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Coming into force

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Although a bill, draft measure or statutory instrument may become law on a particular day, it may not have legal effect until sometime later. In these cases, the law does not operate in practice until it ‘comes into force’ (also called ‘coming into effect’).

This may happen automatically on a date identified in the legislation, or the law may be brought into force by ministers (or others to whom Parliament have given this power) at their discretion, using secondary legislation.