An Act of the Grand Washingtonian Assembly (simplified to Act of the Assembly) refers to a statute which has been enacted by that body in the Kingdom of Washingtonia. These Acts are classified into each of Washingtonia's four legal fields, namely:
- Constitutional law, which would include the Constitution and statutes related to that document's interpretation and application.
- Administrative law, which would be statutes specifically related to process and procedure of government as well as the interplay between government entities
- Private law, which includes contract law and family law (among others) which relate to the regulation of the private realm of affairs.
- Criminal law, which essentially consists of the Penal Code in its entirety, but also supporting legislation and the odd offence not found within the Code.
A draft statute is referred to as a "Bill", and an enacted forceful statute is usually referred to as an "Act", unless the Grand Assembly specifically and intentionally chooses another form of naming. The Statute of Limitations of 1959, for example, omits the word "Act", as the word "Statute" is already present.
Terminology and naming conventions
Top level subject matter
Constitutional law Act, administrative law Act, private law Act, criminal law Act
Municipal application Act, provincial application Act, national application Act, specific area application Act, nonspecific area application Act
Stages of enactment
- First reading: Bill is read on Assembly floor by sponsor (preferably author), who is an assemblyman. Copies are printed for every assemblyman and interested parties present. Bill is referred to committee.
- Committee stage: Relevant committee considers the Bill (along with the sponsor, preferably the author, regardless of them being a member of the committee or not). Committee can amend and change the Bill with or without the sponsor's permission however must acknowledge that the Bill is no longer in its original form. Vote within committee. Bill fails if it does not acquire a majority.
- Second reading: Amended (or not) Bill is read on the Assembly floor by sponsor (preferably the author) or a member of the relevant committee.
- Floor debate: The Assembly floor is opened to debate. Vote takes place on procedure of debate (organized and moderated in a turn system or unorganized and unmoderated). Debate time ends when a motion to end the debate is passed by majority at least 48 hours after the debate officially began. During debate, the Chairman of the relevant committee in consultation with the sponsor (preferably the author) may allow for amendments to the Bill. Sponsor may retract his version of the Bill, which would usually lead to two separate Bills being voted on during the voting stage.
- Third reading: If amended during the debate, the Bill is read to the Assembly once more by the sponsor (preferably the author) or a member of the relevant committee. If two Bills exist by this stage, both Bills are read.
- Second floor debate and forth reading: If decided necessary by majority vote, a second floor debate takes place, which would repeat the previous two steps. This can continue in perpetuity.
- Voting: The Bill, after the final reading, is officially presented by the Speaker for a vote. If 50%+1 of the Assembly votes in favor, the Bill is passed.
- Assent: If passed by the Assembly, the Bill is presented to the President for signage. The President may sign the Bill, at which time it becomes an Act, or veto the Bill.
- If vetoed: If the Bill is vetoed, it is sent back to the Grand Assembly for reconsideration. No special mandatory procedures exist, thus voting can take place immediately at the discretion of the Speaker. If the Bill passes by a 66.3% majority, it is considered to be assented to, wherein the Speaker signs in the stead of the President.
- Furthermore, once it has been sent back, the Constitutional Court must conduct an investigation into the constitutionality of the Bill. If the CC regards it as unconstitutional, the Bill fails/or is declared unconstitutional if it has passed the Grand Assembly again by 66.3% in the meantime. If the CC regards the Bill as consistent with the Constitution, no action is taken.
- Publication: The Act is not yet in force. The Act in its entirety must, by either the President or Speaker, depending on the circumstance, be given to the Herald Liaison. The Liaison will then at the earliest possible time print the Act in the Herald. Only after the Act has appeared in the Herald can it commence as per the commencement date found in the Act. If no commencement date is found in the Act, it commences upon publication. If the Act was only published after the commencement date, the President or Speaker, depending on the circumstance, must at the earliest possible time publicly announce a new commencement date in the Herald.
List of Acts
- For a topical (subject related) list of Acts, see here.
- For a chronological (time period) list of the same Acts, see here.
|Law of Washingtonia|
|Core subjects||Constitutional law | Administrative law | Private law | Criminal law|
|Further reading||Human and civil rights | Royal prerogative | Legal profession|
|Legislation||Acts of the Grand Washingtonian Assembly (Top/Chr)|
|Precedent||Court of Appeals cases | Supreme Court cases | Const Court cases|
|Decrees and orders||Royal decrees | Executive orders|