Act vs Legislation
In a parliamentary system of democracy, members of parliament are called legislators and the Acts passed by these legislators become legislation or laws once they get the assent of the President. Though referring the same legal term, Acts and Legislation differ from each other narrowly and this difference will be talked about in this article.
An Act of parliament is a type of legislation sometimes referred to as primary legislation. Most of the Acts are introduced by the government though it is not uncommon to see private members introducing draft legislation called as private members bill. At this stage, the act is called a bill, and it is only after deliberation by the members of the parliament and their approval that the bill is sent to the President for his approval. After the nod or assent by the President, the Act finally sees the light of the day and is declared a piece of legislation or law applicable on all citizens of the country or specific to a particular section of the society.
There are public acts, private acts and hybrid acts. While public acts are meant to be applied on all citizens of the country, private Acts are meant for specific people. A hybrid act is an Act that has elements of both public and private Acts.
A bill, proposed by a private member or the executive is debated by the members of the parliament and is passed after suitable amendments that are acceptable to the majority of the legislators. Once the bill is passed by the parliament and given assent by the President, it becomes a law and a legislation like previous laws of the land and applicable upon one and sundry.
An Act of the Parliament, once debated and suitably amended, and finally given assent by the President becomes legislation. Here it is important to note that the power to create legislation lies with the legislators or members of the parliament, the power to interpret the legislation lies with the judiciary, and the power to implement legislation resides in the executive or the government of the country.
Law, or legislation, is a generic term that covers all the acts and regulations passed by the legislature.
Kenneth Loh Weng Hong says
The article has several places which confuse the reader on the differences between an Act, a bill and a legistration. It should use the same description approach as in the article “Difference Between Act and Bill” where it unambiguously stated the differences between an act and a bill using a life-cycle model.