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Describe how an Act of Parliament is created.

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Q) Describe how an Act of Parliament is created. All Acts of Parliament on a proposed new law begin as a consultation document known as a "Green Paper". A draft of the law is then made which is known as the "White Paper" or sometimes a Bill. The White Paper is then taken to the House of Commons for its First Reading where the MPs vote on it without having any discussion on its content. The vote may be verbal whereby the MPs will say "aye" or "no" and the elected Speaker of the House will decide what the majority of the House are voting. If the verdict is not clear the MPs are asked to go through one of two doors, where one is allocated to "agree" with the proposed White Paper, and the other to disagree. ...read more.


If the majority of the House vote in favour of the proposed Act it will then proceed to the Committee Stage where 16 to 50 MPs are chosen to examine, in detail, each and every clause contained in the White Paper. These MPs are specially chosen by the House and are known as the "standing committee". If any amendments are made to the proposed Act it must go to the Report Stage where each amendment is put to the House and voted on. If there are no amendments there is no Report Stage The White Paper then proceeds to the Third and Final Reading where the final vote of the House is cast. ...read more.


Once the White Paper has successfully passed through both Houses of Parliament, or the House of Commons for the second time, it then proceeds to the Royal Assent Stage where it is put before the monarch. Under the Royal Assent Act 1961 the monarch only has to see the short title of the proposed Act to approve it, as opposed to reading the whole Act in detail. The monarch still holds the power to reject any proposed Act though this is rarely exercised. The last time an Act was refused by in 1707 by Queen Anne. The proposed Act can then become an Act of Parliament at midnight on the day of Royal Assent, though parliament can chose to introduce different sections of the Act at different times, for example, some sections of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 have still not yet become law. ...read more.

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