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Bills Overview

This page provides an overview of the process by which a bill becomes law, and details some of the key bills currently before Parliament

The Stages in the Legislative Process

First Reading

A first reading is when a bill is introduced to a legislature. Typically, the bill is assigned a tracking number and immediately assigned to a committee. In most British influenced legislatures (Westminster systems) such as Kenya’s, the committee consideration occurs between second and third readings.

Second Reading

A second reading is the stage of the legislative process where a draft of a bill is read a second time. In most Westminster systems, a vote is taken in the general outlines of the bill before it is sent to the designated committee.

Third Reading

A third reading is the stage of a legislative process in which a bill is read with all amendments and given final approval by the legislative body. In legislatures whose procedures are based on those of the Westminster system, the third reading occurs after the bill has been amended by the designated committee.

Presidential Assent

The granting of Presidential Assent is the formal method by which the head of the Executive arm of government completes the legislative process by formally assenting or giving his consent to an Act of Parliament.

Commencement

Quite often, an Act of Parliament may provide that it will come into effect on a date to be notified. In such cases, after the Act has received Presidential Assent, notification of the date of its coming into effect is given through a legal notice usually by the Minister for the time being in charge of the matters with which the Act is concerned.