Government and politics unit 2

Governing in the uk. Edexcel

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A constitution

A constitution is a set of rules that:

  • Seek to establish the duties, powers and functions of the various institutions of government
  • Regulate the relationships between and among the institutions
  • Define the relationship between the state and the individual; that is, define the extent of civil liberty

The balance between written and unwritten rules varies from system to system, but no constitution is entirely written, and none is completely unwritten. The main types of constitution are codified and uncodified constitutions, unitary and federal constitutions, and rigid and flexible constitutions

A constitution gives practical expression to the principle of limited government. Which is a form of govenrment in which power is subject to limitations and checks, providint protection for the individual; the opposite of arbitrary govenrment

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Codified constitution

A constitution in which key constitutional provisions are collected together within a single legal document, popularly known as a written constitution or the constitution

  • In a codified constitution, the document is authoritative, in the sense that it constitutes 'higher' law. The constitution binds all political institutions. This gives rise to a two-tier legal system, in which the constitution stands above statute law made by the legislature
  • The provisions of the constitution as laid out in the codified document are entrenched, in the sense that they are difficult to ammend or abolish.
  • As the constitution sets out the duties, powers and functions of government institutions, in terms of 'higher' law, it is judiciable. This means that all political bodies are subject to the authority of the courts.
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Uncodified constitution

A constitution that is made up of rules that are found in a variety of sources, in the absence of a single legal document or written constitution.

  • The constitution is not authoritative. Constitutional laws enjoy the same status as ordinary laws. States that have uncodified constitutions therefore have single-tier legal systems with no form of higher law
  • Uncodified constitutions are not entrenched. The constitution can be changed through the normal process for enacting statute law. This is reflected in the UK in the orinciple of parliamentary sovreignty. Parliament can make, unmake and amend any law it likes, including those that affect the constitution
  • Uncodified constitutions are not judiciable. In the absence of higher law, judges simply do not have a legal standard against which they can declare the actions of other bodies are 'constitutional' or 'unconstitutional'
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Unitary constitution

A constitution that concentrates sovereign power in a single body of national government

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Federal constitution

A constitution that is based on the principle of shared sovereignty, in that there are two relatively autonomous levels of government, the national/federal and the regional/state

5 of 99

Sources of the constitution

  • Statute Law
  • Common Law
  • Conventions
  • Works Of Constitutional Authority
  • European Law And Treaties
6 of 99

Principles of the constitution

  • Parliamentary Sovreignty
  • The Rule Of Law
  • Parliamentary Government
  • Constitutional Monarchy
  • EU Membership
7 of 99

Strengths and weaknesses of the UK constitution

  • Strengths
    • Flexibility
    • Democratic Rule
    • Effective Government
    • History And Tradition
  • Weaknesses
    • Uncertainty
    • Elective Dictatorship
    • Centralization
    • Weak Protection Of Rights
8 of 99

Checks and Balances

The idea of checks and balances stems from the basic liberal fear that government is always likely to become a tyranny against the individual ('power tends to corrupt'). Government power must therefore be limited or constrained. This can be done by creating institutional tensions within the system of government by fragmenting government power. As the political philosopher Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) put it, 'liberty is power cut into pieces'. A network of checks and balances therefore ensures that government is at war with itself, limiting its ability to wage war on its citizens.

The checks and balances that are commonly found in liberal democracies include:

  • The separation of powers
  • Bicameralism
  • Parliamentary government
  • Cabinet government
  • Judicial independence
  • Federalism or devolution
9 of 99

Blair's reforms

  • A scottish parliament and welsh assembly were created in 1999
  • A northern irish assemble was created in 1998
  • A greater london assembly, consisting of a mayor and the greater london assembly were set up in 2000
  • Referendums were held to approve these new bodies
  • PR electoral systems were used for each of the newly established bodies
  • HRA was passed in1998
  • 'stage one' of lords reforms was carried out in 2000. all apart from 92 hereditory peers were removed
10 of 99

Criticisms of blair's reforms

  • Enthusiasm for constitutional refrm quickly started to fade
  • The reforms were piecemeal
  • The reforms reshaped existing constitutional arrangements, but did not address deeper problems
11 of 99

Brown's reforms

Brown ensured that prime-ministers powers were limited and he/she had to seek the approval of parliament before:

  • declaring war
  • requesting the dissolution of parliament
  • recalling parliament
  • ratifying inernational treaties
  • making top public appointments without scrutiny
  • restricting parliamentary oversight of the intelligence services
  • choosing bishops
  • appointing senior judges
  • directing prosecutors in particular cases
  • setting rules governing thecivil service
  • setting rules for entitlements to passports and pardons
12 of 99

'for' a codified constitution

  • clear rules
  • limited government
  • neutral interpretation
  • protecting rights
  • education and citizenship
13 of 99

'against' a codified constitution

  • rigidity
  • judicial tyranny
  • legalistic
  • political bias
  • unnecessary
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The make-up of parliament

  • the house of commons
  • the house of lords
  • the monarchy
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Functions of parliament

  • legislation
  • representation
  • scrutiny and oversight
  • recruitment and training of ministers
  • legitimacy
16 of 99

How laws are passed

  • preparatory stages
    • before bills are passed, their provisions may have been outlined in a white paper or a green paper. they undergo prelegislative scrutiny which is carried out by select committees
  • First reading
    • the title is read to parliament formally. date is set for second reading
  • Second reading
    • full debate considering the principles of the bill. first stage where the bill can be defeated
  • Committee stage
    • The details of the bill are considered line by line. carried out by a public bill committee.
  • Report stage
    • the committee reports back to the full H of C.
  • Third reading (replicates second reading)
  • The 'other place'
    • the bill is considered by the lords and commons before royal assent.
17 of 99

The social background of MPs

  • Social class
    • MPs are predominantly middle class.
  • Gender
    • Predominantly males.
  • Ethnicity
    • Mainly white.
  • Age
    • Predominantly middle-aged. Average age of 50.
  • Education
    • Over two thirds are graduates. Many attended public schools.
  • Sexual orientation
    • There are only 11 openly gay MPs. This is likely to be an underestimate.
18 of 99

How parliament calls ministers to account

  • Question time
  • Select committees
  • Debates and ministerial statements
  • The opposition
  • Written questions and letters
19 of 99

Parliamentary Govenrment

A parliamentary system of government is one in which government governs in and through parliament. It is based on a 'fusion' between the legislative and executive branches of government. Parliament and government are therefore overlooking and interlocking institutions. This violates the doctrine of the seperation of powers in a crucial way.

  • Fusion of powers
  • Governments are formed through parliamentary elections
  • overlap of personnel
  • government removable by legislature
  • flexible-term elections
  • cabinet government
  • seperate head of government and head of state
20 of 99

Presidential government

  • seperation of powers
  • governments are seperately elected
  • separation of personnel
  • legislature cannot remove government
  • fixed temr elections
  • presidentialism
  • presidents are both head of state and head of government
21 of 99

How party unity is maintained

  • the whipping system
  • the 'payroll' vote
  • promotion prospects
  • ideological unity
22 of 99

Bicameralism

Bicameralism is the theory or practice of breaking up legislative power through the creation of two chambers. However, a distinction can be drawn between partial bicameralism and full bicameralism

  • partial bicameralism is when the legislature has two chambers but these are clearly unequal, either because the second chamber has restricted popular authority or because it has reduced legislative power. The UK parliament is a good example of this.
  • full bicameralism exists when there are two co-equal legislative chambers, each able to check the othr. The US congress is a good example of this.
23 of 99

'for' elected second chamber

  • democratic legitimacy
  • wider representation
  • better legislation
  • checking the commons
  • ending executive tyranny
24 of 99

'against' elected second chamber

  • specialist knowledge
  • gridlocked government
  • complementary chambers
  • dangers of partisanship
  • descriptive representation
25 of 99

The role of the prime minister

The prime minister is first among equals, they:

  • make governments
  • direct government policy
  • manage the cabinet system
  • organize government
  • controll parliament
  • provide national leadership
26 of 99

The role of the cabinet

  • formal policy approval
  • policy coordination
  • resolve disputes
  • forum for debate
  • party management
  • symbol of collective government
27 of 99

collective ministerial responsibility

collective responsibility is a convention that defines the relationships between the executive and parliament and between ministers and the cabinet. It has two main features:

  • It implies that the government is collectively responsible to parliament, in the sense that it rests on the confidence of the house of commons. Therefore, if a government is defeated on a vote of confidence in the commons it is obliged to resign or call a general election.
  • it implies that all ministers are obliged to support official government policy in public and in parliament. all ministers, junior and cabinet ministers should therefore 'sing the same song'. failure to do so means a minister should resign
28 of 99

Individual ministerial responsibility

individual ministerial responsibility is the convention that defines the relationship between ministers and their departments. It has two main features:

  • it implies that ministers are responsible to parliament for the policies and actions of their departments. this is reflected in an obligation to inform and explain, but it may extend to resignation in the event of blunders or policy failures. In theory, individual responsibility implies that ministers take responsibility fot the mistakes of their civil servants.
  • it implies that civil servants are responsible for their ministers. This suggests that civil servants should be loyal and supportive of whatever minister or government is in office, although if they have ethical concerns about a ministers conduct, they should refer these to the cabinet secretary
29 of 99

Ministers

  • elected politicians (mainly)
  • party members
  • temporary
  • public figures
  • run departments
  • make policy
  • responsible to parliament
30 of 99

Civil servants

  • appointed officials
  • politically neutral
  • permanent
  • anonymous
  • work in departments
  • advise on policy
  • responsible to ministers
31 of 99

How the civil service has changed

  • an insistance of 'can do' culture, in which promotion is linked to positive support for government priorities and goals
  • a split between whitehall-based policy advisors and a growing number of executive agencies responsible for implementing policy
  • a wider role for politically appointed special advisors to work alongside both ministers and civil servants
  • the appointment of 'outsiders' to senior posts, now accounting for some 20% of such appointments
  • increased 'contracting out' of governments work to private businesses
  • wider use of think-tanks and other bodies as sources of policy advice, breaking the monopoly of the civil service
32 of 99

Cabinet government

  • the cabinet 'fuses' the executive and legislative branches of government, as its members head government departments but are also drawn from and accountable to parliament
  • the cabinet is the senior executive organ. it controls the policy-making process and makes all major government decisions
  • within the cabinet policy is made democratically with each members views carrying equal weight. the prime minister is therefore merely 'first among equals'
33 of 99

prime ministerial government

  • the prime minister 'fuses' the legislative and executive branches of government, in that he or she is drawn from and accountable to parliament and also, as chief executive, controls the administrative machinery of government
  • the prime minister dominates the policy-making process. he or she makes major government decisions and exerts influence over all policy areas
  • the cabinet is a subordinate body. it is no longer a meaningful policy-making organ but rather a source of advice and support for the PM
34 of 99

prime ministers

  • head of government
  • elected via parliamentary elections
  • control of legislature
  • collective cabinet
  • no department
35 of 99

presidents

  • head of government and head of state
  • seperately elected
  • independant legislature
  • 'sounding board' cabinet
  • personal department
36 of 99

The core executive

the core executive is an informal network of bodies and actors at the apex of govenrment which play key roles in the formulation of policy and the direction of government. the main bodies and actors within the core executive are:

  • the prime minister, leading members of the prime minister's office and other close advisors and confidantes
  • the cabinet, the main cabinet committees and leading figures within the cabinet office
  • senior officials in the treasury and othe major government departments, and in other bodies including the bank of england and the scrutiny and intelligence service
  • individuals and outside organizations that the prime minister or leading cabinet members may look to for policy advice
  • key mps and peers, especially government whips and possibly chairs of important select committees.
37 of 99

powers of the PM

  • the power to hire and fire
  • the ability to manage the cabinet
  • leadership of the party
  • institutional supports
  • access to the media
38 of 99

styles of political leadership

  • laissez-faire leaders
    • leaders who are reluctant to interfere in matters outside their personal responsibility
  • transactional leaders
    • leaders who act as 'brokers', concerned to uphold the collective face of government
  • transformational leaders
    • leaders who inspire or are visionaries
39 of 99

how cabinet committees work

cabinet committees are sub-committees of the full cabinet, which consider particular aspects of government policy. they have been in greater use since 1945, their benefit being that the cabinet works more quicky and efficiently in smaller groups composed of relevant ministers. senior officials and junior ministers may also be members of cabinet committees, which have, over time, spawned a range of sub committees and more informal ministerial groups.

40 of 99

Constraints on the prime minister

  • the cabinet
  • the party
  • the electorate
  • the media
  • the pressure of events
41 of 99

why ministers resign

  • policy disagreements
  • ministerial blunders
  • personal scandals
42 of 99

the role of judges

  • preside over court proceedings
  • interpret and apply the law
  • 'make' law in certain cases
  • decide sentencing in criminal cases
  • chair public enquiries and commissions
43 of 99

the separation of powers

branch - function

legislature - make law

executive - implement / execute law

judiciary - interpret law

44 of 99

the rule of law

  • no one is 'above' the law
  • equality before the law
  • the law is always applied
  • legal redress is available through the courts
45 of 99

A constitution

A constitution is a set of rules that:

  • Seek to establish the duties, powers and functions of the various institutions of government
  • Regulate the relationships between and among the institutions
  • Define the relationship between the state and the individual; that is, define the extent of civil liberty

The balance between written and unwritten rules varies from system to system, but no constitution is entirely written, and none is completely unwritten. The main types of constitution are codified and uncodified constitutions, unitary and federal constitutions, and rigid and flexible constitutions

A constitution gives practical expression to the principle of limited government. Which is a form of govenrment in which power is subject to limitations and checks, providint protection for the individual; the opposite of arbitrary govenrment

46 of 99

how judicial independence is maintained

  • appointment process
  • security of tenure
  • pay
  • freedom from criticism
  • independent legal profession
  • role of the lord chancellor
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how judges are appointed

  • traditionally, law lords and appeal court judges were appointed by the prime minister on the advice of the lord chancellor, while high court judges and more junior judges were appointed by the lord chancellor. to be eligible for juducial appointment, candidates ahd to have a minimum of 20 years experience as a barrister or, since 1990, as a solicitor with substantial experience as an advocate
  • the CRA led to the creation of a judicial appointments committee (JAC). The JAC now has the job of selecting candidates for appointment to judicial office in england and wales. formal selection continues to be made by the lord chancellor. the lord chancellor can reject the first candidate, but not the second
48 of 99

Codified constitution

A constitution in which key constitutional provisions are collected together within a single legal document, popularly known as a written constitution or the constitution

  • In a codified constitution, the document is authoritative, in the sense that it constitutes 'higher' law. The constitution binds all political institutions. This gives rise to a two-tier legal system, in which the constitution stands above statute law made by the legislature
  • The provisions of the constitution as laid out in the codified document are entrenched, in the sense that they are difficult to ammend or abolish.
  • As the constitution sets out the duties, powers and functions of government institutions, in terms of 'higher' law, it is judiciable. This means that all political bodies are subject to the authority of the courts.
49 of 99

how judicial neutrality is maintained

  • political restrictions
  • legal training
  • accountability
  • not public figures
50 of 99

Uncodified constitution

A constitution that is made up of rules that are found in a variety of sources, in the absence of a single legal document or written constitution.

  • The constitution is not authoritative. Constitutional laws enjoy the same status as ordinary laws. States that have uncodified constitutions therefore have single-tier legal systems with no form of higher law
  • Uncodified constitutions are not entrenched. The constitution can be changed through the normal process for enacting statute law. This is reflected in the UK in the orinciple of parliamentary sovreignty. Parliament can make, unmake and amend any law it likes, including those that affect the constitution
  • Uncodified constitutions are not judiciable. In the absence of higher law, judges simply do not have a legal standard against which they can declare the actions of other bodies are 'constitutional' or 'unconstitutional'
51 of 99

'for' a bill of rights

  • accountable government
  • liberty protected
  • educational benefits
  • concensus on rights
52 of 99

Unitary constitution

A constitution that concentrates sovereign power in a single body of national government

53 of 99

Federal constitution

A constitution that is based on the principle of shared sovereignty, in that there are two relatively autonomous levels of government, the national/federal and the regional/state

54 of 99

Sources of the constitution

  • Statute Law
  • Common Law
  • Conventions
  • Works Of Constitutional Authority
  • European Law And Treaties
55 of 99

Principles of the constitution

  • Parliamentary Sovreignty
  • The Rule Of Law
  • Parliamentary Government
  • Constitutional Monarchy
  • EU Membership
56 of 99

Strengths and weaknesses of the UK constitution

  • Strengths
    • Flexibility
    • Democratic Rule
    • Effective Government
    • History And Tradition
  • Weaknesses
    • Uncertainty
    • Elective Dictatorship
    • Centralization
    • Weak Protection Of Rights
57 of 99

Checks and Balances

The idea of checks and balances stems from the basic liberal fear that government is always likely to become a tyranny against the individual ('power tends to corrupt'). Government power must therefore be limited or constrained. This can be done by creating institutional tensions within the system of government by fragmenting government power. As the political philosopher Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) put it, 'liberty is power cut into pieces'. A network of checks and balances therefore ensures that government is at war with itself, limiting its ability to wage war on its citizens.

The checks and balances that are commonly found in liberal democracies include:

  • The separation of powers
  • Bicameralism
  • Parliamentary government
  • Cabinet government
  • Judicial independence
  • Federalism or devolution
58 of 99

Blair's reforms

  • A scottish parliament and welsh assembly were created in 1999
  • A northern irish assemble was created in 1998
  • A greater london assembly, consisting of a mayor and the greater london assembly were set up in 2000
  • Referendums were held to approve these new bodies
  • PR electoral systems were used for each of the newly established bodies
  • HRA was passed in1998
  • 'stage one' of lords reforms was carried out in 2000. all apart from 92 hereditory peers were removed
59 of 99

Criticisms of blair's reforms

  • Enthusiasm for constitutional refrm quickly started to fade
  • The reforms were piecemeal
  • The reforms reshaped existing constitutional arrangements, but did not address deeper problems
60 of 99

Brown's reforms

Brown ensured that prime-ministers powers were limited and he/she had to seek the approval of parliament before:

  • declaring war
  • requesting the dissolution of parliament
  • recalling parliament
  • ratifying inernational treaties
  • making top public appointments without scrutiny
  • restricting parliamentary oversight of the intelligence services
  • choosing bishops
  • appointing senior judges
  • directing prosecutors in particular cases
  • setting rules governing thecivil service
  • setting rules for entitlements to passports and pardons
61 of 99

'for' a codified constitution

  • clear rules
  • limited government
  • neutral interpretation
  • protecting rights
  • education and citizenship
62 of 99

'against' a codified constitution

  • rigidity
  • judicial tyranny
  • legalistic
  • political bias
  • unnecessary
63 of 99

The make-up of parliament

  • the house of commons
  • the house of lords
  • the monarchy
64 of 99

Functions of parliament

  • legislation
  • representation
  • scrutiny and oversight
  • recruitment and training of ministers
  • legitimacy
65 of 99

How laws are passed

  • preparatory stages
    • before bills are passed, their provisions may have been outlined in a white paper or a green paper. they undergo prelegislative scrutiny which is carried out by select committees
  • First reading
    • the title is read to parliament formally. date is set for second reading
  • Second reading
    • full debate considering the principles of the bill. first stage where the bill can be defeated
  • Committee stage
    • The details of the bill are considered line by line. carried out by a public bill committee.
  • Report stage
    • the committee reports back to the full H of C.
  • Third reading (replicates second reading)
  • The 'other place'
    • the bill is considered by the lords and commons before royal assent.
66 of 99

The social background of MPs

  • Social class
    • MPs are predominantly middle class.
  • Gender
    • Predominantly males.
  • Ethnicity
    • Mainly white.
  • Age
    • Predominantly middle-aged. Average age of 50.
  • Education
    • Over two thirds are graduates. Many attended public schools.
  • Sexual orientation
    • There are only 11 openly gay MPs. This is likely to be an underestimate.
67 of 99

How parliament calls ministers to account

  • Question time
  • Select committees
  • Debates and ministerial statements
  • The opposition
  • Written questions and letters
68 of 99

Parliamentary Govenrment

A parliamentary system of government is one in which government governs in and through parliament. It is based on a 'fusion' between the legislative and executive branches of government. Parliament and government are therefore overlooking and interlocking institutions. This violates the doctrine of the seperation of powers in a crucial way.

  • Fusion of powers
  • Governments are formed through parliamentary elections
  • overlap of personnel
  • government removable by legislature
  • flexible-term elections
  • cabinet government
  • seperate head of government and head of state
69 of 99

Presidential government

  • seperation of powers
  • governments are seperately elected
  • separation of personnel
  • legislature cannot remove government
  • fixed temr elections
  • presidentialism
  • presidents are both head of state and head of government
70 of 99

How party unity is maintained

  • the whipping system
  • the 'payroll' vote
  • promotion prospects
  • ideological unity
71 of 99

Bicameralism

Bicameralism is the theory or practice of breaking up legislative power through the creation of two chambers. However, a distinction can be drawn between partial bicameralism and full bicameralism

  • partial bicameralism is when the legislature has two chambers but these are clearly unequal, either because the second chamber has restricted popular authority or because it has reduced legislative power. The UK parliament is a good example of this.
  • full bicameralism exists when there are two co-equal legislative chambers, each able to check the othr. The US congress is a good example of this.
72 of 99

'for' elected second chamber

  • democratic legitimacy
  • wider representation
  • better legislation
  • checking the commons
  • ending executive tyranny
73 of 99

'against' elected second chamber

  • specialist knowledge
  • gridlocked government
  • complementary chambers
  • dangers of partisanship
  • descriptive representation
74 of 99

The role of the prime minister

The prime minister is first among equals, they:

  • make governments
  • direct government policy
  • manage the cabinet system
  • organize government
  • controll parliament
  • provide national leadership
75 of 99

The role of the cabinet

  • formal policy approval
  • policy coordination
  • resolve disputes
  • forum for debate
  • party management
  • symbol of collective government
76 of 99

collective ministerial responsibility

collective responsibility is a convention that defines the relationships between the executive and parliament and between ministers and the cabinet. It has two main features:

  • It implies that the government is collectively responsible to parliament, in the sense that it rests on the confidence of the house of commons. Therefore, if a government is defeated on a vote of confidence in the commons it is obliged to resign or call a general election.
  • it implies that all ministers are obliged to support official government policy in public and in parliament. all ministers, junior and cabinet ministers should therefore 'sing the same song'. failure to do so means a minister should resign
77 of 99

Individual ministerial responsibility

individual ministerial responsibility is the convention that defines the relationship between ministers and their departments. It has two main features:

  • it implies that ministers are responsible to parliament for the policies and actions of their departments. this is reflected in an obligation to inform and explain, but it may extend to resignation in the event of blunders or policy failures. In theory, individual responsibility implies that ministers take responsibility fot the mistakes of their civil servants.
  • it implies that civil servants are responsible for their ministers. This suggests that civil servants should be loyal and supportive of whatever minister or government is in office, although if they have ethical concerns about a ministers conduct, they should refer these to the cabinet secretary
78 of 99

Ministers

  • elected politicians (mainly)
  • party members
  • temporary
  • public figures
  • run departments
  • make policy
  • responsible to parliament
79 of 99

Civil servants

  • appointed officials
  • politically neutral
  • permanent
  • anonymous
  • work in departments
  • advise on policy
  • responsible to ministers
80 of 99

How the civil service has changed

  • an insistance of 'can do' culture, in which promotion is linked to positive support for government priorities and goals
  • a split between whitehall-based policy advisors and a growing number of executive agencies responsible for implementing policy
  • a wider role for politically appointed special advisors to work alongside both ministers and civil servants
  • the appointment of 'outsiders' to senior posts, now accounting for some 20% of such appointments
  • increased 'contracting out' of governments work to private businesses
  • wider use of think-tanks and other bodies as sources of policy advice, breaking the monopoly of the civil service
81 of 99

Cabinet government

  • the cabinet 'fuses' the executive and legislative branches of government, as its members head government departments but are also drawn from and accountable to parliament
  • the cabinet is the senior executive organ. it controls the policy-making process and makes all major government decisions
  • within the cabinet policy is made democratically with each members views carrying equal weight. the prime minister is therefore merely 'first among equals'
82 of 99

prime ministerial government

  • the prime minister 'fuses' the legislative and executive branches of government, in that he or she is drawn from and accountable to parliament and also, as chief executive, controls the administrative machinery of government
  • the prime minister dominates the policy-making process. he or she makes major government decisions and exerts influence over all policy areas
  • the cabinet is a subordinate body. it is no longer a meaningful policy-making organ but rather a source of advice and support for the PM
83 of 99

prime ministers

  • head of government
  • elected via parliamentary elections
  • control of legislature
  • collective cabinet
  • no department
84 of 99

presidents

  • head of government and head of state
  • seperately elected
  • independant legislature
  • 'sounding board' cabinet
  • personal department
85 of 99

The core executive

the core executive is an informal network of bodies and actors at the apex of govenrment which play key roles in the formulation of policy and the direction of government. the main bodies and actors within the core executive are:

  • the prime minister, leading members of the prime minister's office and other close advisors and confidantes
  • the cabinet, the main cabinet committees and leading figures within the cabinet office
  • senior officials in the treasury and othe major government departments, and in other bodies including the bank of england and the scrutiny and intelligence service
  • individuals and outside organizations that the prime minister or leading cabinet members may look to for policy advice
  • key mps and peers, especially government whips and possibly chairs of important select committees.
86 of 99

powers of the PM

  • the power to hire and fire
  • the ability to manage the cabinet
  • leadership of the party
  • institutional supports
  • access to the media
87 of 99

styles of political leadership

  • laissez-faire leaders
    • leaders who are reluctant to interfere in matters outside their personal responsibility
  • transactional leaders
    • leaders who act as 'brokers', concerned to uphold the collective face of government
  • transformational leaders
    • leaders who inspire or are visionaries
88 of 99

Federal constitution

A constitution that is based on the principle of shared sovereignty, in that there are two relatively autonomous levels of government, the national/federal and the regional/state

89 of 99

Constraints on the prime minister

  • the cabinet
  • the party
  • the electorate
  • the media
  • the pressure of events
90 of 99

why ministers resign

  • policy disagreements
  • ministerial blunders
  • personal scandals
91 of 99

the role of judges

  • preside over court proceedings
  • interpret and apply the law
  • 'make' law in certain cases
  • decide sentencing in criminal cases
  • chair public enquiries and commissions
92 of 99

the separation of powers

branch - function

legislature - make law

executive - implement / execute law

judiciary - interpret law

93 of 99

the rule of law

  • no one is 'above' the law
  • equality before the law
  • the law is always applied
  • legal redress is available through the courts
94 of 99

how judicial independence is maintained

  • appointment process
  • security of tenure
  • pay
  • freedom from criticism
  • independent legal profession
  • role of the lord chancellor
95 of 99

how judges are appointed

  • traditionally, law lords and appeal court judges were appointed by the prime minister on the advice of the lord chancellor, while high court judges and more junior judges were appointed by the lord chancellor. to be eligible for juducial appointment, candidates ahd to have a minimum of 20 years experience as a barrister or, since 1990, as a solicitor with substantial experience as an advocate
  • the CRA led to the creation of a judicial appointments committee (JAC). The JAC now has the job of selecting candidates for appointment to judicial office in england and wales. formal selection continues to be made by the lord chancellor. the lord chancellor can reject the first candidate, but not the second
96 of 99

how judicial neutrality is maintained

  • political restrictions
  • legal training
  • accountability
  • not public figures
97 of 99

'for' a bill of rights

  • accountable government
  • liberty protected
  • educational benefits
  • concensus on rights
98 of 99

'against' a bill of rights

  • rule by judges
  • politicization
  • a 'rights culture'
  • artrificial rights
99 of 99

Comments

Jordan Walker

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Ahh something went wrong so they're all a bit jumbled and some cards are repeated :/

John Richards

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This is a really good set of notes, just a bit jumbled up, but thanks very much.

Sierra

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Thanks :))

chris walker

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thank you very much :) i have been struggling to remeber everything in unit 2 so thanks :)

Natalie

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You may have just saved me from failing!! thankyou :L

Stephanie

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Thanks for the notes :)

Solie

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If I get an A, I'll give you a tenner ;) thanks babe 

Abi

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OMG I LOVE YOU

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