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How Laws Are Made

How Laws Are Made

One of the primary roles of Parliament is to make laws for the country.

A proposed law is called a Bill. Any Member of Parliament can table a Bill in Parliament for consideration. Most Bills are usually brought forward by Government Ministers.

When a Member of Parliament brings forward a Bill, they are required to give it a name and the Bill is formally introduced by the name being read a first time (‘first reading’). Parliament then sets a future date for the Bill to be considered further, known as the ‘second reading’.

During the second reading of the Bill, Members of Parliament debate and then vote based on the principles and merits of the proposed legislation. If Members have voted to consider the Bill further, the Bill is referred to one of the Standing committees of Parliament for further detailed scrutiny.  The parliamentary committee can seek the views of the community on the contents of the Bill and may suggest amendments to the Bill.  The committee is normally required to make a report on its consideration of the Bill to Parliament within 30 days.

Parliament then goes through the Bill and considers each clause individually. When this process is completed, Parliament formally agrees to the Bill by adopting a motion that the Bill be read a third time (third reading).

The Speaker of the Parliament of the Republic of Fiji must then present the Bill to the President for his or her assent.  

Once a Bill receives the President’s assent, it becomes law.
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