Legislation: Wikis

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Legislation (or "statutory law") is law which has been promulgated (or "enacted") by a legislature or other governing body, or the process of making it. (Another source of law is judge-made law or case law) Before an item of legislation becomes law it may be known as a bill, and may be broadly referred to as "legislation" while it remains under consideration to distinguish it from other business. Legislation can have many purposes: to regulate, to authorize, to proscribe, to provide (funds), to sanction, to grant, to declare or to restrict.

In some jurisdictions legislation must be confirmed by the executive branch of government before it enters into force as law. Primary legislation may delegate to the executive or other parties limited powers to make secondary legislation, such as Rules, Regulations and Orders which implement its policy in detail.

Under the Westminster system, an item of primary legislation is known as an Act of Parliament after enactment.

Legislation is usually proposed by a member of the legislature (e.g. a member of Congress or Parliament), or by the executive, whereupon it is debated by members of the legislature and is often amended before passage. Most large legislatures enact only a small fraction of the bills proposed in a given session.[1] Whether a given bill will be proposed and enter into force is generally a matter of the legislative priorities of government.

Legislation is regarded as one of the three main functions of government, which are often distinguished under the doctrine of the separation of powers. Those who have the formal power to create legislation are known as legislators; a judicial branch of government will have the formal power to interpret legislation (see statutory interpretation); the executive branch of government can act only within the powers and limits set by the law.

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Alternate means of law-making

The function and procedures are primarily the responsibility of the legislature. However, there are situations where legislation is made by other bodies or means, such as when constitutional law or secondary legislation is enacted. Such other forms of law-making include referendums, constitutional conventions, orders-in-council or regulations. The term legislation is sometimes used to include these situations, or the term primary legislation may be used to exclude these other forms.

Legislation availability on the web

Legislation available in XML on the web

United States Congress (2005-2007) (2007-2009) (2009-2010)

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Simple English

Legislation (or "statutory law") is law which has been created by a legislature or other governing body. The term may refer to a single law, or the collective body of enacted law, while "statute" is also used to refer to a single law. Before an item of legislation becomes law it may be known as a bill, which is typically also known as "legislation" while it remains under active consideration.

Under the Westminster system, an item of legislation is known as an Act of Parliament.

Legislation is usually proposed by a member of the legislature (e.g. a member of Congress or Parliament), or by the executive, then it is debated by members of the legislature and is often amended. Those who have the formal power to create legislation are known as legislators, the judicial branch of government may have the formal power to interpret legislation.

Other means of law-making

The act of making legislation is sometimes known as legislating. Under the doctrine of separation of powers, the law-making function is primarily the responsibility of the legislature. However, there are situations where legislation is enacted by other means (most commonly when constitutional law is enacted). These other forms of law-making include referenda and constitutional conventions. The term "legislation" is sometimes used to describe these situations, but other times, the term is used to distinguish acts of the legislature from these other lawmaking forms.

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