Distinguishing Between an Act & a Bill

Everyone is familiar with the laws that govern a country and its citizens. These laws, also known as legislation, are the responsibility of the parliament, which consists of members known as legislators. They discuss, debate, amend, and ultimately pass a bill, which is a proposed piece of legislation. Bills can originate from both the government and private members. Some people find it difficult to understand the differences between a bill and an Act, so this article aims to clarify these differences and explain the relationship between the two.

A bill is a proposed piece of legislation that becomes an Act (or a regulation, depending on the situation) once it has been discussed and debated by members of parliament, who can introduce changes to the bill as they see fit. After a bill has been discussed and passed by the lower house of parliament, it moves to the upper house, where it undergoes the same process as in the lower house. Only when the upper house also passes the bill in the form proposed by the lower house does the bill return to the lower house. The lower house then sends the bill to the President for approval, and once the President grants their assent, the bill becomes an Act, or the law of the land. If the upper house proposes any amendments, the bill is discussed again in the lower house to make the necessary changes. This process is repeated until the upper house passes the bill in the form sent by the lower house, at which point the bill can become a piece of legislation.

Key Takeaways

  • A bill is a proposed piece of legislation, while an Act is a law that has been passed by parliament and received presidential approval.
  • Both the lower and upper houses of parliament must discuss, debate, and pass a bill before it can become an Act.
  • If amendments are proposed by the upper house, the bill returns to the lower house for further discussion and potential changes.
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard is an accomplished writer with expertise in creating engaging articles and content across various platforms. His dedication to research and crafting high-quality content has led to over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience. In his personal life, Gil enjoys connecting with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. His curiosity and eagerness to learn from others fuel his passion for communication. He believes that engaging with strangers can be both enlightening and enjoyable, making it easier to strike up conversations and expand one's horizons.


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