Bill to Act: How laws are made
The laws of the Isle of Man, Acts of Tynwald, begin life as Bills. The majority of
these Bills are Public Bills, which are Bills that affect everyone. They are
normally introduced either by the Government or on the initiative of an
individual Member who has been given leave by the House (and where the Bill has
financial implications, has obtained Isle of Man Treasury agreement in
principle) to introduce the Bill. It is also possible for outside bodies or
individuals to petition either the Keys or the Council for leave to introduce
Private Bills, which are Bills of a local or personal character. The procedure
for considering Bills is essentially the same for each category of Bill.
Bills begin their passage through Tynwald in the House of Keys, although they
may begin in the Legislative Council. The Bill follows the same procedure in
each Branch regardless of where it begins.
First Reading of a Bill is the initial stage of its consideration. The first
reading formally brings the Bill before the House. The Secretary reads the
short title of the Bill and states the name of the Member taking the Bill
through the House. There is no debate or vote.
Second Reading of the Bill takes place at a subsequent sitting of the House. At
this stage the general principles and ideas behind the Bill are debated, and
the Bill is voted on.
the motion ‘that the Bill be now read a second time’ is carried, the Bill, or
some of its clauses, may be referred to a Bill Committee appointed by the
House. In this case, once the report of a committee has been considered, the
Bill proceeds to the Clauses Stage.
the Clauses Stage the House considers and debates the Bill clause by clause. Amendments may be moved to the clauses and
new clauses added. In the House the clauses are considered either individually
or in groups on a motion that the clause or clauses "stand part" of
this stage some or all of the clauses may be referred to a committee; the House
proceeds with the Bill once it has considered the report of the committee.
consideration of the clauses of the Bill has been completed, the Bill proceeds
to the next stage, the Third Reading, at a subsequent sitting.
the Third Reading, the Bill, as then agreed by the House, is further debated on
a motion ‘that this Bill be now read a third time’. For this motion to be
carried at least 13 members of the Keys must vote in favour.
Bill is then submitted to the Legislative Council for its consideration. The
Bill goes through three Readings and a Clauses stage in the Council, which are similar to their counterparts in the House of Keys.
Find out more about the consideration of legislation in the Legislative Council.
the Council amends the Bill, the amendments are considered by the Keys. At this
stage the House may agree, disagree, or amend the Council amendments, or
disagree with the amendments, and seek a conference with the Council to resolve
the differences between the two Branches. The President of Tynwald presides
when there is a conference, which is held in private. If an agreement is
reached at the Conference this is reported to the House where the conference
agreement may be approved or disapproved.
a disagreement cannot be resolved, under the Isle of Man Constitution Act 1961
if a Bill is passed by the House of Keys and rejected by the Council, it may
proceed without the agreement of the Council. The power of the Council is
therefore ultimately a delaying power.
a Bill has been passed by both the House of Keys and the Legislative Council it
must be signed by at least five members of the Council and thirteen members of
the Keys in Tynwald Court before it may be submitted for Royal Assent. The
Royal Assent is now commonly given to Bills by the Lieutenant Governor acting
on behalf of the Crown but the Crown reserves the right to determine whether
Royal Assent should be given to any particular Bill.
remains one final procedure. An Act of Tynwald must be promulgated (read out in
Manx and English) within 18 months on Tynwald Hill, St. John's, or it ceases to
Find out more about making legislation.