Process Through Which an Bill Becomes a Act

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  • Process of passing a Bill
    • 1) FIRST READING
      • Title and main aims announced and copies are distributed. There is no debate and a date is set for a Second Reading
        • Many Private Members' Bills don't make it passed this stage
    • 2) SECOND READING
      • House debates the whole bill, focuses on it's general principles and the bill promoter starts off the debate. There is then a vote for or against the bill progressing further
        • It's quite likely that if a bill passes beyond this stage it would eventually become an Act
    • 3) COMMITTEE STAGE
      • Bill is passed to Standing Committee (which is made up of 16-50 MPs selected to represent proportions of parties in the House). MPs chosen will have particular interest in the bill or specialist knowledge of it's content. Standing Committee scrutinises bill line by line and make amendments to ensure it conforms to general approval given by House at Second Reading.All amendments are voted on.
        • Some bills e.g. money bills are subjected to examination by whole House, in HoL there are no specialist Standing Committees - whole House scrutinises the bill
    • 4) REPORT STAGE
      • Standing Committee reports any amendments made to the bill during the committee stage back to the whole House. Each amendment is debated and a vote is taken to decide whether it should be accepted or rejected.
        • Additional amendments made at this stage - approved by a vote. If there weren't any amendments made at committee stage then there is no need for a report stage
    • 5) THIRD READING
      • Review of the whole bill, vote is taken to decide whether bill should proceed to the other house- often a formality.
        • Unlikely to fail as an act because it passed all the other stages, in HoL further amendments can be made.After third reading the bill is passed on to other Housewhereit goes through same stages

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