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Legislation (or "statutory law") is law which has been promulgated (or "enacted") by a legislature or other governing body, or the process of making it. (Another source of law is judge-made law or case law) Before an item of legislation becomes law it may be known as a bill, and may be broadly referred to as "legislation" while it remains under consideration to distinguish it from other business. Legislation can have many purposes: to regulate, to authorize, to proscribe, to provide (funds), to sanction, to grant, to declare or to restrict.
It can be used to help data protection within computers in the form of the data protection act 1998. It helps keep data safe and with ever growing leglislation laws being passed, it improves the security of your details on the internet.
In some jurisdictions legislation must be confirmed by the executive branch of government before it enters into force as law. Primary legislation may delegate to the executive or other parties limited powers to make secondary legislation, such as Rules, Regulations and Orders which implement its policy in detail.
Under the Westminster system, an item of primary legislation is known as an Act of Parliament after enactment.
Legislation is usually proposed by a member of the legislature (e.g. a member of Congress or Parliament), or by the executive, whereupon it is debated by members of the legislature and is often amended before passage. Most large legislatures enact only a small fraction of the bills proposed in a given session.[http://www.senate.gov/pagelayout/reference/two_column_table/Resumes.htm] Whether a given bill will be proposed and enter into force is generally a matter of the legislative priorities of government.
Legislation is regarded as one of the three main functions of government, which are often distinguished under the doctrine of the separation of powers. Those who have the formal power to ''create'' legislation are known as legislators; a judicial branch of government will have the formal power to ''interpret'' legislation (see statutory interpretation); the executive branch of government can act only within the powers and limits set by the law.
Alternate means of law-making
The function and procedures are primarily the responsibility of the legislature. However, there are situations where legislation is made by other bodies or means, such as when constitutional law or secondary legislation is enacted. Such other forms of law-making include referendums, constitutional conventions, orders-in-council or regulations. The term ''legislation'' is sometimes used to include these situations, or the term ''primary legislation'' may be used to exclude these other forms.
Legislation availability on the web
*[http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/StatutesByTitle Parliament of Canada]
**[http://www.qp.alberta.ca/570.cfm Legislative Assembly of Alberta]
**[http://www.bclaws.ca/Recon/content/site?id=freeside&xsl=/Recon/template/toc.xsl/group-A/ Legislative Assembly of British Columbia]
**[http://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/index_ccsm.php Legislative Assembly of Manitoba]
**[http://www.gnb.ca/0062/acts/index-e.asp Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick]
**[http://assembly.nl.ca/legislation/sr/titleindex.htm Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly]
**[http://www.justice.gov.nt.ca/Legislation/SearchLeg&Reg.shtml Northwest Territory Department of Justice]
**[http://www.gov.ns.ca/legislature/legc/ Nova Scotia House of Assembly]
**[http://www.justice.gov.nu.ca/apps/authoring/dspPage.aspx?page=CURRENT+CONSOLIDATIONS+OF+ACTS+AND+REGULATIONS&letter=A Nunavut Department of Justice]
**[http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/navigation?file=browseStatutes&reset=yes&menu=browse&lang=en Legislative Assembly of Ontario]
**[http://www.gov.pe.ca/law/statutes/index.php3 Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island]
**[http://www.publications.gov.sk.ca/deplist.cfm?d=1&c=42 Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan]
**[http://www2.publicationsduquebec.gouv.qc.ca/home.php Publications du Québec éditeur official (Quebec National Assembly)] and
**[http://www.justice.gov.yk.ca/legislation/index.html Yukon Department of Justice]
*[http://thomas.loc.gov/ United States Congress]
*[http://www.statutelaw.gov.uk United Kingdom]
Legislation available in XML on the web
[http://xml.house.gov/ United States Congress] [http://thomas.loc.gov/home/gpoxmlc109/ (2005-2007)] [http://thomas.loc.gov/home/gpoxmlc110/ (2007-2009)] [http://thomas.loc.gov/home/gpoxmlc111/ (2009-2010)]