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The law-making process in England and Wales
The law-making process in England and Wales

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5.1 Different types of Bills

Draft legislation is referred to as a Bill, which is considered by both chambers (the House of Commons and the House of Lords) in Parliament. The proposal for new laws can originate from an MP or one of the lords who sit in the House of Lords. There are different types of Bills. For example:

  • public Bills
  • private members’ Bills.

A public Bill will have an effect on the general population and this is the type of Bill which is introduced by a government minister. A Bill known as a private member’s Bill is introduced by an MP or lord but they are not government ministers. The Bill, if it goes on to become law, will affect the general population – just like a public Bill.

A number of private members’ Bills are usually instigated by pressure groups who consult with a Member of Parliament. This is referred to as lobbying. These pressure groups may take the form of professional bodies or voluntary organisations that monitor current issues which may trigger a private member’s Bill. It is important to know and understand the role pressure groups play in promoting new forms of legislation. The next section of this course will consider in more detail the role of a pressure group and the introduction of a private member’s Bill.