PARLIAMENT

OF SRI LANKA

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Private Members' Bills

Any Private Member of Parliament who wishes to introduce a Bill which is intended to affect or benefit some particular person, association or corporate body should give notice of the Bill by advertising in the Gazette in Sinhala, Tamil and English and in at least one Sinhala, one Tamil and one English newspaper circulating in the Republic stating its general nature and objects and such advertisement shall appear at least one month before the application for leave to introduce the Bill is made. (Standing Order 53 (1)).

 

A “Private Member” is defined in Standing Order 24 (3):

24 (3) A “Private Member” does not include a Member holding the office of the Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Deputy Chairperson of Committees, Prime Minister, Ministers of the Cabinet of Ministers, Ministers who are not members of the Cabinet of Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Leader of the House of Parliament, Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, Chief Government Whip and the Chief Opposition Whip.

 

Note*

If the Bill is of public or general interest, advertising in the newspapers and in the Gazette will not be required.

 

 

Private Members' Bills

 

Procedure of Private Members’ Bills is laid down in Standing Order 52 and 53.

 

1.

When a Private Member's Bill is received in Parliament under Standing Order 52, the Bill is referred to the Attorney-General to seek his opinion as to whether the Bill is inconsistent with the Constitution and whether it contravenes the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution. The Attorney-General shall communicate his observations to the Parliament within six weeks in terms of Standing Order 52 (3).

After the receipt of the opinion of the Attorney-General the Bill is printed as a Gazette supplement in Sinhala and Tamil a translation in English, in terms of Standing Order 52 (4).

   
2.

After lapse of fourteen days from the date of Gazette publication, the Bill shall be placed on the Order Paper for First Reading in terms of Standing Order 52 (5).

   
3.

The Parliament has to approve the introduction of a Private Members’ Bill. In the case of approval not being granted by the House for introduction, with the support of not less than twenty Members, the Bill shall be deemed to have been read the first time in terms of Standing Order 52 (6).

   
4.

After the First Reading, the Bill is ordered to be printed and will be forwarded to the relevant Minister for a report in terms of Standing Order 52 (6).

   
5.

After the Minister's Report is received in Parliament together with the observation of the Attorney-General in terms of Article 77 of the Constitution and the Cabinet approval, the Bill is printed in the form of a Report and tabled in Parliament. If the Minister has not approved the enactment of the Bill, then the Attorney-General’s certificate and the Cabinet approval are not necessary.

   
6.

If the Report of the Minister is not received within six months, the Bill is placed in the Order Paper for Second Reading upon such a day as the Member in charge of it desires in terms of Standing Order 52 (7).

   
7.

After the Minister's Report is tabled in Parliament and the Bill is read a Second time, the Bill is referred to the Legislative Standing Committee.

   
8.

The proceedings of the Legislative Standing Committee is conducted in terms of Standing Order 113 and the Report of the Legislative Standing Committee is presented to Parliament in terms of Standing Orders 68 and 70.

   
9.

The Report of the Legislative Standing Committee is considered in Parliament in terms of Standing Order 72 (1).

   
10.

After the Bill has been reported to Parliament, the Bill shall be read a Third time and passed in terms of Standing Order 72.

   
11.

After Third Reading any verbal or drafting amendment may be made upon motion after notice in terms of Standing Order 73 and forwarded for the Speaker's Certificate under Article 79 and 80 of the Constitution and in terms of Standing Order 74.

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Last Updated on 26-04-2018

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