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In law, coming into force or entry into force (also called commencement) is the process by which legislation, regulations, treaties and other legal instruments come to have legal force and effect. The term is closely related to the date of this transition. The point at which such instrument comes into effect may be set out in the instrument itself, or after the lapse of a certain period, or upon the happening of a certain event, such as a proclamation or an objective event, such as the birth, marriage, reaching a particular age or death of a certain person. On rare occasions,[ which? ] the effective date of a law may be backdated to a date before the enactment.[ citation needed ]
To come into force, a treaty or Act first needs to receive the required number of votes or ratifications. Sometimes, as with most treaties, this number may be stipulated in the treaty itself. Other times, as is usual with laws or regulations, it will be spelt out in a superior law, such as a constitution or the standing orders of the legislature in which it originated.
Coming into force generally includes publication in an official gazette so that people know the law or treaty exists.
After their adoption, treaties as well as their amendments may have to follow the official legal procedures of the organisation, such as the United Nations, that sponsored it, including signature, ratification, and entry into force.
The process of enactment, by which a bill becomes an Act, is separate from commencement. Even if a bill passes through all necessary stages to become an Act, it may not automatically come into force. Moreover, an Act may be repealed having never come into force.
A country's law could determine that on being passed by lawmakers a bill becomes an act without further ado. However, more usually, the process whereby a bill becomes an Act is well prescribed in general constitutional or administrative legislation. This process varies from country to country, and from political system to political system.
Typically, the process by which a bill becomes an Act includes signature or some other token of assent by the head of state and publication in an official gazette. In some systems, the head of state or some other official is required to definitely signify his approval, as for example in the granting of royal assent in the Commonwealth realms. In others, a bill automatically becomes an Act unless vetoed, as for example in the United States. But these steps do not, in themselves, make an act legally binding on the population. An act is typically brought into force in one of three ways:
It is not necessarily the case that a statute which comes into force remains in force until it is repealed; it may be explicitly brought out of force, and perhaps later brought back into force. For example, in Ireland, Section V of the Offences against the State Act 1939 (which provides for the Special Criminal Court) goes in and out of force by government proclamation:it was brought into force on 24 August 1939, out of force on 2 October 1962, and back into force on 26 May 1972.
Section 4 of the Interpretation Act 1978 provides:
An Act or provision of an Act comes into force—
- (a) where provision is made for it to come into force on a particular day, at the beginning of that day;
- (b) where no provision is made for its coming into force, at the beginning of the day on which the Act receives the Royal Assent.
This replaces the corresponding provision in the Acts of Parliament (Commencement) Act 1793.
Schedule 1 of that Act contains the following definition:
"Commencement", in relation to an Act or enactment, means the time when the Act or enactment comes into force.
Sections 14(1) and (2) of the Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954 read:
(1) Every enactment which is not expressed to come into force or operation on a particular day shall come into operation immediately on the expiration of the day before the date of the passing thereof, or, where the enactment is a statutory instrument, of the making thereof.
(2) Where an enactment is expressed to come into force or operation on a particular day (whether such day is before or after the date of the passing of such enactment, or where the enactment is a statutory instrument, of the making thereof, and whether such day is named in the enactment or is to be appointed or fixed or ascertained in any other manner) the enactment shall be construed as coming into force immediately on the expiration of the day before that particular day.
In an enactment the expression "commencement", when used with reference to any statutory provision, means the time at which that provision comes into operation.
Sections 2 and 3 of the Interpretation and Legislative Reform (Scotland) Act 2010,which applies to Acts of the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Statutory Instruments, provide-
2 Commencement of Acts of the Scottish Parliament
(1) Subsection (2) applies where no provision is made for the coming into force of an Act of the Scottish Parliament.
(2) The Act comes into force at the beginning of the day after the day on which the Bill for the Act receives Royal Assent.
3 Commencement of Acts of the Scottish Parliament and Scottish instruments: time
(1) Subsection (2) applies where an Act of the Scottish Parliament or a Scottish instrument provides for the Act or instrument to come into force on a particular day.
(2) The Act or instrument comes into force at the beginning of the day.
This replaces the temporary provision made by the Scotland Act 1998 (Transitory and Transitional Provisions) (Publication and Interpretation etc. of Acts of the Scottish Parliament) Order 1999.
The Statute of Westminster 1931 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom whose modified versions are now domestic law within Australia and Canada; it has been repealed in New Zealand and implicitly in former Dominions that are no longer Commonwealth realms. Passed on 11 December 1931, the act, either immediately or upon ratification, effectively both established the legislative independence of the self-governing Dominions of the British Empire from the United Kingdom and bound them all to seek each other's approval for changes to monarchical titles and the common line of succession. It thus became a statutory embodiment of the principles of equality and common allegiance to the Crown set out in the Balfour Declaration of 1926. As the statute removed nearly all of the British parliament's authority to legislate for the Dominions, it had the effect of making the Dominions largely sovereign nations in their own right. It was a crucial step in the development of the Dominions as separate states.
The European Communities Act 1972, also known as the ECA 1972, was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which made legal provision for the accession of the United Kingdom to the three European Communities – the European Economic Community, European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom), and the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC); the EEC and ECSC subsequently became the European Union. The Act also incorporated into the domestic law of the United Kingdom Community Law and its acquis communautaire, its treaties, regulations and directives, together with judgments of the European Court of Justice, and the Community Customs Union, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and the Common Fisheries Policy (FCP).
A statutory instrument (SI) is the principal form in which delegated legislation is made in Great Britain.
The law of Ireland consists of constitutional, statute and common law. The highest law in the State is the Constitution of Ireland, from which all other law derives its authority. The Republic has a common-law legal system with a written constitution that provides for a parliamentary democracy based on the British parliamentary system, albeit with a popularly elected president, a separation of powers, a developed system of constitutional rights and judicial review of primary legislation.
Promulgation is the formal proclamation or the declaration that a new statutory or administrative law is enacted after its final approval. In some jurisdictions, this additional step is necessary before the law can take effect.
The Sexual Offences Act 2003 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.
In certain jurisdictions, including the United Kingdom and other Westminster-influenced jurisdictions, as well as the United States and the Philippines, primary legislation has both a short title and a long title.
The Acts of Parliament (Commencement) Act 1793 was an Act of the Parliament of the Kingdom of Great Britain which provided that Acts of Parliament would come into force on the date on which they received royal assent, unless they specified some other date, instead of the first day of the session in which they were passed.
This article explains the citation of United Kingdom legislation, including the systems used for legislation passed by devolved parliaments and assemblies, for secondary legislation, and for prerogative instruments. This subject is relatively complex both due to the different sources of legislation in the United Kingdom, and because of the different histories of the constituent countries of the United Kingdom.
A Scottish statutory instrument is subordinate legislation made by the Scottish Ministers or a regulatory authority in exercise of powers delegated by an Act of the Scottish Parliament. SSIs are the main form of subordinate legislation in Scotland, being used by default to exercise powers delegated to the Scottish Ministers, the Lord Advocate, the High Court of Justiciary, the Court of Session, and the Queen-in-Council.
There are three general sources of Singapore law: legislation, judicial precedents, and custom.
The Interpretation Act 1978 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The Act makes provision for the interpretation of Acts of Parliament, Measures of the General Synod of the Church of England, Measures of the Church Assembly, subordinate legislation, "deeds and other instruments and documents", Acts of the Scottish Parliament and instruments made thereunder and Measures and Acts of the National Assembly for Wales and instruments made thereunder. The Act makes provision in relation to: the construction of certain words and phrases, words of enactment, amendment or repeal of Acts in the Session they were passed, judicial notice, commencement, statutory powers and duties, the effect of repeals, and duplicated offences.
In many countries, a statutory instrument is a form of delegated legislation.
In the United Kingdom an Act of Parliament is primary legislation passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom.
In British law and in some related legal systems, an enactment is spent if it is "exhausted in operation by the accomplishment of the purposes for which it was enacted".
The Statute Law Revision Act 1948 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.
The Interpretation Act 1889 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.
The Forgery Act 1870 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The whole Act, so far as unrepealed, was repealed by section 33(3) of, and Part I of Schedule 3 to, the Theft Act 1968. This Act was repealed for the Republic of Ireland by sections 1 and 2 of, and Part 4 of the Schedule to, the Statute Law Revision (Pre-1922) Act 2005.
The Succession to the Crown Act 2013 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that altered the laws of succession to the British throne in accordance with the 2011 Perth Agreement. The Act replaced male-preference primogeniture with absolute primogeniture for those in the line of succession born after 28 October 2011, which means the eldest child, regardless of sex, precedes their siblings. The Act also repealed the Royal Marriages Act 1772, ended disqualification of a person who married a Roman Catholic from succession, and removed the requirement for those outside the first six persons in line to the throne to seek the Sovereign's approval to marry. It came into force on 26 March 2015, at the same time as the other Commonwealth realms implemented the Perth Agreement in their own laws.
An Act of the Scottish Parliament is primary legislation made by the Scottish Parliament. The power to create Acts was conferred to the Parliament by section 28 of the Scotland Act 1998 following the successful 1997 referendum on devolution.
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