Unit 1 PLM

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  • Created by: AdamPD
  • Created on: 16-05-16 02:49


  • Contains 650 members- MPs (each represent a constituency) 
  • Role of the Government to make policy and decide how to run the country
  • New policies require new laws
  • Role of the HoC to debatescrutinize and vote on whether to approve laws proposed by the Government

  • Contains 650 members- MPs (each represent a constituency) 
  • Role of the Government to make policy and decide how to run the country
  • New policies require new laws
  • Role of the HoC to debatescrutinize and vote on whether to approve laws proposed by the Government
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  • Approximately 700 members
  • Unelected and unpaidattendance is voluntary 
  • Hereditary peers inherit their title
  • Life peers awarded a peerage because of their contribution to society or politics
  • Role is to complement the work of HoC 
  • Laws can be introduced in this house
  • Pose questions to the Government and debate policy issues and matters of current concern
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Green & White papers

Government will issue a consultation paper on major issues – called a green paper and it puts forward proposals for law reform eg BBC green paper 2015

Aim is to let people inside and outside parliament debate issue and provide feedback and ideas for reform to government department

2.      Government will then publish a white paper which will have firmer proposals of new law however white paper also allows for further consultation with interested parties as seen in open public service white paper 2011.

  • White papers often become basis of a bill.

They are good as they allow time for discussion and prevent knee jerk reactions like dangerous dogs act 1991 

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What are bills

When an act is propsed it is drafted and called a bill and only becomes an act when it passes all stages

A bill is introduced by government ministers in parliament eg minister of juctice will introduce ills about juctice system.

Draftsmen face problems such as

-          The bills has to represent governments wishes

-          Needs the correct legal wording

-          Needs to be unambiguous and precise

-          There is normally pressure on time 

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Types of bills

Types of Bills

  • Government bill – introduced by government eg legal services act 2007
  • Hybrid bill – introduced by government buut effect individuals / organisations or place eg Crossrail act 2008
  • Public bill – involves matter or public policy and affects general publish. Most popular type of bill eg constitutional reform act 2005
  • Private bill – affects person or organisation or place eg Whitehaven harbour act 2007
  • Private member bill – non government ministers from any political party introduce them by either ballot or ten minute rule 
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Parliamentry stages

  • 1.       First reading – aims of bill read out
  • 2.       Second reading – main debate and a vote take place
  • 3.       Committee stage – 16-50 Mps examine main clauses of bill
  • 4.       Report stage – amendment reported back to house of commons they are either rejected or accepted
  • 5.       Third reading – final vote, unlikely to fail now
  • 6.       House of lords – 5 stages repeated, can make ammendments or reject it, sent back to house of commons, if they reject ammendments then a ping ponging process can begin. House of lords can be overridden
  • 7.       Royal assent – queen gives her approval 
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Parliamentry influences- Political influences

Party’s publish manifesto before general election. Winning party try to enact the promised laws.


  • 1.       Laws the party want enacted are already known – easy to know what’s coming
  • 2.       If a majority is won, they can pass all the laws they want making the system more efficient
  • 3.       Upholds democracy as we vote party in


  • 1.       Different party may be brought in the next election and want to change al the laws – counterproductive
  • 2.       Can cause uncertainty 
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Parliamentry influences- Pressure groups

Two types -sectional and cause

Can pressure the government into changing law eg changing homosexual acts in private to 16 in 2004

They lobby MPS so they bring topic up in the houses of commons


  •  Can raise important issues
  • Wide range of issues brought to government attention


  • Their view don’t necessarily have majority public support
  •  Pressure groups have conflicting interests just causes more stress 
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Parliamentry influences- Public opinion/media

government can bow down to public pressure


  •     After Dunblane massacre – law banning handguns enacted from pressure
  •     Bad practice can change due to public pressure through media eg media in 2009 exposed       MPs expence outrage


  •  Media can manipulate the news
  • Government can have a knew jerk reaction and create poorly written laws eg dangerous dogs act 1991 
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Parliamentry influences- The law Commision

Law commission roles

  • Considers areas of law that need reform, can choose topics itself or can be referred by lord chancellor
  • 1.       Recommending
  • A topic is chosen, then researched by experts, consultation paper drawn up, publishes for responses, responses considers responses and draws up final report
  • 2.       Codify
  • The law commission bring together all the law on the sum topic so its simpler
  • 3.       Repealing
  • Identifies out of date laws to repeal, by 2012 2,500 had been repealed 
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The law Commision ad&dis


  • Areas of law researched by legal experts
  • Consults before finalising proposals
  • Whole areas of law considered not small issues
  • Makes law simpler to understand eg the codification of Fraud Act 2006


  •    Law commission has to wait for government to bring reforms in – can take years eg the offences against the person act change made in 1993 still hasn’t been enacted
  •   Law commission can research everything using experts but government ministers can then change it to what they prefer 
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PLM ad&dis

Advantages of law making

  • 1.       Laws made by our elected government = democratic
  • 2.       Acts of parliament can reform whole areas of law in one act – makes it simple
  • 3.       Acts of parliament can also set broad polices
  • 4.       Before a bill is presented to parlisment there will be a consultation paper – they can take comments into consideration also bills have to go through a lengthy procces


  • 1.       Parliament doesn’t always have time to deal with all reforms proposed eg offences against the person act law commission proposed this in 1993
  • 2.       7 stage process can take a very long time
  • 3.       Acts can be very long and hard to understand 
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Parliamentary supremacy

Parliamentary supremacy diceys 3 principles

  • Parliament can legislate on any subject matter – 1700 act past to prevent james II kids taking the throne
  • Cannot bind successor or be bound by any previous parliament  – free to make and change laws, but some are entrenched in british constitution eg act in 1700 changed line of succession
  • An act or parliament Cannot be override or set aside by any other body


  • 1.       EU membership – being in the EU means EU law takes priority over british law eg merchant shipping act 1988
  • 2.       Human rights – all acts have to comply with human rights convention – shown in H v menta health review tribunal 2001
  • 3.       Devolution – Scottish act 1998 and welsh act 1998 devolved power to sctoland and wales and they can now make laws without governments permission, could repeal them but it would be very unpopular.
  • Entrenched Laws
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