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Promulgation is the formal proclamation or declaration that a new statutory or administrative law is enacted after its final approval.[1] 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 government gazettes and/or on official government websites. National laws of extraordinary importance to the public may be announced by the head of state on national broadcast. Local laws are usually announced in local newspapers and published in bulletins or compendia of municipal regulations.

Jurisdiction-specific details


Main article: Law of Armenia

Bills are enacted by the President of Armenia and published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Armenia.


Main article: Law of Belgium

Statutes are promulgated by the King of the Belgians[2] 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.

Canon law (Catholic Church)

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A canonical law issued by the Pope (or with his consent in the case of laws issued by an ecumenical council or congregation) is promulgated when it is published in Acta Apostolicae Sedis, and by default has the force of law three months after promulgation.[3] Laws issued by bishops and particular councils are promulgated in various ways but by default take effect one month after promulgation.[4]

According to Canon 7 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law, Lex instituitur cum promulgatur ("A law is instituted when it is promulgated").[5] This is an ancient provision in Latin-rite canon law, dating in its plural form to the Latin formulation of the great twelfth-century codifier of canon law, Gratian: Leges instituuntur cum promulgantur ("Laws are instituted when they are promulgated").


Main article: Law of France

The President of France promulgates law (he may ask Parliament to reconsider the law, but only once).


Main article: Law of Germany

The President of Germany has the duty to duly promulgate and issue laws, unless the President deems them "evidently unconstitutional". The question to what degree they must be convinced of the constitutional violation to deny promulgation is hotly debated.

Hong Kong

Main article: Law of Hong Kong

Bills have to be signed and promulgated by the Chief Executive, and be announced by the government in the gazette.


Laws have to be promulgated by the President of the Republic and must be published afterwards in the Magyar Közlöny, which is the national gazette.


Main article: Law of India

If at any time the Indian Parliament is not in session, the President of India may promulgate an ordinance, which will same effect as an Act. However, such ordinance will be presented before the parliament for final approval.[6]

Republic of Ireland

All laws passed by the Oireachtas are promulgated by a notice in the Iris Oifigiúil published by the President of Ireland, as required by the Constitution of Ireland.[7]

Isle of Man

Main article: Manx law

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[8] on 5 July (or on the following Monday if 5 July is a Saturday or Sunday[9]). 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.[10] This was reduced in 1895 to the titles and a memorandum of the object and purport of the Act,[11] and since 1988 only the short title and a summary of the long title have been read.[12] 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;[13] since 1976 this has been the 'default' procedure,[14] and since 1988 an Act ceases to have effect unless promulgated within 18 months after royal assent is announced in Tynwald.[15]


Main article: Law of Italy

The President of the Republic promulgates law. The President remand a law to the Chambers of Parliament, with an explanation, and ask for reconsiderationbut must promulgate the law if it is re-approved without modification.


Main article: Law of Japan

The Emperor of Japan promulgates laws passed by the Diet. The Emperor cannot refuse to promulgate a law.


Main article: Constitution of Kenya

Promulgation is performed by the President.


Main article: Legal system of Macau

Bills have to approved by the Legislative Assembly, signed and promulgated by the Chief Executive. They must be published in the Official Gazette Boletim Oficial.


Main article: Law of Malta

When a bill is approved by the House of Representatives of Malta, 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 Malta Government Gazette, and thus comes into force.


Main article: Law of Mexico

A law is approved by Congress, signed by the President, and published in the Official Diary of the Federation (Spanish: Diario Oficial de la Federación), or DOF. 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.


Main article: Law of 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


Main article: Law of Romania

Bills have to be promulgated by the President and afterwards published in the official gazette, Monitorul Oficial.


Main article: Law of Sweden

Laws and secondary legislation are promulgated by the Government of Sweden and are published in the Swedish Code of Statutes (Swedish: Svensk författningssamling).


Main article: Law of Turkey

Bills are promulgated by President of the Republic and published in the official gazette, Resmi Gazete.

United Kingdom and other Commonwealth realms

Acts of Parliament are promulgated when given royal assent by the Queen. In the United Kingdom, the sovereign may appear personally in the House of Lords or may appoint Lords Commissioners, who announce that royal assent has been granted at a ceremony held at the Palace of Westminster for this purpose. However, royal assent is usually granted less ceremonially by letters patent.

United States

Acts of Congress are given the force of law, in one of the following ways: signed by the President of the United States; neither signed nor vetoed by the President within ten days from reception (excluding Sundays) while the Congress is in session; or, when both the Senate and the House of Representatives vote, by a two-thirds majority in each chamber, to override a presidential veto during its session.[16] In United States administrative law, a federal regulation may be said to be formally promulgated when it appears in the Federal Register and after the public-comment period concludes.

Amendments to the United States Constitution attain force of law "when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress".[17] When the requisite number of state ratifications has been reached (currently 38), it is the duty of the Archivist of the United States to issue a certificate proclaiming a particular amendment duly ratified and part of the Constitution.[18]


  1. "Promulgate Law & Legal Definition". US Legal, Inc. Retrieved October 28, 2015.
  2. Article 109 of the Belgian Constitution
  3. can. 8 §1, CIC, 1983
  4. can. 8 §2, CIC, 1983
  5. Canon 7, 1983 CIC
  6. "The Constitution (Thirty-eighth Amendment) Act, 1975, The Constitution of India".
  7. Articles 13.3.2° and 25.4.2°
  8. Gregorian Calendar Act 1753 Statutes of the Isle of Man, I, Douglas, 1883, pp. 258–267
  9. Statutory Time etc. Act 1883 Statutes of the Isle of Man, V, p. 209
  10. Acts of Tynwald (Promulgation) Act 1865 Statutes of the Isle of Man, III, p. 176
  11. An Act to further alter the mode of promulgating Acts of Tynwald Statutes of the Isle of Man, VII, p. 1
  12. Promulgation Act 1988 sections 2, 3 and 5
  13. Acts of Tynwald (Emergency Promulgation) Act 1916 Statutes of the Isle of Man, X, p. 31
  14. Interpretation Act 1976 section 10
  15. Promulgation Act 1988 section 3
  16. "1 U.S. Code § 106a - Promulgation of laws". Legal Information Institute (LII). Retrieved October 28, 2015.
  17. National Archives and Records Administration. "The Constitution of the United states Article V".
  18. Pub.L. 98–497
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