Primary Legislation

Revision notes on Acts of Parliament

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  • Created on: 02-01-11 20:39
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Primary legislation
Highest form of law.
Enacted will of a sovereign Parliament.
Deals with major questions of social & economic policy.
Process must be; effective, efficient & democratic (EED).
House of Commons
Elected/5 year MP's (called by PM).
Different political parties & beliefs.
Policies become law.
Want majority.
About 600 seats.
Involved in law making.
Selected committees oversee & scrutinise Government's work.
By-elected when MP's die or retire.
House of Lords
1,100+ members.
Some lord's unelected (PM awards title).
Scrutinise & revise legislation.
Judges separate from Supreme Court.
Head of state.
Gives royal assent.
advises the Government.
appoints new lords.
EU & Treaty Organisations can propose.
Private Bill is affecting the whole country.
Public Bill is affecting parts of the country.
Introduces new legislation.
Some proposals come from manifesto, some routine (Finance acts), some emergency
(Criminal justice).
Most come from discussing in cabinet.
Democratically elected.
Well advised.
Enhances EED.
Advisory Agencies
Standing (permanent) e.g. Law Commission.
Ad hoc (temporary) e.g. Royal Commission.
Expertise - enhances EED.
Conciliation - enhances democratic nature.
Government/Parliament pays insufficient attention to reports.

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Pressure Groups
Influence process via organised lobbying.
Cause groups (Greenpeace) & sectional groups (Trade unison).
Inform & assist legislature - enhancing efficiency & effectiveness.
Inform & stimulate public debate.
Empower weaker groups in society.
Well-resourced groups can achieve more power over government.
Can distort democratic nature of the process.
System of regulation required - following report of Nolan committee.
Individual MP's.
Introduce private bills.
Usually by opposition party.
Can be from within ruling party.
Ways to propose; Ballot.…read more


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