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    5.0 Royal assent

    The Clerk of the Parliament has responsibility for the process by which a Bill passed by the Legislative Assembly receives assent. After  the Legislative Assembly passes a Bill for an Act, the Clerk advises OQPC to prepare a copy of the Bill in the form it took at its third reading, that is, including any amendments passed during consideration in detail. OQPC sends an electronic copy of the Bill to the Clerk for confirmation of its correctness. Once the Clerk has done this, the Clerk asks OQPC to supply copies of the Bill in two forms: the Bill as at its third reading and the Bill in parchment form.

    As soon as possible after the Legislative Assembly’s Record of Proceedings relating to a Bill becomes available to the parliamentary counsel, the parliamentary counsel by convention writes to the Attorney-General advising the Attorney-General that the Bill for the Act has been passed by the Legislative Assembly and that the Bill is to be presented to the Governor for assent. The letter advises that it is in order for the Attorney-General to sign an attached certificate.

    The attached certificate, in the form of a letter for signature by the Attorney-General addressed to the Governor, informs the Governor that the Bill for the Act has been duly passed through all stages of the Legislative Assembly and that it is in order for the Governor to assent to the Bill.

    The letter, and the draft certificate for signature by the Attorney-General, are delivered to the Clerk of the Parliament. The Clerk delivers the letter and attached certificate to the Attorney-General. The certificate, signed by the Attorney-General, accompanies the Bill delivered to the Governor for assent. (See The Queensland Parliamentary Procedures Handbook.)

    As a practical reality, because the assent to a Bill must follow quickly after its passage by the Legislative Assembly, if there is any substantial issue about the constitutional validity of a Bill, the issue must be considered by the Attorney-General before the Bill is introduced into the Legislative Assembly. The process at that stage may also involve formal advice from the Solicitor-General and other senior lawyers, and consideration by Cabinet.

    Once the Bill has received assent and has become an Act, the Clerk of the Parliament advises OQPC of details of the assent, including the Act’s number, and requests that OQPC prepare a copy of the Act. The Act will include the Act’s number and its date of assent. The Act commences to operate as a new law on the date of assent, subject to any commencement provision included in the Act. Chapter 2.11.2 gives more detail about Act commencement.

    The Queensland Parliamentary Procedures Handbook notes that the process of having a Bill assented to can take up to two weeks. Urgent assent can be obtained in some circumstances. If it is necessary for a Bill to be assented to urgently, the chief executive of the sponsoring department must give the Clerk of the Parliament the earliest possible written notification and the reasons that urgent assent is required.

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    Last updated:
    18 May, 2016
    Last reviewed:
    13 November, 2013