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Key Words

Acts of Parliament - Laws passed by parliament. Also called statue law.

Additional Member System - A type of proportional represenatationuse used in the scottish parliament and welsh assmebly.

Agenda 21 - Requires governments and local authorities to develop policies to help achieve sustainable developement. It focuses especially on involving local people.

Asylum-seeker - A refugee who is seeking permission to settle in a host country.

Censorship - The control of what can be said, written pr published.

Civil law - The part of the common law that sorts out disagreements between people when the state is not directly involved.

Civil liberties - A set of rights people have. They include freedom of speech and assembly.

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Civil partnership - A registration of a relationship that gives same-sex couples the same legal rights and responsibilities as a married couple.

Common-law partnership - An unmarried mand and woman living together. They don't have most of the rights and responsibilities conffered by marriage.

Commonwealth of Nations - Organisations originating from former British colonies which work together towards common political and social aims.

Communities - Groups of people sharing certain values or circumstances - like people living in the same area or with the same religious beliefs.

Consumer rights - The rights of someone who buys something or pays for a service.

Crown courts - Courts which deal with serious criminal cases - a judge is in charge, but verdicts are decided by a jury.

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Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) - A seperate body from the police. They decide whether someone should be taken to court or prosectued.

Democracy - A system where a country or organisation is ruled by the people in it.

Elections - How we choose between different candidates. Examples are school council elections, or general elections.

Equal oppurtunities - Giving all people the same opportunities.

Ethnic group - A group of people who share a culture, identity or country of origin.

European Commision - The EU institution which writes new economic, environment, social and foreign policy.

European convention on human rights - An international agreement drawn up after WWII which sets out basic humanrights which apply to everyone.

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European parliament - The elected group which controls the EU.

European Union (EU) - A group of european countries with a "single market" that lets people, money and goods move freely between member countries.

Exams - Formal test to show knowledge.

First - past - the - past - The voting system for general elections in the UK. The candidate with the most votes in each constituency (area) wins and becomes its MP.

General Elections - The elections where people vote for the political party they want to be in charge of the national government.

 Governments - Bodies or groups who are in charge of an area or country.

House of Commons - The part of parliament which is made up of elected MPs.

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House of Lords - The part of parliament which is made up of specially appointed peers. They examine the laws made in the Commons.

Humanitarian Laws - Also known as the laws of war. Rules for what a country is allowed to do in a war so that unnecessary suffering or damage is prevented.

Human Rights - Rights and freedoms which every human is entitled to.

Interdependance - Where one thing is affected by the actions of another, and vice versa.

International Crime Court - A court set up by the UN to deal with war criminals and those guilty of crimes such as genocide.

Juries - Members of the general public who hears trials in a crown court and decide whether a defendant is guilty or not.

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Kyoto Protocol - An agreement signed in 1997. It aimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Magistrates Court - Local courts which hear most criminal cases.

Media - A way of passing on information, e.g. TV, newspapers, magazines, the internet.

Moral Responsibility - Responsibility to behave in a way that most people would see as good or right.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) - A mutual defence alliance including Britain, USA, France and Germany. It views an attack on one member as "an attack on the entire alliance".

OFCOM - An organisation that produces guidelines for radio and TV programmes.

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Parliament - The body which makes laws in the UK. It consists of the house of commons and the house of lords and the crown.

Political Parties - Groups of people with a similar opinion of how to run the country or a local area.

Press Complaints Commission (PCC) - Manages the voluntary code of conduct which governs the media.

Pressure groups - Organisations that try to influence governments from the outside.

Private sector - All the businesses owned by private individuals.

Public services - Businesses owned by the government - like the army, the NHS, schools etc.

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Referendum - When an important question is put to a direct vote of the people, rather than through MPs.

Refugees - People who have moved to another country to escape persecution on their own country.

Representive democracy - The system of government where people elect representitives to run things.

Statuory bodies - Organisations set up by the government to run something, e.g. local councils.

Sustainable Developent  - Improving qualitites of life in a way that can continue in the future.

Trade Descriptions Act - A law that makes it illegal for a company to make untrue claims about a product that it is selling.

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United Nations (UN) - An organisation which aims to find peaceful solutions to conflict, and promote global cooperation and human rights.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights - The UN document which lays down the basic human rights which everyone has.

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