Parliamentry Law Making: Process of a Bill


1) Green Paper

  • A green paper is a tentative government report of a proposal without any commitment to action.
  • Optional stage/pre-legislative
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2) White Paper

  • Issued by Government and lay out policy of proposed action on a topic of current concern.
  • Consultation as to details of new legislation.
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3)First Reading

  • Legislative stages start
  • Normanly starts in the House of Commons.
  • The short title and main aims of the Bill are announced.
  • No debate at the stage but verbal vote is taken.
  • If the vote is in favour of the Bill is the set for the Bill's second reading.
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Second Reading

  • The House debates the Bill and is focused on the main principles.
  • At the end there is a vote
  • Should the Bill progress beyond this stage it is quite likely it will eventually become an Act of Parliament.
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Report Stage

  • Each amendment is debated and a vote is taken to decide whether it should be accepted or rejected by the whole house.
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Committee Stage

  • Detailed examinarion by a Standing Comittee which is made up of between 16 and 50 MPs.
  • They scrutinise the Bill clause by cluase and makes amendments.
  • Some Bills, for example Money Bills, are subjected to examination by the whole House.
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Third Reading

  • Third reading is the final chance for the commons to debate the contents of a Bill. This stage is often a formality. There is another vote.
  • As the Bill has successfully completed its earlier stages it is unlikely to now fail.
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Other House

  • The Bill is passed to the Other House where it goes through the same stage.
  • Under Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949 the Lords can delay the passage of a Money Bill fpr one month and all other bills for one year but they cannot reject it.
  • Sexual (amendment ) Act 2000 and the Hunting Act 2004 have used this power.
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Royal Assent

  • On the day Royal Aswsent is granted, the Bill becomes an Act of Parliament.
  • That night at mid-night, the law starts- it comes into force then.
  • However, implementation of some Acts has to be delayed so as to allow necessary resources to be prepared and put into place.
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Parliamentary Sovereignty

They are the people who have the most power in this country to make laws.

  • Parliament can make laws about anyhting/ legislate anything.
  • Parliament are not banned by the previous Parliament. when a new Parliament comes in they can change laws if they want to.
  • No body can overide an act of Parliament. Only Parliament can change an act.
    • However the European Union can, European Court of Human Rights.
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