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How Our Laws Are Made – THOMAS (Library of Congress)

July 9, 2007

Democracies happen when folks come together and say hey, let’s share ideas and work together to make the world a better place. The United States of America came about this way and here is what we’ve come up with so far . <Source: >

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How Our Laws Are Made

Revised and Updated by Charles W. Johnson
Parliamentarian, United States House of Representatives
Presented by Mr. Ney
June 30, 2003

View complete document pdf (204 K)

Table of Contents

I. Introduction
II. The Congress
III. Sources of Legislation
IV. Forms of Congressional Action

V. Introduction and Referral to Committee
VI. Consideration by Committee

VII. Reported Bills

VIII. Legislative Oversight by Standing Committees
IX. Calendars

X. Obtaining Consideration of Measures

XI. Consideration and Debate

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XII. Congressional Budget Process
XIII. Engrossment and Message to Senate
XIV. Senate Action

XV. Final Action on Amended Bill

XVI. Bill Originating in Senate
XVII. Enrollment
XVIII. Presidential Action

XIX. Publication


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Source: How Our Laws Are Made – THOMAS (Library of Congress)


One Comment leave one →
  1. July 10, 2007 12:08 am

    Compare democracy with Shari’ah law.
    There is tremendous variance in the interpretation and implementation of Islamic law in Muslim societies today. Liberal movements within Islam have questioned the relevance and applicability of sharia from a variety of perspectives; Islamic feminism brings multiple points of view to the discussion. Several of the countries with the largest Muslim populations, including Indonesia, Bangladesh and Pakistan, have largely secular constitutions and laws, with only a few Islamic provisions in family law. Turkey has a constitution that is officially strongly secular. India is the only country in the world which has separate Muslim civil laws, framed by Muslim Personal Law board, and wholly based on Sharia. However, the criminal laws are uniform. Some controversial sharia laws favour Muslim men, including polygamy and rejection of alimony.

    Most countries of the Middle East and North Africa maintain a dual system of secular courts and religious courts, in which the religious courts mainly regulate marriage and inheritance. Saudi Arabia and Iran maintain religious courts for all aspects of jurisprudence, and religious police assert social compliance. Laws derived from sharia are also applied in Afghanistan, Libya and Sudan. Some states in northern Nigeria have reintroduced Sharia courts.[9] In practice the new Sharia courts in Nigeria have most often meant the re-introduction of harsh punishments without respecting the much tougher rules of evidence and testimony. The punishments include amputation of one/both hands for theft, stoning for adultery and apostasy.[citation needed]

    Many (including the European Court of Human Rights) consider the punishments prescribed by Sharia as being barbaric and cruel. Islamic scholars argue that, if implemented properly, the punishments serve as a deterrent to crime.[10] In international media, practices by countries applying Islamic law have fallen under considerable criticism at times. This is particularly the case when the sentence carried out is seen to greatly tilt away from established standards of international human rights. This is true for the application of the death penalty for the crime of adultery, and other such punishments such as amputations for the crime of theft and flogging for fornication or public intoxication. [1]

    An unusual secular-state example was the rejected proposal[11] for a Sharia arbitration court to be established in Ontario, Canada. That province’s 1991 arbitration court law allows disputes to be settled in alternative courts to avoid congestion and delay in the court system. The proposed sharia court would handle disputes between Muslim complainants. Critics claimed that misogyny which they held to be inherent in Sharia might influence the Canadian justice system, but proponents argued that those who do not wish to go by the court’s rulings are not forced to attend it. Moreover, these sharia courts in Canada would be only orthodox in a limited way as they respect the priority of Canadian civil law. Anybody not satisfied with a ruling from the sharia court could appeal to a civil court. Accordingly, this sharia court would be only a very pale version of Sharia.

    On September 11, 2005, Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty stated in a telephone interview that religious arbitration would not be allowed. However, the proposed changes to the Ontario Arbitration Act do not specifically mention religious arbitration,[12] but reduce the power of private arbitration in the area of family law, and introduce other changes. Specifically, under the proposed changes family arbitrators will be regulated, participants in family law arbitration cases will not be able to give up their right to appeal an arbitrator’s decision to a court, and a prenuptial agreement to resolve family law matters, should they arise, through an arbitrator rather than through a court will no longer be binding.

    Nevertheless, the proposed changes were condemned by parts of the Muslim community.[13]

    Though Islamic law is interpreted differently across times, places and scholars, following fundamentalist’s literal and traditional interpretations, Muslim scholars believe it should legally be binding on all people of the Muslim faith and even on all people who come under their control.[citation needed]

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