how laws are made


Recommendations for new laws may also come from public inquiries, civil servants or lobbyist and campaign groups. No matter where a policy idea originates, it normally won’t get far without the backing of a government minister. This is because ministers are in a position to champion an idea to government colleagues. Proposals are made into bills. A bill may begin its journey in either the Lords or the Commons chambers:

  • First reading
  • Second reading
  • Committee stage
  • Report stage
  • Third reading
  • Vote on the bill in its final form. In the Lords, further amendments may still be introduced
  • A bill approved by one chamber is considered by the other
  • The Monarch’s ‘assent’ turns a bill into an Act


A bill then becomes law, and is described as an Act of Parliament