Under section 5 of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901, a bill which has been assented to by the Governor-General comes into operation as a law on the 28th day after the Governor-General’s assent, unless the bill specifies another day. Most bills specify the day of assent as the day of commencement, but some specify a particular date. Many bills provide that all or some of their provisions are to commence on a day specified by the Governor-General in a proclamation. Such a provision allows the government to delay the operation of a statute until administrative arrangements or delegated legislation are in place to allow the statute to operate. While this kind of provision may be administratively convenient, it confers a great power on the executive government, and virtually allows the ministry to determine when, if ever, a law duly passed by the Parliament will have effect.
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About Sarah Lynch
Sarah is a writer, lawyer and founder & Editor-in-Chief of BucketOrange Magazine. Based in Sydney, Australia she enjoys wordplay, witticisms and spending time in obliging trees in Botswana. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.