Legislative Record

Bills usually take months to get through the Assembly. However, under the Accelerated Passage procedure, a Bill can pass through all stages in as little as ten days. This process skips the Committee Stage. Cross-community support is required for the Assembly to allow a Bill to go through the Accelerated Passage procedure.


2011-2016 Mandate

Between May 2011 and March 2016, the Assembly passed a total of 67 Bills. Of these, 60 were Executive Bills introduced by Ministers and 5 were Private Member’s Bills (PMBs), introduced by individual MLAs. There was also a Committee Bill to establish a single office to deal with complaints about public services – the Public Service Ombudsman Bill (a second, technical Bill on the same issue).

Bills which were introduced to the Assembly, but did not complete the legislative process, included 4 Executive Bills and 5 PMBs.

The Assembly made a total of 1,953 changes to Bills. The Executive Bill with the most amendments was the Reservoirs Bill, and Lord Morrow’s Human Trafficking Bill was passed with 200 amendments.

Bills usually take about 5 months to get through the legislative process in the Assembly, although some can take much longer. Before introducing a legislative proposal, a department or MLA will spend a long time developing the idea before drafting the law. They will also consult the public.

Go to www.niassembly.gov.uk to view the progress of each Bill through the various stages of the legislative process. Follow the progress of a Bill. Did it pass all stages and become an Act? How long did it take to get through the legislative process? How many amendments were made to it along the way?

The 2007 – 2011 Mandate

Between May 2007 and March 2011, MLAs introduced 79 Bills to the Assembly and 69 of these Bills became laws.

Eleven MLAs introduced their own Private Member’s Bill. Three passed, including the Autism Bill.

One committee, in partnership with the Assembly Commission, introduced a Bill to allow for the independent review of MLAs’ salaries and expenses. The Bill also created the post of Assembly Ombudsman to handle complaints against MLAs.

The Planning Bill was the largest piece of legislation. It had most amendments made to it – 145. The Assembly passed the Debt Relief Bill with just one amendment.