Coming into force

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Coming into force or entry into force (also called commencement) refers to the process by which legislation, regulations, treaties and other legal instruments come to have legal force and effect. The term is closely related to the date of this transition.

General requirements

To come into force, a treaty or Act first needs to receive the required number of votes or ratifications. Sometimes, as with most treaties, this number will be stipulated as part of the treaty itself. Other times, as is usual with laws or regulations, it will be spelt out in a superior law, such as a written constitution or the standing orders of the deliberative assembly in which it originated.

Coming into force generally includes publication in an official gazette so that people know the law or treaty exists, which generally releases it into the public domain.