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Last Updated: Monday, 14 October, 2002, 11:38 GMT 12:38 UK
First Reading

The first reading of a public bill is a formality.

Once formally presented, a bill is printed and proceeds to a second reading.

Amendments can be made at the committee and subsequent stages.

Usually, public bills which have not been passed by the end of a parliamentary session are lost.

The controversial Wild Mammals (Hunting with Dogs) Bill passed its First Reading at the end of November 1997 but ran out of time before getting any further through the leglislative process.

I want a mechanism to permit the carry-over of a bill from one parliamentary year to the next, to allow a longer time for parliament to carry out scrutiny
Robin Cook MP
May 2002

Following a recommendation of the House Modernisation Committee it was agreed that, in certain circumstances, public bills may be carried over from one session to the next, in the same way that private and hybrid bills may be.

In its Third Report, the Modernisation Committee made it clear that, ideally, public bills should go thorugh in one Session:

'We believe that in general the need to get a bill through all stages in both Houses in one Session acts as an important discipline on the Government which we wish to retain. Accordingly we do not see carry-over as an expedient to be resorted to if the Government were to lose its grip on its own legislative programme'
(The Select Committee on Modernisation, Carry-Over of Public Bills)

The first public bill to be treated in this way was the Financial Services and Markets Bill 1998/99.




SEE ALSO:
Making New Law
14 Oct 02  |  BBC Parliament
Types of Bill
14 Oct 02  |  BBC Parliament
Bill Procedure
14 Oct 02  |  BBC Parliament
Second Reading
14 Oct 02  |  BBC Parliament
Commons Committee Stage
14 Oct 02  |  BBC Parliament
Lords Committee Stage
14 Oct 02  |  BBC Parliament
Report Stage
14 Oct 02  |  BBC Parliament
Third Reading
14 Oct 02  |  BBC Parliament
Passage through the other House
14 Oct 02  |  BBC Parliament
Royal Assent
14 Oct 02  |  BBC Parliament
Delegated Legislation
14 Oct 02  |  BBC Parliament


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