Parliament, as the sovereign lawmaking body is one source of law. It makes legislation via passing bills to make laws that abide by social cohesion and maintain social progress, such as sanctions imposed for murder under the Criminal Law Consolidation Act SA. A political party affiliates it’s self with specific views and moral and promises to initiate or support certain legislation’s to its supporters. When candidates become members of either the Senate or House of Representatives they are morally obliged to uphold these view but are not confined to them. Pre-legislation stage consists of someone coming up with an idea for a bill which is presented to the cabinet, they must approve the principles of the bill for it to reach the next stage which is the drafting of the bill. This part consists of Parliamentary counsel drafting the bill.
This is a government body of trained lawyers which job is to draft a bill whilst making sure that it is not contradicting to current legislation or the constitution. When a formal and legitimate bill is drafted it can then be initiated into the originating house. This involves the bill being tabled for the first reading along with a notification to the house of new proposal. The first reading involves the bills title being read by the clerk of the house. There is no literal reading of the bill and the bill is approved on the basis of a voice call of members for approval.
Immediately usually after this the second reading commences. The intent of the legislation is discussed along with the broad principles by the ministers. The stage usually has no debate however the opposition can reply with approval or disapproval and can also make suggestions for amendments. Then there is a vote on voice, this consist of ‘Ayes’ = yes or No’s, if unclear members can ask for a division which is where members will physically move to left of the house for approval or right for disapproval.
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This is recorded in ham sard so if needed can be referred to at a later time. The next stage is Committee of the whole where the bill can be debated by members informally. Each clause is scrutinised and amendments are made. The proposing minister is quizzed about the bill and a vote takes place however if an agreement was obtained in the second reading then this stage is not needed. The Third reading follows where occasionally debate can occur. The bill is now amended and usually passes this stage.
The third reading also allows for clarification of the bill after amendments. Now that the bill has passed through the originating house, which can be either house except for supply bill which can only originate in the House of Representatives. The second house, know as the reviewing house now must pass the bill for it to become legislation. The corresponding minister in this house is responsible to steer the bill through the stages involved in the reviewing house.
Debate is the same as in the originating house. Bills are often referred to select committees which consist of members from all parties to make a decision on the bill. If amendments are suggested the process must repeat through the originating house. Once a bill is successful it may then be given royal assent by the G-G which allows the bill to become an act, (s. 58).
After this the Act is published in the government gazette which is when is will become legislation unless specified otherwise in a clause..