Justice and Public Safety

Acts and Regulations
Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Where can I obtain a copy of an Act or regulation?
  2. When does an Act come into force?
  3. When does a regulation come into force?
  4. Can an Act come into force with retroactive effect, (i.e. can an Act have an effect before it is passed by the Legislature?
  5. Can a regulation come into force with retroactive effect?
  6. Are the Acts of the province published in a consolidated, loose leaf format?
  7. Are the Acts of the province available in an electronic format?

1. Where can I obtain a copy of an Act or regulation?

Copies of Acts and regulations are available online through the House of Assembly website Printed copies may also be obtained by contacting the Queen's Printer.

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2. When does an Act come into force?

There are 3 possible dates on which an Act can come into force:

  • the date may be included in the Act itself. If so it would be in the last section of the Act. (Commencement Section)
  • the Act may permit the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, that is the cabinet, to decide when it is to come into force. If so it would be in the last section of the Act. (Proclamation Section) (The proclamation  containing the date is published in the Newfoundland and Labrador Gazette.)
  • on the date it is given "the Royal Assent". This date appears on the first page of the Act. (Since "the Royal Assent" is always required for an Act, a date will always appear on the first page. You should always check the last section of an Act to see whether it contains a "Commencement Section" or a "Proclamation Section".) Most Acts come into force on the date the Royal Assent is given.

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3. When does a regulation come into force?

A regulation can come into force on 2 dates.

  • the day it is published in the Newfoundland and Labrador Gazette.
  • however, if the last section of the regulation states a date on which they come into force, the regulations come into force on the date set out in them rather than on the day they are published.

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4. Can an Act come into force with retroactive effect, (i.e. can an Act have an effect before it is passed by the Legislature?

Yes, although this is not usually the case and it only happens if the Act specifically states that it applies with retroactive effect. The date from which it was retroactively effective is contained in the last section of the Act.

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5. Can a regulation come into force with retroactive effect?

Yes, but only if the Act under which the regulation is made specifically allows for it and only then if the date from which the regulation was retroactively effective is set out in the regulations.

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6. Are the Acts of the province published in a consolidated, loose leaf format?

No. The Acts are not available in a consolidated, loose-leaf form.

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7. Are the Acts of the province available in an electronic format?

Yes. The Acts and Subordinate Legislation are now available online through the House of Assembly website.

View more information on the Office of Legislative Counsel

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