BILL CHAMBER, a department of the Court of Session in Scotland, in which one of the judges officiates at all times during session and vacation. The youngest judge is lord ordinary on the bills during session; the duty is performed by the other judges, with the exception of the two presidents, by weekly rotation during vacation. All proceedings for summary remedies, or for protection against im pending proceedings, commence in the Bill Chamber—such as interdicts (or in junctions against courts exceeding their jurisdiction), a procedure which frequently occurred during the recent discussion in the Church of Scotland as to the veto question; suspensions of execution against the property or person, &c. The process of sequestration or bankruptcy issues from this department of the court. By far the greater number of the proceedings are sanctioned by the judge as a matter of form, on the clerks finding that the pa pers presented ask the usual powers in the usual manner ; but where a question of law is involved in the application, it comes into the Court of Session, and is discussed as an ordinary action. The Lord Ordinary on the bills is the repre sentative of the court during vacation. A considerable proportion of his duties are regulated by 1 & 2 Viet. c. 86. BILL IN CHANCERY. [EQUITY.] BILL IN PARLIAMENT is the name given to any proposition introduced into either house for the purpose of being passed into a law, after which it is called an act of parliament, or statute of the realm. ; STATUTE.] In m ern times a bill does not differ in form from an act, except that when first brought in it often presents blanks for dates, sums of money, &e., which are filled up in its passage through the house. When printed, also, which (with the ex ception only of naturalization and name bills, which are not printed) it is always ordered to be, either immediately after it has been read a first time, or at some other early stage of its progress, a portion of it, which may admit of being disjoined from the rest, is sometimes distinguished by a different type. But most bills are several times printed in their passage through the two houses. A bill, like an act, has its title, its preamble, usually setting forth the reasons upon which it professes to be founded, and then its series of enacting clauses, the first beginning with the words—" Be it enacted by the King's most excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same ;"—and each of those that follow with the more simple formula—" And be it further enacted."
The advantage of this is, that a bill when made perfect by all its blanks having been filled up, becomes a law at once, without thither alteration or remodelling, on re ceiving the royal assent.
Originally, the bills passed by the two houses were introduced in the form of petitions, and retained that form when they came to receive the royal assent. [PETITION.] The whole of those passed in one session were then, after the par liament rose, submitted to the judges, to be by them pat into the proper shape of a law. They were then entered on the Statute Rolls. But it was found that in undergoing this process the acts, as passed by the parliament, were fre quently both added to and mutilated. Indeed a great deal of the power of making the law was thus left in the hands of the judges, and of the royal authority, in so far as these learned personages might be under its influence. The Commons remonstrated, reminding the king that they had ever been " as well assenters as petitioners." To remedy this usurpation it was arranged in the 2 Henry V., that the statute roll of the session should always be drawn up before the parliament rose, or as the lung said, " that henceforth nothing should be en acted to the petitions of the Commons contrary to their asking, whereby they should be bound without their assent." In the following reign, that of Henry VI., the bill came as now to be prepared in the form of an act, and to receive the dis tinct assent of the king in the form in which both houses had agreed to it. Mr. May however states (Usages, ?re. of Pqr (lament) that both Henry VI. and Ed ward IV. now and then made new pro visions in statutes without the sanction of parliament; "bat the constitutional form of legislating by bill and statute, agreed to in parliament, undoubtedly had its origin and its sanction in the reign of Henry VI." (p. 270).