Public Bills

Public Bills change the law as it applies to the general population and are the most common type of Bill introduced in Parliament. Governments may propose major Public Bills that cover a range of related measures; public bills put forward by individual MPs or Lords - known as 'Private Members' Bills - are normally narrow in their scope.

Introduction of Public Bills

Public Bills may be introduced in either House. They must then 'pass' a number of set stages in both Houses if they are to become law. Changes can be made to most Bills by either House during this process

Bills that are largely financial, or involve the public's money - like new taxes or public spending - are always introduced in the Commons.

When a Public Bill becomes law

Once passed into law, a Public Bill becomes an Act of Parliament. The conditions of Public Bills apply to the general public, such as a change to the national speed limit on motorways.

Voicing opposition to a Public Bill

Members of the public who want to voice their objections to Public Bills can do so by:

  • writing to their MP or a Lord
  • writing to the government department responsible for the Bill
  • lobbying Parliament
  • submitting evidence to the relevant Public Bill Committee

Video: find out how to get involved with Parliament

Related information

Government Bills

This is a term for a type of Public Bill, introduced by government ministers.

Private Members' Bills

This is a term for another type of Public Bill. It applies to all Public Bills introduced to Parliament by Members who aren't government ministers.

Public Bills before Parliament

View current Public Bills before Parliament.

Summary of Public Bills introduced by session

The number of public bills introduced by session in each parliament since 1997 and the number that gained Royal Assent, becoming Acts of Parliament.