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Law: Legislation

What is legislation?

Legislation comprises the laws (Acts) and rules made by Parliament, together with the legislative process applied to enforce them by delegated authorities.

Information is available to help you gain a better understanding of an Act, through:

Legislative process

The Legislative process is outlined in this link to the Parliament of Australia: The Senate and Legislation. This guide explains the process of how a Bill becomes an Act. It also explains delegated legislation and statutory interpretation.  See also:


Most Acts have Regulations or Rules that accompany them (also called Secondary Legislation):


You always need to check the currency of an Act or a Regulation. You can do this via the specific piece of legislation you need.

  • Acts commence on Assent and some on Proclamation - sometimes different parts of an Act commence at different times.
  • Acts and Regulations are progressively amended over time - the current versions that you see on the Western Australian Legislation website and the Commonwealth Federal Register of Legislation are consolidated. This means amendments to date have been incorporated into the most current version.

Sometimes it is necessary to refer to a piece of legislation as at a date in the past (point-in-time):

Legislation research

Click the topics below for relevant information: