The power to make laws is shared between the Commonwealth Parliament and each state parliament. There are four main sources of law in NSW: the Australian Constitution, federal legislation, NSW legislation and common law. Common law is developed by judges when they decide cases and refer to previous decisions for guidance on how the law should be applied.
The law-making process in NSW is similar to most other Australian states, the Australian Federal Parliament, and the British Parliament, upon which our system of government is based. This process involves:
- developing policy
- drafting a Bill
- passing the Bill through Parliament
- receiving royal assent from the Governor
The NSW Parliament has produced six videos which provide an overview of parliamentary processes and the passage of legislation.
The Governor allocates to ministers the administration of legislation and other portfolio duties under the Constitution Act 1902. This usually occurs after each election or any large-scale Cabinet portfolio changes. The Allocation of the Administration of Acts specifies the minister currently responsible for each piece of legislation.
Each agency administers many Acts of Parliament and subordinate legislation on behalf of the relevant minister. You should familiarise yourself with the Acts and legislation relevant to your agency.
Current Acts of Parliament and subordinate legislation are published on the NSW legislation website which is managed by the NSW Parliamentary Counsel’s Office.