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How are new Laws made in the Isle of Man?

A law is a rule which tells everyone who lives in the Isle of Man what they can and can’t do. An idea for a new law is written down in a special document called a Bill.

The Bill is debated three times in the House of Keys and four times in the Legislative Council. These debates are called readings or stages. During some of the stages changes to the Bill can be made. These changes are called amendments. When the House of Keys and the Legislative Council have agreed what the Bill should say, the members sign it during a sitting of Tynwald Court.Lieutenant Governor, Mr Adam Wood

After this the Bill is sent to the Queen, as Lord of Mann, for her to approve. Usually the Lieutenant Governor, shown right, will do this on her behalf. Royal Assent is the special name given to the approval given.

Once Royal Assent has been given the Bill is then called an Act which is a law that has been made.

The Act can start to be a new law, which everyone must obey, straight away but sometimes it starts later to give everyone time to get ready for it.

A deemster promulgating the laws in ManxAll new Acts are promulgated, which means read out, on Tynwald Day soon after Royal Assent has been given. This is a tradition which started in Viking times when many people could not read and write and so, for the people to know about the new laws, they were read out at public gatherings.

Today the Acts are promulgated in English and Manx by a deemster, who is a Manx judge.