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The Scottish Parliament and law making
The Scottish Parliament and law making

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1 Bills in the UK Parliament

UK Parliament
Figure 3 UK Parliament

An Act of the UK Parliament starts off as a Bill, which, if approved by a majority in the House of Commons and the House of Lords, becomes an Act of the UK Parliament. There are several types of Bill:

  • 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. Most Bills are public and are introduced and supported by the government.
  • 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.
  • 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.

The rest of this section will deal mainly with Public Bills and the procedural stages through which they must pass to become Acts of the UK Parliament.