The Parliament Acts


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The Parliament Acts
The powers of the House of Lords are limited by a combination of law and convention.
The Parliament Acts, although rarely used, provide a way of solving disagreement between
the Commons and the Lords.
Parliament Acts: background
Until the early years of the 20th century, the House of Lords had the power to veto (stop)
However, this arrangement was put under pressure when the House of Lords refused to
pass David LloydGeorge's 'people's budget' of 1909. Eventually, the budget was passed
after a general election in 1910 a second general election was then fought on the issue of
reform of the House of Lords.
Parliament Act 1911
The result was the Parliament Act 1911, which removed from the House of Lords the
power to veto a Bill, except one to extend the lifetime of a Parliament. Instead, the Lords
could delay a Bill by up to two years. The Act also reduced the maximum lifespan of a
Parliament from seven years to five years.
Parliament Act 1949
The Parliament Act 1949 further reduced the Lords' delaying powers to one year.
The Parliament Acts define the powers of the Lords in relation to Public Bills as follows.
Money Bills
Money Bills (Bills designed to raise money through taxes or spend public money) start in the
Commons and must receive Royal Assent no later than a month after being introduced in the
Lords, even if the Lords has not passed them. The Lords cannot amend Money Bills.
Other Commons Bills
Most other Commons Bills can be held up by the Lords if they disagree with them for about
a year but ultimately the elected House of Commons can reintroduce them in the following
session and pass them without the consent of the Lords.

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Bills not subject to the Parliament Acts
Bills prolonging the length of a Parliament beyond five years
Private Bills
Bills sent up to the Lords less than a month before the end of a session
Bills which start in the Lords
The Salisbury Convention
The Salisbury Convention ensures that Government Bills can get through the Lords when the
Government of the day has no majority in the Lords.…read more

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It transpired that thirtyeight Labour
MPs had opposed the motion. Immediately afterwards, MPs agreed on division (427
to 162) to reduce the age of consent for homosexual sexual activities to eighteen.[3]
The election of a Labour Government in 1997 afforded Parliament a further
opportunity to examine the issue.
In 1996, the European Court of Human Rights heard Morris v. The United Kingdom
and Sutherland v. the United Kingdom, cases brought by Chris Morris and Euan
Sutherland challenging the inequality inherent in divided ages of consent.…read more

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Kevin McNamara in 1992 (Wild Mammals (Protection) Bill), by Tony
Banks in 1993 (Fox Hunting (Abolition) Bill), and by John McFall in 1995 (Wild
Mammals (Protection) Bill)--all of which failed to go on to become law.[7]
The Labour Party came to power in 1997 with a manifesto saying, "We will ensure
greater protection for wildlife. We have advocated new measures to promote animal
welfare, including a free vote in Parliament on whether hunting with hounds should be
banned.…read more

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Attempts by prohunting groups (such as Jackson v Attorney General) to challenge
the Act by questioning the legality of the Parliament Act 1949 in the High Court and
Court of Appeal failed, and the ban took effect on 18 February 2005. The House of
Lords agreed with the lower courts in a judgment delivered in October 2005.…read more

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League Against Cruel Sports, were dropped[40] and a further two
cases which did reach court were thrown out at the conclusion of the prosecution
cases when the District Judges ruled that there was no case to answer.[41]
A person guilty of an offence under this Act is liable on summary conviction to a fine
not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.[42]
[edit]What the law stops: the exemption/loophole issue
The meaning of the Hunting Act 2004 is a matter of substantial public dispute.…read more

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Hunting below ground
Hunting below ground takes place with terriers. The Act outlaws hunting with terriers
(also known as terrier work) with a narrowly drawn exemption, described by the
Minister, Alun Michael MP as existing "for gamekeepers".…read more


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