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How does a bill become an act?
· To become an act the bill must pass through both houses and receive royal assent.
Can start in either house unless its a money ­ that starts in the commons.
· First reading: go through main aims and no debate or scrutiny at this point
· Second reading: debate starts by promoter of bill or minister, focuses on general
principles and they vote on whether or not it should carry on (if it carries on its more
likely to have a chance)
· Committee stage: passed to standing committee of 16-50 mps who generally have an
interest in the bill. Scrutinise the bill and vote on it ­ money bills examined by whole
house. In HOL they all scrutinise ­ no special committee
· Report stage: standing committee reports any amendments ­ each one is voted on
being accepted or rejected, make additional amendments ­ if nothing changed in the
committee stage then they don't need a report stage
· Third reading: review of the bill and vote taken on whether it should proceed to the
other house. Usually a formality stage.…read more

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Pressure groups
· Groups of people with similar ideas who campaign
for changes in the law. Can have small or massive
networks of supporters.
· Try and influence parliament to legislate on issues
that interest them.
· Use a variety of methods to gain attention like
lobbying or talking to ministers/MPs, getting the
public to sign a petition, running a publicity
campaign ­ advertising in media, organising
marches/demonstrations/strikes.…read more

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Main types of pressure groups
· Sectional: represent particular sections of society.
Motivated by self interest. E.g. British Medical
Association for doctors, Law Society for lawyers, Bar
Council for barristers.
· Cause: promote attitudes and values, motivated by
moral concerns. E.g. Greanpeace, WWF, RSPB, Jamie
· Insider: have direct contact with government
ministers, MPs and other officials. E.g. NFU, BMA.
· Outsider: don't have access to decision makers and
may use direct action or barely legal actions to
promote their cause. E.g. Fathers 4 Justice, Animal Aid.…read more

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Advantages of pressure groups
· Raise public awareness e.g. AllOut for LGBT
rights ­ use flash mobs and digital marketing
on social media.
· Express views of the minority
· Make government more accountable
· Keep government fully informed on specialist
· Act as a voice for the people…read more

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Disadvantages of pressure groups
· Too much influence on government
· Not representative to everyone
· Can be quite violent or use undesirable tactics
· May be biased ­ especially sectional because
only applies to some people.…read more


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