THE LEGISLATURE - OCR GOVERNMENT PAPER 2

ALL NOTES ON THE LEGISLATURE WITH RECENT EXAMPLE

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THE LEGISLATURE
DEFINITION
The branch of government responsible for making law
ROLE AND FUNTION OF COMMONS
LEGISLATION ­ make laws that are binding to everyone in the UK (speed limits,
devolution of Scotland, immigration)
EXECUTIVE SCRUTINY ­ checking acts of government and all state employees ensuring
on accountability (MPs have power to dismiss government officials or make them
explain their actions)
REPRESENTATION ­ look after individuals in their constituency and represent their party
as well as other groups such as trade unions and farmers
DEBATES ­ debate the great issues of the day (on Afghanistan or engineering) and
government must listen to the ideas put forward by the representatives Westminster
Hall is the newly founded debating room which gives MPs more chance to voice their
opinions
TO PROVIDE MINISTERS ­ in the UK you have to be an MP to be part of the Executive
LEGITIMISATION ­ give assent to laws and taxes as well as supporting the government in
the day to day actions
ROLE OF THE LORDS
SCRUTINISING THE WORK OF THE EXECUTIVE ­ house of lords also has a question time
DEBATING BILLS ­ bills have to be passed both through Lords and Commons
REVISING BILLS CAREFULLY ­ commons may not have time to deal with a bill properly
and pressure groups often rely on Lords to change a bill
DELAYING BILLS ­ can delay a bill they do not agree with but they cannot prevent it from
passing after this
CHECKING THE GOVERNMENT ­ examples such as fox hunting, reform of role of Lord
Chancellor, Prevention of Terrorism legislation
DEALING WITH NON-CONTROVERSIAL MATTERS ­ their involvement saves the
commons a lot of time
EXAMINING BILLS AND DEBATING POLICY IN A NON-PARTISAN MANNER ­ many do not
have a whip so are in a position to debate and vote freely
DEBATING MAJOR AND CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES ­ debates such as genetic engineering
or age consent without concern of party policies
DEBATING AND EXAMING EUROPEAN LEGISLATION ­ does not seem to want to
undertake EU legislation
PROVIDING MINISTERS ­ provide with ministers that do not have to worry about their
constituence

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FURFILLING REPRESENTATIVE/EXPERT ROLES - bring in underrepresented groups such
as women, ethnic minorities, gays or experts in fields such as education, medicine and
science
POWERS OF LEGISLATURE
Reject or amend any bill put forward by government
Reject or amend the budget
Dismiss a government or any member of the executive using vote of no confidence
Prevent any policy they wish from being passed by voting against it
Can summon or require answers from any citizen
MEMBERSHIP OF COMMONS / LORDS
COMMONS - Majority from public…read more

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Private members bill, debates in
Westminster Hall
ROLE OF PARTIES IN PARLIAMENT
MPS are instructed to vote how their party wishes (when and how to vote) them to
with help from the whips
Loyalty to the party results in promotion and vice versa ­ disobeying the whips could
lead to being sacked or have to resign
Need support of other parties to get unpopular bills through government
Argued that people get into Parliament because of their party label
Without party organisation and loyalty it would…read more

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ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF SELECT COMMITTEES
ADVANTAGES ­ right to request minister and civil servants to appear before them on TV
and reported. More experts in their chosen field than other ministers. Decide the issues
that they are going to examine.…read more

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