Both Houses in Parliament share responsibility
for making and shaping laws. But where do laws come from in the first place? A Bill is a proposal for a new law, or to
change an existing law, and comes from lots of places, like governing and opposition parties,
public inquiries, civil servants or campaign groups. So how does an idea get turned into a law? Imagine the Government wanted to place greater
controls over the internet. A proposal called a Green Paper is published,
which presents the Government’s ideas for future policy. This is open for public discussion
with interested groups like internet service providers and others likely to be affected.
Once findings are gathered a white paper is published which outlines a firmer plan for
Government policy. Cabinet Ministers must agree whether the proposal
is taken forward. Once agreed a Bill is drawn up and the Minister responsible for the policy
introduces the Bill to Parliament for debate. MPs and members of the House of Lords comment
on, debate or amend the Bill through several stages, and at the end of the process, apart
from very rare circumstances, it must be agreed by both houses. It is then passed to the monarch who gives
formal approval, or Royal Assent, and the Bill becomes law, called an Act of Parliament.