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Law Dictionary Home Dictionary Definition act-of-parliament

Act of Parliament, a law made by the sovereign, with the advice and consent of the Lords spiritual and temporal, and the Commons, in Parliament assembled (1 Bl. Com. 85); but, in the case of an Act passed under the provisions of the (English) Parliament Act, 1911, a law made by the sovereign 'by and with the advice and consent of the Commons in this present Parliament assembled in accordance with the provisions of the Parliament Act, 1911, and by authority of the same'; also called a 'statute.' Means a bill passed by two Houses of Parliament and assented to by the President and in the absence of an express provision to the contrary, operative from the date of notification in the Gazette, Handbook for Members of Rajya Sabha, April, 2002. Means an action; a thing done or established; a written law formally passed by the legislative power of a State; a Bill enacted by the legislature into a law, as distinguished from a bill which is in the form of draft of a law or legislative proposal presented to the legislature for enactment, Law Dictionary, James A. Ballentine, Second Edn., 1948, p. 19. The (English) Parliament Act, 1911, made a fundamental alteration in the powers previously possessed by the House of Lords in relation to the passing of Acts of Parliament. Its provisions are briefly as follows:--(1) If a money bill sent up by the House of Commons is not passed by the House of Lords within a month without amendment, it becomes an Act of Parliament on receiving the Royal assent without the House of Lords having consented to it. (2) If a bill, other than a money bill or a bill containing any provision to extend the duration of Parliament beyond five years, is passed by the Commons in three successive sessions (whether of the same Parliament or not) and is rejected on each occasion by the Lords, it becomes an Act on receiving the Royal assent without the Lords having consented to it; but two years must have elapsed between the date of the second reading in the first of these sessions of the bill in the Commons and the date on which it passes the Commons in the third of those sessions; and provision is also made for the introduction of amendments in the second and third sessions. (3) Five years are substituted for seven (fixed by the Septennial Act) as the duration of Parliament. Every money bill must be endorsed with a certificate signed by the Speaker of the House of Commons that it is a money bill. As to the statutory effect given to resolutions varying or renewing taxation, see (English) Provisional Collection of Taxes Act, 1913 (3 Geo. 5, c. 3), and (English) Finance Act, 1930 (20 & 21 Geo. 5, c. 28), s. 12. The Royal assent to a bill is given either by the sovereign personally or by commission. Consent by commission is limited to those bills set out in the schedule to the commission. The words of Royal assent are, 'Le Roy le veult,' or in the case of a money bill, 'Le Roy remercie ses bons sujets, acceple leur benevolence et ainsi le veult.' Acts of Parliament are either (1) public; (2) local or special; (3) private or personal. Public Acts are those which affect the whole realm or important parts of it. Local Acts, which are very numerous, and since 1798 have been printed in separate volumes from those which contain the public acts, concern particular localities, as railway or gas and water Acts. Private Acts concern individuals and families only, as Acts naturalising a party, dissolving a marriage, or setting particular estates. There is a further class of Acts which contain clauses frequently required in local Acts. The provisions of such general Acts are incorporated in private Acts by reference, e.g., Railways Clauses Act, 1863. Is a law made by the British sovereign, with the advice and consent of the Lords and Commons; a British Statute, Black Law Dictionary, 7th Edn., p. 35. The principal rules for the interpretation of Acts of Parliament are the following:--(1) a statute begins to operate from the time when it receives the Royal assent, unless otherwise provided (English) Acts of Parliament (Commencement) Act, 1793 [33 Geo. 3, c. 13)]. Before this Act, all statutes related back to the first day of the sessions in which they were passed. But where an Act expires before a bill continuing it has received the Royal assent, the latter Act takes effect from the expiration of the former, unless otherwise provided, and except as to any penalty: (English) Acts of Parliament (Expiration) Act, 1808 (48 Geo. 3, c. 106). (2) A statute is to be construed according to the intent and object with which it was made, and not according to the mere letter; (3) these points must be considered'the old law, the mischief, and the remedy; (4) remedial statutes are to be more liberally, and penal more strictly, construed; (5) in construing a statute, all other statutes made in pari materia ought to be taken into consideration; (6) a statute which treats of things and persons of an inferior rank cannot by any general words be extended to those of a superior; (7) where the provision of a statute is general, everything which is necessary to make such provision effectual is supplied by the Common Law; (8) a subsequent statute may repeal a prior one, not only expressly, but by implication, as when it is contrary thereto, i.e., so clearly repugnant that it necessarily implies a negative, but if the Acts can stand together, they shall have a concurrent efficacy; (9) Acts of Parliament cannot derogate from the power of subsequent Parliaments; (10) the King is not bound by any Act of Parliament unless he be named therein by special and particular words; and see INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE. As to the important 'Interpretation Act, 1889,' see that title. Statutes are variously cited; many of the old statutes are called after the name of the place where the Parliament which passed them was held, as the Statute of Merton, of Marlebridge, or Westminster; others entirely from their subject, as the (English) Statute of Distribution (22 & 23 Car. 2, c. 10), or the Fines and Recoveries Act (3 & 4 Wm. 4, c. 74); others from their initial words, as the statute Quia emptores or De donis (see those titles); others from the Member of Parliament who introduced them, as (English) Lord Compbell's Act (6 & 7 Vict. C. 96); Jervis's Act (English) (11 & 12 Vict. C. 43); and some few, as the Statute of Elizabeth, which founded the Poor Law (43 Eliz. C. 2), and the Statute of James, which founded the law of limitation of time for suing (21 Jac. 1, c. 16) from the name of the sovereign in whose reign they were passed. After the time of Edward II. they were for a long time generally cited by their full titles, by naming the years of the sovereign's reign during which the session of Parliament was held in which the statute was passed, together with the chapter or particular Act, according to its numerical order, e.g., 3 & 4 Wm. 4, c. 74, the chapter, if the Act be a local or personal one, being printed in Roman figures, e.g., 20 & 21 Vict. C. xciv. In 1845 'short tiles' began to be introduced, by enacting (see 8 & 9 Vict. C. 16, s. 4) that 8 & 9 Vict. C. 16 might be cited in other Acts of Parliament and in legal instruments, as the (English) 'Companies Clauses Consolidation Act, 1845,' and similarly 8& 9 Vict. C. 18, as the (English) 'Lands Clauses Consolidation Act, 1845,' and 8 & 9 Vict. C. 20, as the 'Railways Clauses Consolidation Act, 1845.' This usefunomenclature was more and more frequently adopted, and is now almost universal, two (English) 'Short Titles Acts,' passed in 1892 and 1896 *55 & 56 Vict. C. 10), and (59 & 60 Vict. C. 14) (the latter repealing, and, with additions, re-enacting the former), having supplied more than 2,000 short titles. All the Acts of a session together make properly but one statute, and therefore, when two sessions have been held in one year, stat. or sess. 1 or 2 is spoken of. Thus the (English) Bill of Rights is cited as 1 W. & M. sess. 2, c. 2; and the (English) Riot Act as 1 Geo. 1, st. 2, c. 5. Of late years many steps have been taken by the Government with a view to classifying and consolidating the Statute Law, and various Statute Law Revision Acts (see that title) have been passed, by which a vast number of obsolete and unnecessary Acts and portions of Acts have been repealed; but the inconvenience of 'incorporation by reference,' that is, of incorporating in a later Act the provisions of an earlier one by mere reference to the earlier one--a practice of very long standing--has been much felt. See Practical Legisla-tion, by Lord Thring, late Parliamentary Counsel, p. 48. A statute is passed annually continuing various temporary Acts, some of them of great importance. See EXPIRING LAWS CONTINUANCE ACTS. For an invaluable collection of selected Acts, arranged in alphabetical and chronological order, see Chitty's Statutes of Practical Utility, annually continued.

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