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Homepage > The Work of the Assembly > Legislation > Primary Legislation

Bills Introduced in the Assembly

The Northern Ireland Assembly has the power to make its own 'primary legislation', or law, within the areas devolved to it under the Northern Ireland Act 1998 (the Act).

Assembly Members make the law mainly through proposing, debating, amending and eventually approving a Public Bill. When fully approved by the Assembly and the Secretary of State, and given Royal Assent, Public Bills become Acts.

There are three types of Public Bill:

  • An Executive Bill which is introduced by a Minister;
  • A Private Members Bill which is introduced by a Member; and
  • A Committee Bill which is introduced by a Committee Chair.

From this page you can view how each Public Bill progressed through the various stages of the legislative process since the restoration of the Northern Ireland Assembly in 1999 until the end of the 2007 mandate on 24th March 2011.

To access a Bill from a previous session along with its associated explanatory and financial memorandum, notices and marshalled list of amendments and any amended version of the Bill please follow one of the links below:

Alphabetical List of Bills

Click here to see a list of every Bill introduced to the Assembly from 1999 until March 2011.

Bills Receiving Royal Assent

Click here for a yearly breakdown of Bills that have become Acts.

Bills from Previous Sessions

2010 - 2011 Session

2009 - 2010 Session

2008 - 2009 Session

2007 - 2008 Session

2006 - 2007 Session

2002 - 2003 Session

2001 - 2002 Session

2000 - 2001 Session

1999 - 2000 Session

MLAs discuss legislation in the Assembly Chamber

MLAs discuss legislation in the Assembly Chamber

Click here for information on the progression of legislation during the current session.

Search the Assembly website for further information on legislation or a particular bill:


Further information on legislation and the different stages of an Assembly Bill

Legislative competence

Bills may be introduced into the Assembly only if they are within the legislative competence of the Assembly.

They are outside that competence if they:

  • form part of the law of another country
  • deal with an excepted matter which is not ancillary to a devolved or reserved matter
  • are incompatible with Convention Rights
  • are incompatible with Community law
  • discriminate on religious or political grounds

[Note: Reserved matters and Excepted matters (that are ancillary to reserved or transferred matters) may be included in an Assembly bill only if approved by the Secretary of State.]

Stages in Consideration of a Bill

First Stage: Introduction of Bill.
Second Stage: General debate of the Bill with an opportunity for Members to vote on its general principles.
Committee Stage (Comm. Stage): Detailed investigation by a Committee which concludes with the publication of a report for consideration by the Assembly.
Consideration Stage (CS): Consideration by the Assembly of, and an opportunity for Members to vote on, the details of the Bill including amendments proposed to the Bill.
Further Consideration Stage (FCS): Consideration by the Assembly of, and an opportunity for Members to vote on, further amendments to the Bill.
Final Stage: Passing or rejecting of Bill by the Assembly, without further amendment.
Royal Assent.

For a more detailed explanation of Assembly Stages click here


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