industry Research Act, but it has since come under the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 as legislation covering statutory authorities has evolved.

Laws made by statutory authorities are usually referred to as regulations. They are not cited in the same fashion as an act of parliament, but usually with specific initials (depending on the authority) and a number.

Just as Laws enacted by Parliament, all laws made by a statutory authority must be published in the Government Gazette.