The need for new laws is ever present; situations that find gaps in legal system occur all the time and the need to solve that by creating official legal frameworks to guide the decision-making process arises. Since laws applies to all, it is interesting to find out how they come into existence. Different countries have their set ways and procedures that need to be followed in order for a new law to become official. Let’s explore what two countries with established traditions of modern law have set in place to guide their law-creation process.
The United States of America
First, it is important to understand the role of some relevant governmental institutions. The most significant one here is The United States Congress. Based in Washington, D. C., the Congress includes the House of Representatives and the Senate. The officials in these two chambers are elected through the general election, although a gubernatorial appointment might also fill a vacancy in the Senate. There are 435 representatives and 100 senators, all of whom play an important role in the law-making process in the USA.
The idea can come from pretty much anyone. If you see a gap in the legal system, you are free to contact elected officials, point out an issue and propose a law that would help solve it. If the case proves worthy of attention, the idea will turn into a bill that will then be introduced to either the House of Representatives or the Senate. After the bill is debated and finalized, it is sent one of the two ways, either to subcommittee to conduct more research or the House or Senate floor to be debated upon. If the bill receives the agreement of majority in one house, it is sent to the other one for a similar procedure. When, and if, both houses agree on the same version of the bill, it is forwarded to the President. The president can veto it and return it to the houses to make amendments, choose no action, in which case the bill automatically becomes a law, or reject it.
The United Kingdom
The UK has two houses of the Parliament, the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The former is elected, with 650 members, and the latter is divided into hereditary peers, the Lords Temporal and the Lords Spiritual, most of which are appointed or inherited. A proposed law is also known as a bill and it is first considered in one of the houses. Three readings follow; the First Reading to introduce the bill and its proposition, the Second Reading to examine it in scrutiny and consider it on the floor of the House, and the Third Reading to debate it and vote. If the bill passes by the majority of votes, it goes to the other house. It must be agreed upon by both houses as well as be granted a Royal Assent from the Queen. After that, the bill becomes Acts of Parliament, which is the law of the country.