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Upon presentation to the House the Bill goes through the following procedural stages -

First Reading

This is purely a formal stage where the Bill is introduced to the House and the short title of the Bill is read out by the Clerk. A Bill, however, shall not be read a first time unless it has been gazetted and has reached every Member of the Legislative Assembly 21 days before it is proposed to be read a first time.

Second Reading

The Minister or Member of Cabinet in charge of the Bill moves the Second Reading. This is the most important stage through which a Bill has to pass. Members have the opportunity to debate (for no longer than two hours) the general merits and principles of the Bill.

Committee Stage

This is the stage where the Bill is considered in detail. Each clause and paragraph is considered and it is during this stage that any Member may propose an amendment.

Report on Bill

The Minister or Member in charge of the Bill reports to the House that the Bill was considered by the committee and was passed with or without amendment(s). The Bill is then set down for its third reading.

Third Reading

This is the stage when a Bill is finally accepted and/or rejected by the House. The Minister or Member in charge of the Bill moves that the Bill be read a third time and passed. There is no debate at this stage and the question is put to the House for a decision.

What happens following the Third Reading of a Bill

Legal Report

A true corrected copy of the Bill (including all amendments, deletions, etc, in Committee) is prepared by the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly and sent to the Attorney-General who prepares a legal report on the Bill for the Governor.

Vellum Copies

The Law is finally printed on vellum paper and signed by both the Speaker of the House and the Clerk and forwarded to the Governor for his seal and assent.

When a Bill has been assented to by the Governor and published in the Official Government Gazette, it becomes Law.

Last Updated: 2007-09-15