is the act of formally proclaiming or declaring new statutory
or administrative law
when it receives final approval.
After it is approved, the new law is officially announced to the public. Normally, it is accomplished by publishing the text of the law in a government periodical. Most governments around the world have also adopted the practice of publishing laws on their official web sites. Additionally, the national laws of extraordinary importance to the public may be verbally announced by the head of state on national television or radio. Local laws are usually announced in the local newspapers and published in bulletins or compendia of municipal regulations.
It has been said that promulgation is the essence of law.
Power to enact laws
The power to enact laws lies with authority having appropriate jurisdiction.
- In the United Kingdom and in Commonwealth Realms, promulgation is performed when granting Royal Assent.
- In Canada, Royal Assent is granted by the Governor General and then published in the Canada Gazette
- In the Republic of Ireland, all laws passed by the Oireachtas are promulgated by the President of Ireland as required by the Constitution of Ireland.
- In Japan, the Emperor promulgates laws passed by the Diet, but the Emperor cannot refuse to promulgate a law.
- On the Isle of Man, laws are promulgated annually on Tynwald Day; any Act of Tynwald that is not promulgated with in eighteen months of passage ceases to remain valid.
- In Italy, the President of the Republic promulgates law; he or she may remand a law to the Chambers of Parliament, with an explanation, and ask for reconsideration (however, the President is required to promulgate the law if it is reapproved without modification).
- 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 he or she deems them "evidently unconstitutional". The question to what degree he or she has to be convinced of the constitutional violation to deny promulgation is hotly debated. One such case arose in July 2005, when it was unclear whether Horst Köhler would sign the bill that paved the way for new elections in September of 2005, after the German government under Gerhard Schröder had lost a parliamentary vote of confidence on purpose. He eventually did.
- 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 make 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.
- In Hong Kong, bills have to be signed and promulgated by the Chief Executive, and be announced by the government by gazetting.
- In Hungary 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.
- In the Canon law of the Roman Catholic Church, 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. Laws issued by bishops and particular councils are promulgated in various ways but by default take effect one month after promulgation.
- 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.
- In Armenia, bills are promulgated by President of the Republic and published in the Official Gazette.
- In Romania, bills and Government ordinances 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.