Acts of Parliament
An Act of Parliament (sometimes called a Statute) is a law that has been:
- passed by both Houses of the Parliament of New South Wales (that is, the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council), and
- assented to by the Governor on behalf of the Queen.
An Act commences life as a proposed Act (called a Bill), which is introduced and debated in both Houses of Parliament. A Bill is sometimes amended by a House of Parliament during its passage.
There are 2 kinds of Bills:
- A Government Bill is a Bill that is introduced into Parliament on behalf of the Government by a Minister or Parliamentary Secretary
- A Non-Government Bill is a Bill introduced into Parliament by a Member of Parliament in his or her capacity as a Member (and not on behalf of the Government, although sometimes on behalf of an opposition party)
Each House of Parliament has a special procedure (governed by its own standing or sessional rules and orders) for how a Bill should be introduced, debated, amended and passed. The website for the Parliament of NSW contains further information about these special procedures.
A Bill that is passed by both Houses of Parliament must be signed by the Governor (which is called giving assent or the Royal assent) to become an Act. When the Governor assents to an Act, it is said to have been enacted.
The commencement of a new Act will depend on the commencement section (usually section 2). It may be the date of assent, a later day specified in the commencement section or a day that is left to be appointed by the Governor by a future proclamation.
Last updated 30 August 2020 at 14:32