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Modernization and Improvement
Three Readings of a Bill

Three Readings of a Bill

RAY WRIGHT: We use these terms first, second
and third reading, because back in the days of the early Parliaments in England when many
of the members could neither read nor write, one of the clerks would literally read out
the details of the bills, so we still have this reference. What’s important though
about this is that it makes the point that members of parliament should never be ambushed
in the chambers. They should always have full information, so we have a first reading to
alert the members of the fact that the bill has been tabled, we have a second reading
to permit the members to discuss it, we have a third reading to allow the members yet again
to consider what they think about it, but again it all stems from these early, very
early Westminster sort of practices, but with a very practical outcome.

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