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An act of parliament, also called primary legislation, are statutes passed by a parliament (legislature).Act of the Oireachtas is an equivalent term used in the Republic of Ireland where the legislature is commonly known by its Irish name, Oireachtas . The United States Act of Congress is based on it.
A statute is a formal written enactment of a legislative authority that governs the legal entities of a city, state, or country by way of consent. Typically, statutes command or prohibit something, or declare policy. Statutes are rules made by legislative bodies; they are distinguished from case law or precedent, which is decided by courts, and regulations issued by government agencies.
In modern politics and history, a parliament is a legislative body of government. Generally, a modern parliament has three functions: representing the electorate, making laws, and overseeing the government via hearings and inquiries.
A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority to make laws for a political entity such as a country or city. Legislatures form important parts of most governments; in the separation of powers model, they are often contrasted with the executive and judicial branches of government.
A draft Act of Parliament is known as a bill.
In territories with a Westminster system, most bills that have any possibility of becoming law are introduced into parliament by the government. This will usually happen following the publication of a "white paper", setting out the issues and the way in which the proposed new law is intended to deal with them. A bill may also be introduced into parliament without formal government backing; this is known as a private member's bill.
The Westminster system is a parliamentary system of government developed in England, now a constituent country within the United Kingdom. This term comes from the Palace of Westminster, the seat of the British Parliament. The system is a series of procedures for operating a legislature. It is used, or was once used, in the national and subnational legislatures of most former British Empire colonies upon gaining responsible government, beginning with the first of the Canadian provinces in 1848 and the six Australian colonies between 1855 and 1890. However, some former colonies have since adopted either the presidential system or a hybrid system as their form of government.
A white paper is an authoritative report or guide that informs readers concisely about a complex issue and presents the issuing body's philosophy on the matter. It is meant to help readers understand an issue, solve a problem, or make a decision.
A private member's bill in a parliamentary system of government is a bill introduced into a legislature by a legislator who is not acting on behalf of the executive branch. The designation "private member's bill" is used in most Westminster System jurisdictions, in which a "private member" is any member of parliament (MP) who is not a member of the cabinet (executive). Other labels may be used for the concept in other parliamentary systems; for example, the label member's bill is used in the Scottish Parliament and in the Parliament of New Zealand. In presidential systems with a separation of the executive from the legislature, the concept does not arise since the executive cannot initiate legislation, and bills are introduced by individual legislators.
In territories with a multicameral parliament, most bills may be first introduced in any chamber. However, certain types of legislation are required, either by constitutional convention or by law, to be introduced into a specific chamber. For example, bills imposing a tax, or involving public expenditure, are introduced into the House of Commons in the United Kingdom, Canada's House of Commons, Lok Sabha of India and Ireland's Dáil as a matter of law. Conversely, bills proposed by the Law Commission and consolidation bills traditionally start in the House of Lords.
In contrast to unicameralism, multicameralism is the condition in which a legislature is divided into several deliberative assemblies, which are commonly called "chambers" or "houses". This can include bicameralism with two chambers, tricameralism with three, tetracameralism with four branches, or a system with any amount more. The word "multicameral" can also relate in other ways to its literal meaning of "many chambered" with use in science or biology.
A constitutional convention is an informal and uncodified procedural agreement that is followed by the institutions of a state. In some states, notably those Commonwealth of Nations states that follow the Westminster system and whose political systems derive from British constitutional law, most government functions are guided by constitutional convention rather than by a formal written constitution. In these states, actual distribution of power may be markedly different from those the formal constitutional documents describe. In particular, the formal constitution often confers wide discretionary powers on the head of state that, in practice, are used only on the advice of the head of government, and in some cases not at all.
A tax is a compulsory financial charge or some other type of levy imposed upon a taxpayer by a governmental organization in order to fund various public expenditures. A failure to pay, along with evasion of or resistance to taxation, is punishable by law. Taxes consist of direct or indirect taxes and may be paid in money or as its labour equivalent. The first known taxation took place in Ancient Egypt around 3000–2800 BC.
Once introduced, a bill must go through a number of stages before it can become law. In theory, this allows the bill's provisions to be debated in detail, and for amendments to the original bill to also be introduced, debated, and agreed to.
In bicameral parliaments, a bill that has been approved by the chamber into which it was introduced then sends the bill to the other chamber. Broadly speaking, each chamber must separately agree to the same version of the bill. Finally, the approved bill receives assent; in most territories this is merely a formality, and is often a function exercised by the head of state.
A head of state is the public persona who officially represents the national unity and legitimacy of a sovereign state. Depending on the country's form of government and separation of powers, the head of state may be a ceremonial figurehead or concurrently the head of government. In a parliamentary system, the head of state usually has mostly ceremonial powers, with a separate head of government, although in some parliamentary systems, such as Botswana, the head of state is also the head of government. Likewise, in some parliamentary systems the head of state is not the head of government, but still has significant powers, for example Morocco. In contrast, a semi-presidential system, such as France, has both heads of state and government as the leaders de facto of the nation. Meanwhile, in presidential systems such as the United States, the head of state is also the head of government.
In some countries, such as in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain and Portugal, the term for a bill differs depending on whether it is initiated by the government (when it is known as a "project"), or by the Parliament (a "proposition", i.e., a private member's bill).
France, officially the French Republic, is a sovereign state whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.0 million. France is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.
Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a sovereign state in Western Europe. It is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the southwest, and the North Sea to the northwest. It covers an area of 30,688 km2 (11,849 sq mi) and has a population of more than 11.4 million. The capital and largest city is Brussels; other major cities are Antwerp, Ghent, Charleroi and Liège.
Luxembourg, officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, is a small landlocked country in western Europe. It is bordered by Belgium to the west and north, Germany to the east, and France to the south. Its capital, Luxembourg City, is one of the four official capitals of the European Union and the seat of the European Court of Justice, the highest judicial authority in the EU. Its culture, people, and languages are highly intertwined with its neighbours, making it essentially a mixture of French and German cultures, as evident by the nation's three official languages: French, German, and the national language, Luxembourgish. The repeated invasions by Germany, especially in World War II, resulted in the country's strong will for mediation between France and Germany and, among other things, led to the foundation of the European Union.
In Australia, the bill passes through the following stages:
In Canada, the bill passes through the following stages:
In Canada, a standing committee is a permanent committee established by Standing Orders of the House of Commons or the Senate. It may study matters referred to it by special order or, within its area of responsibility in the Standing Orders, may undertake studies on its own initiative. There are currently 23 standing committees in the House and 20 in the Senate, many with particular responsibilities to examine the administration, policy development, and budgetary estimates of certain government departments and agencies. Certain standing committees are also given mandates to examine matters that have government-wide implications or that may not relate to a particular department.
The debate on each stage is actually debate on a specific motion. For the first reading, there is no debate. For the second reading, the motion is "That this bill be now read a second time and be referred to [name of committee]" and for third reading "That this bill be now read a third time and pass." In the Committee stage, each clause is called and motions for amendments to these clauses, or that the clause stand part of the bill are made. In the Report stage, the debate is on the motions for specific amendments.
Once a bill has passed both Houses in an identical form, it receives final, formal examination by the Governor General, who gives it the royal assent. Although the Governor General can refuse to assent a bill or reserve the bill for the Queen at this stage, this power has never been exercised.
Bills being reviewed by Parliament are assigned numbers: 2 to 200 for government bills, 201 to 1000 for private member's bills, and 1001 up for private bills. They are preceded by C- if they originate in the House of Commons, or S- if they originate in the Senate. For example, Bill C-250 was a private member's bill introduced in the House. Bills C-1 and S-1 are pro forma bills, and are introduced at the beginning of each session in order to assert the right of each Chamber to manage its own affairs. They are introduced and read a first time, and then are dropped from the Order Paper.
In the Parliament of India, every bill passes through following stages before it becomes an Act of Parliament of India:
In the Irish Parliament, the Oireachtas, bills pass through the following stages:Bills may be initiated in either the Dáil or the Seanad, and must pass both houses.
In New Zealand, the bill passes through the following stages:
A draft piece of legislation is called a bill, when this is passed by Parliament it becomes an Act and part of statute law. There are two types of bill and Act, public and private. Public Acts apply to the whole of the UK or a number of its constituent countries — England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Private Acts are local and personal in their effect, giving special powers to bodies such as local authorities or making exceptions to the law in particular geographic areas.
In the United Kingdom Parliament, each bill passes through the following stages:
In the Scottish Parliament,bills pass through the following stages:
There are special procedures for emergency bills, member's bills (similar to private member's bills in the UK Parliament), committee bills, and private bills.
In Singapore, the bill passes through these certain stages before becoming into an Act of Parliament.
Acts passed by the Parliament of England did not originally have titles, and could only be formally cited by reference to the parliamentary session in which they were passed, with each individual Act being identified by year and chapter number. Descriptive titles began to be added to the enrolled Acts by the official clerks, as a reference aid; over time, titles came to be included within the text of each bill. Since the mid-nineteenth century, it has also become common practice for Acts to have a short title, as a convenient alternative to the sometimes lengthy main titles. The Short Titles Act 1892, and its replacement the Short Titles Act 1896, gave short titles to many Acts which previously lacked them.
The numerical citation of Acts has also changed over time. The original method was based on the regnal year(s) in which the relevant parliament session met. This has been replaced in most territories by simple reference to the calendar year, with the first Act passed being chapter 1, and so on.
In the United Kingdom, legislation is referenced by year and chapter number. Each act is numbered consecutively based on the date they received royal assent. for example the 43rd act passed in 1980 would be 1980 Chapter 43. The full reference includes the title and would be The Magistrate's Court Act 1980 C. 43.
Until the 1980s, Acts of the Australian state of Victoria were numbered in a continuous sequence from 1857; thus the Age of Majority Act 1977 was No. 9075 of 1977.
The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known internationally as the UK Parliament, British Parliament, or Westminster Parliament, and domestically simply as Parliament, is the supreme legislative body of the United Kingdom, the Crown dependencies and the British Overseas Territories. It alone possesses legislative supremacy and thereby ultimate power over all other political bodies in the UK and the overseas territories. Parliament is bicameral but has three parts, consisting of the Sovereign, the House of Lords, and the House of Commons. The two houses meet in the Palace of Westminster in the City of Westminster, one of the inner boroughs of the capital city, London.
The Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949 are two Acts of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which form part of the constitution of the United Kingdom. Section 2(2) of the Parliament Act 1949 provides that the two Acts are to be construed as one.
The Parliament of Canada is the federal legislature of Canada, seated at Parliament Hill in Ottawa, the national capital. The body consists of the Canadian monarch, represented by a viceroy, the Governor General; an upper house, the Senate; and a lower house, the House of Commons. Each element has its own officers and organization. By constitutional convention, the House of Commons is dominant, with the Senate and monarch rarely opposing its will. The Senate reviews legislation from a less partisan standpoint and the monarch or viceroy provides royal assent to make bills into law.
The New Zealand House of Representatives is a component of the New Zealand Parliament, along with the Sovereign. The House passes all laws, provides ministers to form a Cabinet, and supervises the work of the Government. It is also responsible for adopting the state's budgets and approving the state's accounts.
A bill is proposed legislation under consideration by a legislature. A bill does not become law until it is passed by the legislature and, in most cases, approved by the executive. Once a bill has been enacted into law, it is called an act of the legislature, or a statute. Bills are introduced in the legislature and are discussed, debated and voted upon.
The Maryland General Assembly is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Maryland that convenes within the State House in Annapolis. It is a bicameral body: the upper chamber, the Maryland State Senate, has 47 representatives and the lower chamber, the Maryland House of Delegates, has 141 representatives. Members of both houses serve four-year terms. Each house elects its own officers, judges the qualifications and election of its own members, establishes rules for the conduct of its business, and may punish or expel its own members.
The Civil Marriage Act was legislation legalizing same-sex marriage across Canada. At the time the bill became law, same-sex marriage had already been legalized by court decisions in all Canadian provinces except Alberta and Prince Edward Island, as well as in the territories of Nunavut and the Northwest Territories.
India is a democracy having a Federal structure of government. Laws are made separately at different levels, by the Union Government/Federal Government for the whole country and by the State Governments for their respective states as well as by local municipal councils at district level. The Legislative procedure in India for the Union Government requires that proposed bills pass through the two legislative houses of the Parliament of India, i.e. the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. The legislative procedure for states with bicameral legislatures requires that proposed bills be passed, at least in the state's Lower House or the Vidhan Sabha and not mandatory to be passed in the Upper House or the Vidhan Parishad. For states with unicameral legislatures, laws and bills need to be passed only in the state's Vidhan Sabha, for they don't have a Vidhan Parishad.
The Parliament of The Bahamas is the bicameral national parliament of Commonwealth of The Bahamas. The parliament is formally made up of the Queen, an appointed Senate, and an elected House of Assembly. It currently sits at Nassau, the national capital.
A reading of a bill is a debate on the bill held by a general body of a legislature.
The Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It was enacted to replace the Regulatory Reform Act 2001 (RRA). The Act was and remains very controversial, because of a perception that it is an Enabling Act substantially removing the ancient British constitutional restriction on the Executive introducing and altering laws without assent or scrutiny by Parliament, and it has been called the "Abolition of Parliament Act".
In the British House of Commons, public bill committees consider Bills – proposed Acts of Parliament. The House of Lords does not have such committees, as Bills are usually considered by the House as a whole.
The Parliament of the Cook Islands is the legislature of the Cook Islands. Originally established under New Zealand’s United Nations mandate it became the national legislature on independence in 1965.
A committee of the whole is a meeting of a deliberative assembly according to modified procedural rules based on those of a committee. The committee includes all members of the assembly, except that some officers may be replaced. As with other committees, the activities of a committee of the whole are limited to considering and making recommendations on matters that the assembly has referred to it; it cannot take up other matters, nor can it vote directly on the assembly's business. The purpose of a committee of the whole is to relax the usual limits on debate, allowing a more open exchange of views without the urgency of a final vote. Debates in a committee of the whole may be recorded, but are often excluded from the assembly's minutes. After debating, the committee submits its conclusions to the assembly and business continues according to the normal rules.
In the United Kingdom an Act of Parliament is primary legislation passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom. As a result of the Glorious Revolution and the assertion of parliamentary sovereignty, any such Act is in theory supreme law that cannot be overturned by any body other than Parliament, although it has been recognised through the United Kingdom's membership of the European Union that Acts or parts of Acts which conflict with EU law can be disapplied.
Royal Succession Bills and Acts are pieces of (proposed) legislation to determine the legal line of succession to the Monarchy of the United Kingdom.
The European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that provides for repealing the European Communities Act 1972, and for Parliamentary approval of the withdrawal agreement being negotiated between HM Government and the European Union.
The European Union Act 2017 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom to empower the Prime Minister to give to the Council of the European Union the formal notice – required by Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union – for starting negotiations for the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union.
The European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2019, sometimes referred to as the "Cooper–Letwin Bill", is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that makes provisions for extensions to the period defined under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union related to the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union. It was introduced to the House of Commons by Labour MP Yvette Cooper and Conservative MP Sir Oliver Letwin on 3 April 2019, in an unusual process where the Government of the United Kingdom did not have control over Commons business that day.
It has now been published in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary, Part-II, Section-1, dated the 13th September 2013 as Act No. 22 of 2013