British Legislature

  • Created by: yazminab
  • Created on: 06-05-19 12:41
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  • The Legislature
    • The role of Parliament:
      • Passing legislation: supreme law making body, passes and amends laws.
      • Scrutiny of the Executive.
      • Representation: must reflect public opinion, respond to widely held grievances and give minority viewpoints 'air time.'
      • Recruitment of ministers.
      • Debate:  esp issues of national concern: 2002 to debate the possibility of a war in Iraq.
    • The Speaker
      • Currently John Bercow.
      • Backbench MP with a long experience of the House and are elected by fellow MPs.
      • Roles/duties:
        • Chair HOC meetings (impartial).
        • Call MPs to speak/regulate speeches and questions.
        • Adjourn the house: pro hunt protesters stormed the HOC 2004.
        • Cast the deciding vote on a bill: vote for status quo.
        • Select/allocate chairpersons for select committees.
    • MPs, Parties and Whips:
      • MPs:
        • Best represent their constituents by toeing the party line: Benjamin Disraeli.
        • Increasingly careerist: "yes men"
        • "Lobby Fodder"
        • Backbencherswill hold the government to account.
          • Represent constituents/serve constituents/vote on legislation/debates/committee work/PMBs/scrutiny.
        • Private members bills.
      • Parties:
        • Most legislation is government led.
        • Second largest party: the official opposition.
          • Opposition days/extra time in debates/extra questions/extra time in committees.
            • Damaging contributions in debates
            • Public criticisms in Question Time.
            • Hold the Executive to account.
      • Whips:
        • Senior MPs who act as a channel of communication and discipline.
        • Functions: Management/communications/assistance/discipline.
        • 1993 Maastricht Treaty, whips pinned rebellious MPs to the wall to force them to toe the party line.
    • House of Lords
      • Parliament Act 1911: can no longer veto legislation but only delay it.
      • Functions:
        • Scrutiny of the Executive.
        • Debates: highly knowledgable on Europe.
        • Revision of Legislation: 2012 legislation in the reform and reduction of benefits for disabled people.
        • Recruitment of Ministers: remarkable pool of talent of retired ministers who have specialist knowledge.
      • Salisbury Convention: cannot block legislation outlined in gov manifesto.
    • Legislative Process
      • First reading; Second reading; committee stage; report stage; third reading; royal assent.
        • All stages must be completed within one Parliamentary sitting.
      • Private Bills: apply only to a particular area e.g. a private company or public body.
        • Manchester Ship Canal: 19th Century.
      • Public Bills: Most bills are public bills and are gov sponsored.
      • Private Members Bills:majority fail
        • 741 introduced between 1990 and 1997, only 173 passed.
        • 1960s reforms on abortion and homosexuality were achieved through PMBs.


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