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Bills and Explanatory Memorandums

 

Background: How a Law is Made in Victoria

Acts originate in the form of bills. As a bill is a draft of an Act, its text is set out in much the same way as an Act, with the provisions numbered and referred to as clauses. Most bills are issued with an explanatory memorandum (EM) which explains the content and purpose of the bill. Long after a bill becomes an Act, the explanatory memorandum continues to be an important document as it can aid in the understanding of a piece of legislation.

Current bills and EMs are available via the Internet.

Older Commonwealth bills (from 1996) are also available. Prior to 1996, it is necessary to locate the printed copy of the bill and EM. For Commonwealth bills, pre-1982, use the Index to Explanatory 1901 to discover if there was, in fact, an accompanying EM.

Older Commonwealth bills and EMs have been moved to the Annexe. Use this form to request a bill or EM from the Annexe. Commonwealth bills (catalogue record).

The Parliamentary Library in Canberra offers a digest service for each new Commonwealth bill. This service indicates the purpose of the new legislation (and covers bills since 1990), the background (why it was introduced) and provides a summary of the main provisions of each bill.  

Victorian bills are available online from 1967. The Victorian Parliamentary Library Research Service started producing Research Briefs in 2006. These are available for a small number of new bills.

Older Victorian bills and EMs (in print) have been moved to the Annexe. Use this form to request a bill or EM from the Annexe. Victorian bills (catalogue record).

 

Bill

Site

Commonwealth bills and EMs (from 1996+) Via Commonwealth Parliament
Commonwealth bills (from 1996+) Via ComLaw
Commonwealth EMs (from 1996+) Via ComLaw
Victorian bills (current) Via Victorian Parliament [Use Parliamentary Documents]
Old Victorian bills (from 1967+) Via AustLII
Old Victorian bills (from 1996+) Via Victorian Parliament [Use Parliamentary Documents] ->Archive
Old Victorian EMs (from 1967+) Via AustLII
Old Victorian EMs (from 2001+) Via Victorian Parliament [Use Parliamentary Documents] ->Archive

 

How do you check on the progress of a bill?
It is sometimes necessary to know how far a bill has progressed through the Parliament. For Commonwealth bills, use the Parliament's Bills site. Progress of Victorian bills is given for each bill as a Status Report at the Victorian Parliamentary Documents site.

Australian Current Law - Legislation (online) contains a cumulative table of bills, arranged by jurisdiction.

Parliamentary Debates (Hansard)

The progress of a bill through both houses of parliament and the debates on it are recorded in the Parliamentary Debates, commonly referred to as Hansard. Second reading speeches are very useful in interpreting statutes. The dates of these speeches are usually printed at the end of each Act, in the Notes section. This practice began in 1985 for Commonwealth Acts and in 1986 for Victorian Acts.

 

 

Commonwealth Hansard

 

Hansard in print

 

Bundoora Storage Special  A Z/3 P2

1901 - 1953

 

 

 

 

Victorian Hansard

 

v.1(1856/57)-v.11(1864/65)

Bundoora Storage Special  A/V Z/3 P1

v.1(1866)-v.254(1956/58)

Bundoora Storage Special  A/V Z/3 P2

v.255(1958)-v.366 (1982)+

Bundoora Govt Pubns  A/V Z/3 P2 -  (Level 2)

   

   

Bills and Explanatory Memorandums

How a Law is made in Victoria

Bills

Commonwealth bills and EMs (1996+)  Victorian bills (current)

Progress of bills

Parliamentary Debates (Hansard)

Acts of Parliament

Where are numbered Acts located at Bundoora?

Acts are located in the Law Reports and Legislation Collection on Level 2 in bound volumes, arranged in number order.  This set of Acts, in the original form, is known as the numbered Acts. The latest Acts, referred to as loose Acts or unbound Acts, are kept with the bound volumes. Individual Acts are not listed by title in the library catalogue.

Act

Location

Commonwealth Acts Law Reports and Legislation Collection LEG 348.94 A93
Victorian Acts Law Reports and Legislation Collection LEG 348.94 V632

Are numbered Acts available via the Internet?

Act

Site

Commonwealth Acts [from 1973] via ComLaw | via AustLII
Victorian Acts [from 1996] via Victorian Parliament[use the Victorian Statute Book option] | via AustLII

 

Finding commencement dates.

When does the new legislation come into force? Use an annotation service to find commencement dates. For recently passed Acts, Australian Current Law: Legislation has a cumulative table of Acts passed, amended, repealed or commenced. ComLaw contains commencement for each Commonwealth Act, in Schedule 2 of each numbered Act.

Finding an Act if you do not know its exact title.

You may not always know the correct title of the Act you are looking for. For example, you may be looking for the Act which regulates the donation of blood in Victoria. There are many ways to determine the name of the relevant Act(s). These include

Reprinted Acts

An Act may be amended a number of times. If this occurs a 'revised version' of the Act may be issued, incorporating the amendments into the text of the Act. This revision is known as a 'reprint'. Reprints may also be known as consolidations or paste-ups.

Regulations

In the text of an Act, there is sometimes provision made for the making of regulations by a person or body to whom parliament has delegated some of its law-making powers. These laws are known collectively as subordinate or delegated legislation.  Statutory rules, regulations, by-laws, rules are all used to describe specific types of delegated legislation.

Regulations can, like Acts, be 'revised' and reprinted to incorporate the amendments.

 

Where are regulations located at Bundoora?

Commonwealth regulations

Numbered regulations Law Reports and Legislation     LEG 348.94 A934
Reprinted regulations Law Reports and Legislation     LEG 348.94 A935

Victorian regulations

Numbered regulations Law Reports and Legislation     LEG 348.94 V634
Reprinted regulations Law Reports and Legislation     LEG 348.94 V635

Are regulations available via the Internet?

Commonwealth Regulations

Site

Numbered regulations Via ComLaw | via AustLII
Consolidated regulations Via ComLaw | via AustLII

Victorian Regulations

Site

Numbered regulations via AustLII |via Vic Parliament from 1996 [use the Victorian Statute Book option]
Consolidated regulations via AustLII |via  Vic Parliament [use the Victorian Law Today option]

 

Other Australian States and Territories

Australian Capital Territory Numbered Acts, Consolidated Acts, Numbered Regulations, Consolidated Regulations - AustLII

New South Wales Numbered Acts, Consolidated Acts, Numbered Regulations, Consolidated Regulations - AustLII

Northern Territoy Numbered Acts, Consolidated Acts, Numbered Regulations, Consolidated Regulations - AustLII

Queensland Numbered Acts, Consolidated Acts, Numbered Regulations, Consolidated Regulations - AustLII

South Australia Numbered Acts, Consolidated Acts, Numbered Regulations, Consolidated Regulations - AustLII

Tasmania Numbered Acts, Consolidated Acts, Numbered Regulations, Consolidated Regulations - AustLII

Western Australia Numbered Acts, Consolidated Acts, Numbered Regulations, Consolidated Regulations - AustLII