Public bills

Public bills tend to be general in nature and affect everyone.

Public Bills deal with matters of public policy and represent proposed changes to the law and applies to the population as a whole.  Nearly all Public Bills that are passed on to the statute books are those introduced by Government.  This is to be expected because governments depend upon public confidence and if Government failed to implement matters of public policy, including legislation, then it could hardly be said to enjoy the confidence of the electorate.  A large number of Public Bills are introduced as backbenchers' Bills (also known as Private Members' Bills).  Private Members' Bills rarely become law but they can be a valuable way of highlighting where a change in the law is needed by individual MPs and members of the House of Lords.  

It is not impossible for some Private Members' Bills to be successful and examples of important Acts include the abolition of the death penalty.  The Antarctic Act 2013 which extended protection afforded under certain protocols to the the Antarctic is also an example of an Act which came about as a result of a Private Members' Bill.




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