Process of creating an Act

The following Public Law practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Process of creating an Act
  • Bill
  • Commencement in the House of Commons
  • House of Commons stages
  • House of Lords stages
  • Consideration of the Lords' amendments
  • Commencement in the House of Lords
  • Impasse and the Parliament Acts
  • Royal Assent

Process of creating an Act


A Bill is a proposal for a new law or a proposal for an amendment to an existing law which is presented to Parliament for debate. Bills can be presented in either the House of Commons (the Commons) or the House of Lords (the Lords) initially, but both Houses must examine, amend and approve the Bill before it is enacted. Once the Houses have agreed on the content of the Bill, it is then presented for the Royal Assent.

Bills can be introduced by:

  1. the government

  2. individual MPs

  3. individual Lords, and

  4. private individuals or organisations

There are four different types of Bill:

  1. Public Bills—these are the most common type of Bill and are largely introduced by government ministers. Public Bills change the law as it applies to the general population. They can be introduced by either House, although it is more common to find that Bills which deal with taxes or the management of public funds are introduced into the Commons

  2. Private Members' Bills—these are introduced by MPs and Lords who are non-government ministers, and, like Public Bills, apply to the population at large. It is rare that Private Members Bills do eventually become law, however attempts to pass these Bills do provide their subject matter with significant publicity

  3. Private Bills—are introduced by private individuals or organisations to give themselves powers which

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