Before a new law can be enacted it must first be considered by the House of Keys and the Legislative Council. During this process it is known as a Bill. The Bill must pass through a number of stages in each House before being signed in Tynwald Court.
Following this the Bill is submitted for Royal Assent. Historically this was given by the Monarch in Council but today most Bills are dealt with by the Lieutenant Governor who is advised by the Ministry of Justice. Once a Bill has received Royal Assent it becomes an Act of Tynwald.
Primary Legislation - Acts
An Act is a piece of primary legislation, the highest form of legislation that can apply in the Isle of Man. Acts of Tynwald are those passed by the Branches and given Royal Assent. Acts of Parliament may also be applied to the Isle of Man in a number of different ways.
An Act is a piece of primary legislation that has completed its passage through the relevant legislature and has received Royal Assent. At any time before receiving the Royal Assent (e.g. when it is before the House of Keys or Legislative Council for consideration) it is referred to as a Bill.
Secondary legislation, also known as subordinate legislation is made under the authority of primary, enabling, legislation. This means that when the primary legislation was made some of the details were omitted, for example primary legislation may make provision for income tax to be charged but would leave out the levels of contribution so that these could be altered when required. The Isle of Man secondary legislation is made by way of Statutory Documents which may require approval by Tynwald. UK secondary legislation made by way of Statutory Instruments may also be applied to the Isle of Man.
Further details of aspects of the Legislative Process may be found via the links on the left and in the Tynwald Companion - Making Legislation - Chapter 7.