GRA: How does a Bill become an Act/Law of Parliament?


The House of Commons

  • First Reading: proposed bill is announced to the Commons and printed
  • Second Reading: Principle of bill is debated, and voted upon. If defeated in the vote, the bill is withdrawn
  • Committee Stage: Commons appoints an all-party committee of MPs to study the proposed Bill in detail. Amendments can be made
  • Report Stage: Bill is reported to the floor of the House. Debated by MPs, and they consider any further proposed amendments.
  • Third Reading: amended bill is read to Commons, followed by debate and another vote
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The House of Lords

  • Bill must pass all three readings in the Commons
  • Sent to Lords, and repeats the same stages as the Commons.
  • Lords may check the bill and make gvt think again about bills or amend parts of bills which may be ill-advised.
  • Now, the HoL can refuse the bill but only for two years. During the course, if the Lords refused it, that was final.
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Royal Assent and Ping-Pong

  • Jumps back and forth between them to agree on wording.
  • Now, the HoC decides the final words, but during this course, both Lord and Commons must agree.
  • The bill is sent to the monarch to be signed, and it then becomes an Act of Parliament.
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