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Society, Politics & Law

What are the three types of Bill?

Updated Friday 25th August 2017

Laws start their lives as Bills in the Houses of Parliament. Here's a quick guide to the three type of Bill.

Cromwell Statue at the Houses Of Paliament Creative commons image Icon Amir Rabbanni under Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0 license

What is a Bill?

An Act of Parliament starts off as a Bill. A Bill is a proposal for a new piece of legislation that – if approved by a majority in the House of Commons and the House of Lords – will become an Act of Parliament and law of the land.

There three kinds of Bill.

What is a Public Bill?

This is the most common type of Bill. Public Bills deal with matters affecting the public generally and are usually introduced by a Government minister. Public Bills apply throughout England and Wales. Most Bills are public and are introduced and supported by the Government.

What is a Private Members' Bill?

A Private Members' Bill deals with matters affecting the public generally but is introduced by a Member of Parliament who is not a minister. Private Members' Bills are a type of Public Bill and should not be confused with Private Bills.

What is a Private Bill?

A Private Bill deals with issues which affect only a very small number of people. For example, a Private Bill could deal with a matter affecting a single local authority. Private Bills are promoted by the group concerned. A Private Bill does not affect the general public as a whole. A Private Bill might be introduced, for example, to give National Rail (the company which maintains Britain's network of train lines) the power to construct a new railway line in a particular area of the country.

 

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