Page last updated at 15:55 GMT, Monday, 18 August 2008 16:55 UK
Act of Parliament

When a parliamentary bill passes through all stages in both Houses, it is given Royal Assent by the monarch and becomes part of the law of the land.

At this point, the bill - as amended by parliamentarians - becomes an act of Parliament.

Copies of all acts passed by Parliament have been kept since 1497.

Most of these are kept in the House of Lords Record Office in the Victoria Tower at Westminster and are available for public inspection on arrangement with the Clerk of the Records.

The oldest act held in the Victoria Tower dates from 1497 and is entitled The Taking of Apprentices for Worsteads in the County of Norfolk Act - a worstead was a kind of woollen garment.




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