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Act of Parliament

private, public and term

ACT OF PARLIAMENT is the term applied to an act, wherein the three constituent parts of the sovereign power in this realm, king, lords, and commons, unite to formulate a Law. Public Statute is another term for an Act of Parliament. Strictly speaking the former term would be the proper one in most cases where the term Act of Parliament is used. The latter in its true meaning denotes simply the record of an Act of Parliament or the written record of a law. The usual procedure in passing any Act of Parlia ment was as follows, until the passing of the Parliament Act, 1911. The Act was first of all printed under the name of a Bill. After this Bill had been introduced to the House of Commons, and read three times and passed, it was sent up to the House of Lords. When it had been read and passed in the latter House it hail to receive the assent of the icing. The king had a right of veto. Having received the assent of the king the Bill became law, and was called an Act of Parliament. The new procedure is described in the Appendix under the title STATUTE.

There are two classes of Act of Parliament: Public and Personal. The latter is a small class limited to private personal matters ; for example, an Act dissolving an Irish marriage. Public Acts may be subdivided into general, local, and private. General Acts touch matters of public import ance throughout the realm or the greater part thereof; these being the Acts of Parliament making the laws now claiming our attention. A local Act is one that has reference only to a limited area, the subject of the legis ation having only a local importance. A private Act of Parliament is one dealing with private affairs requiring legislative sanction ; thus do such undertakings as docks and telephone companies acquire their powers. Unless the contrary is stated, an Act of Parliament takes effect as from the date of the Royal assent. But generally the date for the commencement of operation is announced in the Act itself. So too, unless the contrary is stated, an Act of Parliament extends to Scotland.