Special law

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

A special law is a type of legislation.


A special law, or qualified majority law, is a type of legislation in Belgium which requires a qualified majority in both chambers of the bicameral Belgian Federal Parliament to be adopted, amended or repealed. The Belgian Constitution determines which laws require a qualified or special majority. Special laws are primarily used in institutional matters and in matters concerning the competences of the communities and regions of Belgium. One of the best known examples is the Special Law of 8 August 1980 on the Reform of the Institutions.

A special law must be adopted by both the Chamber of Representatives and the Senate in accordance with Article 4, last paragraph, of the Belgian Constitution, which provides that a special law requires a majority of votes cast in both the Dutch-speaking and the French-speaking language group, on the condition that an absolute majority of the members of each language group is present, and the total number of votes in favour in both language groups must constitute a supermajority of two-thirds of the total number of votes cast.


2012 Quebec student protests[edit]

In Quebec, a special law may be adopted in an emergency to resolve a labor dispute in the public service. However, its most infamous use was Act 78 during the 2012 Quebec student protests in an attempt to quell the unrest.

Back-to-work legislation[edit]

In Canada, in the event of strike action(s) and/or lockouts, federal or provincial governments can enact "Back-to-work legislation", a special law, which blocks the strike action and/or lockout from happening or continuing on further, It can also impose binding arbitration or a new contract on the disputing parties. Examples include, the government of Canada passed back to work legislation during the 2011 Canada Post strike and the 2012 CP Rail strike, thus effectively declaring these strikes are now blocked.