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Public LawText, Cases, and Materials

Public Law: Text, Cases, and Materials (4th edn)

Andrew Le Sueur, Maurice Sunkin, and Jo Eric Khushal Murkens
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date: 25 April 2024

13. p. 378Primary Legislationlocked

13. p. 378Primary Legislationlocked

  • Andrew Le Sueur, Andrew Le SueurProfessor of Constitutional Justice, University of Essex
  • Maurice SunkinMaurice SunkinProfessor of Public Law and Socio-Legal Studies, University of Essex
  •  and Jo Eric Khushal MurkensJo Eric Khushal MurkensAssociate Professor of Law, London School of Economics and Political Science


This chapter examines ‘primary legislation’, in the form of UK Acts of Parliament, and how they are made. The discussions cover who or what is the ‘legislature’ in the British constitution; the roles of different institutions in policymaking; drafting bills by Parliamentary Counsel; pre-legislative scrutiny of some ‘draft bills’ before the start the formal legislative process in Parliament ; the parliamentary year; parliamentary stages of a bill—first reading, second reading, committee stage, report stage, and third reading; bills of constitutional importance; the constitutional framework for bringing legislation into force; how government and Parliament carries out post-legislative scrutiny of some Acts of Parliament to review how they are operating in practice; and legislative functions in the British system of devolution.

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