How a bill becomes law

A society cannot function properly without arrangements or laws. About traffic, the economy, education, the rights of young people: you name it. Society is continually changing, and so new laws must be made or existing laws amended. That is one of the main duties of the House of Representatives and the Government. What steps have to be taken to make a law and what is the role of the House of Representatives in this process?

  1. There is something wrong here

    The House of Representatives regularly receives warning signs of all kinds of problems in society: from social organisations, from citizens or via the media.

    Hand of a person making notes in notepad
  2. A proposal

    If the Cabinet, like the House of Representatives, is of the opinion that new legislation is needed, civil servants are instructed to draft a bill. How can such a domestic exclusion order be implemented, or in other words: what exactly must be laid down by law? Questions to be answered include: who will have the authority to impose a temporary domestic exclusion order? How to organise the provision of assistance? Who is going to pay for the domestic exclusion order?

  3. What do politicians think about it?

    The bill is first examined by a standing committee of the House of Representatives, composed of members from all the parties (which are called parliamentary groups in the House) who have detailed knowledge of a certain area. Justice, in this case. The parliamentary groups in the House comment on the bill in writing.

    Committee meeting
  4. Will it be yes, no, or something else?

    The preparation by the committee is followed by a debate in the Plenary Hall of the House of Representatives. The parliamentary groups in the House discuss the bill with the minister(s). Amendments put forward by MPs are also discussed.

  5. Are we sure?

    In the Senate, too, the bill is first dealt with by a committee. Just as in the House of Representatives, followed by a debate (if deemed necessary) and voting. The Senate focuses on the practicability of the new law and considers whether the proposal is well conceived. However, the bill can no longer be amended, because the Senate has only the right to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the proposal.

    Plenary Hall of the Dutch Senate
  6. New rules

    Once the bill has been passed by the Senate, the new law must be published in the Bulletin of Acts and Decrees. The bill is signed by the Head of State and by the minister who defended the bill. In the case of the Temporary Domestic Exclusion Order Act 2008 (Wet tijdelijk huisverbod ), the minister of Security and Justice signed the bill and was responsible for its publication in the Bulletin of Acts and Decrees. For the most part, a law comes into force though a separate decree, often on 1 January, but this may also happen on another date.