The legislative Process, law reform and the Law Commission 1.3


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  • Created by: Jake
  • Created on: 26-05-12 14:40

Define Parliamentary Sovereignty ...

Parliament is the highest source of law
Parliament can make or change any law it wants

What goes against the UK's Parliamentary Sovereignty?

EU law - Factortame
Human Rights Law - HRA 1998

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What are laws made by Parliament known as?

Acts of Parliament

What 3 bodies make up Parliament? 
House of Lords
House of Commons
The Crown (Queen) - Royal Assent 

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Name and explain the 3 different types of Bill

Public Bill: Affects the general public and apply to the country as a whole, put forward by Government departments

Private Members Bill: Introduced into Parliament by induvidual back bench MP's who are not part of Government - Draw attention to issues 

Private Bills: Usually proposed by a local authority, public corporation or large public company e.g. To build a road or a bridge 

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List the legislative process...

  • Before introduction of a Bill there must be...
    Green Paper - setting out proposals + inviting comments
    White Paper - Follows the responses + More detailed proposals 
  • House of Commons
    First reading
    Second reading
    Committee stage                          READ READ STAGE STAGE READ
    Report stage
    Third reading
  • House of Lords
    Similar process to HOC
    Discuss further 
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Why do we need Law reform?

To keep the law up to date with the modern society/
Ensure all law complies with a modern society 

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Who changes our law?

Parliament - (Through the Legislative process)

Judges through case law 
Case example Fitzpatrick V Sterling Housing Agency - HOL reversed the desicon of the County Court and the Court of Appeal

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Who or what influences changes in our law?

  • Law Commission
  • Iduviduals
  • Media
  • Pressure groups - Greenpeace
  • Royal Commissioners
  • Public inquries 
  • Other temporary enquries - Lord Woolf's review of the Civil Justice system
  • Judges opnions through judgements 
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When was the Commission set up and who sits in it?

The Commission was set up under the Law Commissions Act 1965

(Full time permenant body)

5 Commissioners - High court judge, Barrister, Solicitor and 2 legal executives 

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What is the Commissions role?

  • Codify law
  • Remove anomolies
  • Repeal obsolete law
  • consolidate the law
  • Simplify and modernise the law
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Who refers projects to the Commission?

  • Lord Chancellor
  • Government departments
  • Law Commission can decide on projects itself
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What is the process with the project?

  • Find an area of the law that has problems
  • Consulation paper will be posted asking for comments 
  • Finally the Commission will draw up a report making reccomendations for change
  • A draft Bill is proposed if the legislation is proposed
  • It is then up to Government to decide whether or not to introduce the Bill as an Act of Parliament
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Name some successes and failures of the Law Commis

Repealed thousands of obselete laws
The Statute Repeals Act in 2008 led to 260 full Acts and parts of a further 68 to be repealed


  • Failure to codify - Set out to codify Family law, contract law and Landlord and Tenant law but abandoned them
  • Attempt to codify Criminal Law was too ambitious and complex - failed
  • Only one third of the Commissions projects are implemented 
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What are Pressure groups?

Groups that will use various methods to influence Parliament to change the law on a particular area - Influencing change
Methods can include - Petitions, demonstrations and strikes

Name an example of a pressure group - Greenpeace (worldy issues) 

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