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Promulgation is the act of formally proclaiming or declaring a new statutory or administrative law after its enactment. In some jurisdictions, this additional step is necessary before the law can take effect.

After a new law is approved, it is announced to the public through the publication of the text of the law in a government periodical and/or on official websites. National laws of extraordinary importance to the public may be announced by the head of state on a national broadcast. Local laws are usually announced in the local newspapers and published in bulletins or compendia of municipal regulations.

Jurisdiction-specific details

  • In the Commonwealth realms, promulgation is performed when granting Royal Assent.
  • In Armenia, bills are enacted by the President of the Republic and published in the Official Gazette.
  • In Belgium, statutes are promulgated by the King of the Belgians[1] and published in the Belgian Official Journal. Decrees and Ordinances are promulgated by the different Regional and Community governments and published in the Belgian Official Journal.
  • In France, the President of the Republic promulgates law (he may ask Parliament to reconsider the law, but only once).
  • In Germany, the President of Germany has the duty to duly promulgate and issue laws, unless they deem them "evidently unconstitutional." The question to what degree they must be convinced of the constitutional violation to deny promulgation is hotly debated.
  • In Hungary laws have to be promulgated by the President of the Republic and must be published afterwards in the Magyar K zl ny which is the national gazette.
  • In Hong Kong, bills have to be signed and promulgated by the Chief Executive, and be announced by the government by gazetting.
  • In the Republic of Ireland, all laws passed by the Oireachtas are promulgated by a notice in the Iris Oifigi il published by the President of Ireland, as required by the Constitution of Ireland.[2]
  • In the Isle of Man, by ancient custom an Act of Tynwald, the legislature of the island, did not come into force until it had been "promulgated" at an open-air sitting of Tynwald, usually held on Tynwald Hill at St John's on St John's Day (24 June) but since the adoption of the Gregorian calendar in 1753[3] on 5 July (or on the following Monday if 5 July is a Saturday or Sunday[4]). Promulgation originally consisted of the reading of the Act in English and Manx, but after 1865 the reading of the title of the Act and a summary of each section were sufficient.[5] This was reduced in 1895 to the titles and a memorandum of the object and purport of the Act,[6] and since 1988 only the short title and a summary of the long title have been read.[7] An emergency procedure enabling an Act to come into force on Royal Assent being announced at an ordinary sitting of Tynwald, subject to its being promulgated within 12 months, was introduced in 1916;[8] since 1976 this has been the 'default' procedure,[9] and since 1988 an Act ceases to have effect unless promulgated within 18 months after Royal Assent is announced in Tynwald.[10]
  • In Italy, the President of the Republic promulgates law. The President remand a law to the Chambers of Parliament, with an explanation, and ask for reconsideration—but must promulgate the law if it is re-approved without modification.
  • In Japan, the Emperor promulgates laws passed by the Diet, but the Emperor cannot refuse to promulgate a law.
  • In Kenya, promulgation is performed by the president.
  • In Malta, when a bill is approved by the House of Representatives, it is presented to the President of Malta for his assent. According to constitutional obligation he shall without delay signify that he assents and hence promulgate the said Bill into a Parliamentary Act. The Parliamentary Act is then published in the government gazette having effect thereof.
  • In Mexico, a law is approved by Congress, signed by the President and published in the Official Daily of the Federation (DOF - Diario Oficial de la Federaci n) - Each Law in its Transitional Articles (Transitorios) states when the Law takes effect (entra en vigor) and, when applicable, what law it cancels and replaces. Regulations are prepared by the Executive branch in order to establish the administration of the Law. They are signed by the President and published in the DOF.
  • In Poland laws have to be promulgated by the President of the Republic in the Dziennik Ustaw journal. The President may refer to the Constitutional Tribunal; if he has not made reference, he may refer the bill to the Sejm (veto) for further reconsideration. The bill shall then be repassed only by a qualified majority of three-fifths in the presence of at least half of the statutory number of Deputies.
  • For Roman Catholic Church canon law, laws issued by the Pope or an ecumenical council are promulgated when they are published in Acta Apostolicae Sedis and by default have the force of law three months after promulgation.[11] Laws issued by bishops and particular councils are promulgated in various ways but by default take effect one month after promulgation.[12]
  • In Romania, bills have to be promulgated by the President and afterwards published in the official gazette Monitorul Oficial.
  • In Turkey, bills are promulgated by President of the Republic and published in the official gazette, Resmi Gazete.
  • Although the United States Constitution does not refer to "promulgation" as such, U.S. laws take effect upon being signed by the President of the United States or upon the overriding of a presidential veto. In United States administrative law, a regulation may be said to be formally promulgated by an administrative agency when it appears in the Federal Register and after the public-comment period concludes.


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