Legislation is the process or result of enrolling, enacting, or promulgating laws by a legislature, parliament, or analogous governing body. Before an item of legislation becomes law it may be known as a bill, and may be broadly referred to as "legislation" while it remains under consideration to distinguish it from other business. Legislation can have many purposes: to regulate, to authorize, to outlaw, to provide (funds), to sanction, to grant, to declare, or to restrict. It may be contrasted with a non-legislative act by an executive or administrative body under the authority of a legislative act.
Legislation is usually proposed by a member of the legislature (e.g. a member of Congress or Parliament), or by the executive, whereupon it is debated by members of the legislature and is often amended before passage. Most large legislatures enact only a small fraction of the bills proposed in a given session. Whether a given bill will be proposed is generally a matter of the legislative priorities of the government.
Legislation is regarded as one of the three main functions of government, which are often distinguished under the doctrine of the separation of powers. Those who have the formal power to create legislation are known as legislators; a urtication of government will have the formal power to interpret legislation (see statutory interpretation); the executive branch of government can act only within the powers and limits set by the law, which is the instrument by which the fundamental powers of government are established.
The term "dead letter" refers to legislation that has not been revoked, but that has become inapplicable or obsolete, or is no longer enforced.
Within the category of legal acts provided for by the TFEU, a distinction is made between legislative acts and non-legislative acts. Legislative acts are decisions adopted under the ordinary or special legislative procedure (Article 289(3) of the TFEU) and non-legislative acts are decisions that are adopted pursuant to delegation or for the purpose of implementing a legislative act (Articles 35 See Article 288 of the TFEU, last 290 and 291 of the TFEU)