1. Introduction to Federal Legislation

2. Bills

3. Legislative Research

Federal Legislation – Research Step Three: Confirm a statute or regulation has come into force

A statute or regulation will, of course, be irrelevant to your research if it is not a governing piece of legislation. Confirming that a statute or regulation has come into force and is legally binding is therefore an essential skill.

With respect to regulations, you must confirm that a regulation has been issued. As well, a regulation only becomes effective once it is deposited with the relevant government office, and this date is normally specified in the regulation itself.

With very new statutes, it is necessary to confirm that a bill has completed the entire legislative process.

Furthermore, even though a statute has completed the legislative process and received Royal Assent, it may not actually be in effect yet. It could have a delayed "coming into force” date or indicate it will be proclaimed into force at some point in the future. Delayed coming into force dates are generally employed to allow for preparations and special arrangements necessary for the proper enforcement of the law.

Confirming this information is therefore an essential stage in your research. While this step may not be as necessary for older and established laws, it is critical when dealing with more recently enacted or issued pieces of legislation.

Check to see if federal legislation has been officially published in any of the following: