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English Legal System

English Legal System (5th edn)

Helen Rutherford, Birju Kotecha, and Angela Macfarlane
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date: 09 December 2023

p. 693. Legislation and the law-making processlocked

p. 693. Legislation and the law-making processlocked

  • Helen Rutherford, Helen RutherfordSenior Lecturer, Northumbria University
  • Birju KotechaBirju KotechaSenior Lecturer, Northumbria University
  •  and Angela MacFarlaneAngela MacFarlaneSenior Lecturer, Northumbria University


This chapter examines the legislative (law-making) process. In the UK, the Westminster Parliament can make primary legislation called Acts of Parliament or ‘Statutes’. Parliament can also grant powers to other bodies to make legislation on Parliament’s behalf, in the form of secondary legislation or delegated legislation. Parliament is comprised of three bodies, the Queen in Parliament, the House of Commons, and the House of Lords. A draft piece of legislation, a bill, which will become an Act of Parliament must be passed by the House of Commons and the House of Lords and then receive Royal Assent. If the House of Commons and House of Lords cannot agree on legislation this can be governed by the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949. Secondary or delegated legislation is necessary for a number of reasons but is subject to controls exercised by Parliamentary and the courts.

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