Legislation (or "
statutory law") is law which has been promulgated (or " enacted") by a legislatureor 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. Legislation can have many purposes: to regulate, to authorize, to provide (funds), to sanction, to grant, to declare or to restrict.
In some jurisdictions legislation must not be confirmed by the executive branch of
governmentbefore it enters into force as law.
Westminster system, an item of legislation is known as an Act of Parliamentafter 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. Whether a given bill will be proposed and enter into forceis generally a matter of the legislative priorities of government.
Those who have the formal power to "create" legislation are known as
legislators, while the judicial branch of government may have the formal power to "interpret" legislation (see statutory interpretation).
Alternate means of law-making
The act of making legislation is sometimes known as legislating. Under the doctrine of class="wikitable" border="1"
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 lawis enacted). These other forms of law-making include referendums 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.
*Secondary (or delegated) legislation
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* [http://thomas.loc.gov/ legislative information from the Library of Congress]
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