"Law" can describe a set of statements that have legal consequences. It's a technique of social control, achieved in different ways.|
- Penal technique - Any statutory provision which creates an offence or a crime in an example of the penal technique.
- Grievance-remedial technique - This technique involves a private citizen seeking a civil remedy as opposed to a criminal prosecution conducted by the state.
- Private arranging technique - The law provides rules which determine whether some act is validly done. E.g. making a will, selling a house etc.
- Constitutive technique - The law recognizes a group of indivuals as constituing a legal person, separate from those individuals.
- Administrative regulatory technique - This technique regulates activities that are generally of societal benefit, but which need controls and guidelines: eg. the production of food.
- Fiscal techniques - The law imposes a complicated set of social controls on what we can retain of what we earn - direct taxation as well as other levies, eg. GST, ACC levies, local authority rates.
- Social benefit conferment - How government spends itrevenue to provide benefits and services.
The creation of Acts of Parliament
Proposed legislation is introduced in the form of Bills. Public Bills apply to the whole community, local Bills apply only to a particular locality and Private Bills apply only to a particular individual or group. Government Bills are introduced by a minister on behalf of the government. Private Members' Bills are introduced by individual members.
Introduction of bill
The Leader of the House informs the clerk of the House of the intention to introduce the Bill. Printed copies of the Bill are then circulated and then the Clerk announces the introduction of the Bill on the next sitting day.Members then have three sitting days to become familiar with the Bill and the Attorney General has the chance to examine the Bill for inconsistencies with the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990.
First reading debate
A motion is moved by the member in charge of the bill that it be read for the first time. The debate on the motion is limited to up to 2 hours for government Bills and just over 1 hour for others. The Select Committee to which the Bill is to be referred is then indicated by the member, unless the Bill is accorded urgency or related to finance bills, and the House votes on the motion. If agreed to, the Bill is referred to the relevant Select Committee.
Select Committee consideration
The Select Committe examines the Bill and may recommend amendments. Public submissions are invited. The Committe must report back to the House within 6 months, or the Bill is discharged from further committe consideration.The amendments made during the select committe process are shown in the reprinted version of the Bill, and the select committee also prepares a commentary, which includes submissions received, witnesses heard, discussion and reasons for any significant changes.
Second reading debate
This is where Members of the House debate the principles of the Bill. Then a motion is put that the Bill be read a second time. If passed, the Bill enters the Committe of the Whole House stage.
Committee of the whole House
This is the stage where the Bill is debated clause for clause and can be amended. There is generally no time limit on the debate. The number of the clause or other provision is read and then a question proposed that it stand as part of the Bill. At the end of debate on this change, the question is put whether the change should stand as part of the Bill. The Bill is then set down for its final reading on the third sitting day following.
Third reading and'passing'
A motion is put that the Bill be read a third time. This is the last chance to debate the Bill, and it can last for up to 2 hours. If the motion to read is carried, the Bill has been 'passed' by the House.
A 'fair' copy of the Bill is then printed and two copies are authenticated by the Clerk of the house and presented for the royal assent by the governor general as the representative of the Queen. These procedures may be abridged when urgency is taken.
Creation of regulations (Exectutive Council)
Regulations are one form of 'delegated' or 'subordinate' legislation, made by the Governor General acting together with those members of the House holding ministerial warrants. In the past regulation-making powers meant much of the rule making process was removed from the scrutiny of Parliament but they are now subject to disallowance by the House of Representatives if they are considered inappropriate.