The legislative procedure
A new piece of legislation may be proposed either by the government, or by one or several deputies. The first case is known as a government bill; the second is known as a private member’s bill. The two procedures are detailed in the Chamber’s Rules of Procedure in Articles 58 to 78.
Government bill or private member’s bill: launching the legislative process
The government bill is introduced to the Chamber by a member of the government who submits it on behalf of the Grand Duke.
The private member’s bill is formulated by one or several deputies. It is then passed on to the various actors (government, Council of State, professional chambers).
Referral to committee: a key step
The procedure for referral to committee applies in the same way, whether it concerns a government bill or a private member’s bill. In concrete terms, the Conference of Presidents entrusts the government bill or private member’s bill to one (or several) parliamentary committee(s). The committee appoints a rapporteur and analyses the proposed legislation, to which it may make amendments.
Other committees may also give an opinion on the proposed legal text.
When the committee has finished its work and adopted a written report, the government bill or private member’s bill is presented and discussed in public session.
Discussion in public session: presentation and last amendments
On the Conference of Presidents’ decision, the government bill or private member’s bill is placed on the agenda of a public session. As a rule, the rapporteur presents the work carried out in the committee and its conclusions, as well as the opinions of the Council of State and the professional chambers. The text is then discussed by the members of the Chamber of Deputies and can still be amended during the public session if requested by at least five deputies. Before the vote, the minister responsible for the matter may take the floor. The arrangements for the public sessions are described in more detail in Articles 32 to 46 of the Chamber’s Rules of Procedure.
Voting: a two-phase process
Voting on the entire text of the act is only possible if it is accompanied by the Council of State’s opinion. As a rule, a second vote must take place, at least three months after the first, but the Chamber generally asks the Council of State for an exemption from this second vote. The Council of State must approve. The voting methods are determined by the Chamber’s Rules of Procedure in Articles 44 to 48.
Promulgation: involvement of the Grand Duke
In order for a law to effectively be applied in Luxembourg, it must be promulgated in advance by the Grand Duke. In practice, the Grand Duke promulgates the law by appending his signature to it. The relevant minister(s) must also sign the text.
Entry into force: the final stage
Four days after its publication in the Official Journal of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the act comes into force and becomes obligatory, unless it states another date of entry into force.