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.

More from BBC Democracy Live
Compare who does what across the UK and Europe
Our A-Z of words used in the business of politics
Discover what BBC Democracy Live has to offer you


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2016 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific