How Laws are Made

How Laws are Made

Learning Outcome

This lesson describes how laws start out as Bills and the different stages of a bill before it becomes an Act.


Ask students to take a look at their School Rules. Ask students to discuss each of their school rules and to state why they think these rules are necessary and what might happen if they did not exist.

Ask students to find out about some laws that are being enacted. Why do they think these new laws are necessary?

Teacher & Student resources

Video Transcript

All Laws start out as Bills. A Bill is the name given to a proposal for a law or legislation.

There are three different types of Bills. The most popular of these are Public Bills and are proposed by the Government. Private Bills are promoted by local authorities and private individuals and then there’s Private Member’s Bills.

That’s when a proposal for a law is made by an opposing party or individual TD or senator.

A proposal for a new law can be made in either the Dáil or the Seanad. New legislation will apply changes to how the country is run. For example, after The Budget, which is when the government outlines its annual financial proposals, a Finance Bill is proposed. This will in turn become a Finance Act which can then begin to make the recommendations proposed in the Bill once it has been passed by both Houses.

There are five stages to a Bill becoming a Law. These stages give Oireachtas Members opportunities to discuss, debate and change the Bill before it is

Once the Dáil and the Seanad both pass the Bill, the Taoiseach presents a copy to the President to sign and declare it as a law. The signed law then goes to the Registrar of the Supreme Court where it is enrolled and kept on record, so it can be referred to if its ever necessary.

PDF link to video transcript here

Lesson PDF