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Jennifer Mills

on 29 September 2015

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Transcript of Legislation

The Legislative Process
There are 650 members of
in the house of commons.
They each represent a different area of the country or
- E.G. Warrington.
They are elected at general elections that are held every 5 years.
They are usually a member of a political party - Labour, Conservative and the Liberal Democrats are the three major parties.
is the party with the most M.P's in parliament.
The leader of the party with the most M.P's will become the
Prime Minister
is the Prime Minister and his top Ministers.
There are 4 areas to study within the legislative process;

The legislative process.
Influences on law making.
Parliamentary sovereignty.
Advantages and disadvantages of law making.
Law is made by the Houses of Parliament. These are called ACTS OF PARLIAMENT but the can be called 'statutes' or 'legislation'.
A BILL is presented to parliament. This is a suggested new or revised piece of legislation.
The bills is debated by the members in the house of commons and will be voted through by a majority, or not as the case may be.
The bill is debated by the Lords and may be voted through by the majority, or not.
The Queen signs the bill and it becomes law, or a STATUTE.
The M.P's in the house of commons have many jobs to do including;
Make policy and decide how to run the county.
To debate and
new law.
to vote for and against new laws.
To ensure the law making process is
Question One
Please use a dictionary or your own knowledge to find the definition of democratic.
Question Two
On page 10 of the text book, what two things does it state that M.P's do?

Please write the answer in your booklet IN YOUR OWN WORDS.
Please write the answer in your booklet.
The House of Lords
There are 700 member's of the House of Lords. They are unpaid and unelected. There are three ways in which you can become a lord;
Law Lord
Question.....? Discuss with a partner what the above four methods of becoming a peer (member of the House of Lords) means?
The Role of the House of Lords
To work alongside the House of Commons.
To scrutinise and amend proposed legislation.
To suggest new legislation.\
To pose questions to the Governement.
To debate current issues, affairs and policy.
To sit on specialist committees.
Question....? Does the Queen have any power over what laws are passed or not in the Houses of Parliament?
The Role of the Crown
is the current monarch who is the Head of State. They have little power left but they still have three main functions;

Open each parliamentary session - a traditional ceremony where the queen reads a speech prepared by the government outlining the proposed legislation for that season.
Give Royal Assent (authorisation) to each new piece of legislation.
Appoint and dismiss the Prime Minister.
Now please complete the activities in your booklets...
Types of Bills
Question....? What is a Bill?
There are three main types of bill;
Ask the expert....
In your groups assigned by your teacher please go and find out the following about your bill;
Who it affects/applies to?
Who they are introduced by?
What are they?
3-4 examples of the bill.
Any evaluative comments.
Be ready to deliver your information back to the rest of the class.
Government Bills
Government Bills
- These are introduced by the government and often become acts of parliament as the government has the majority.

They affect the whole of the country and are usually routine, regardless of the ruling political party e.g. taxes.

Private Member's Bills
-These are introduced by and M.P or a Peer who is not part of the Government and affect the whole country if they become law..

They are often unsuccessful as they do not have a majority and little time is allocated for debate by the government. However they do raise public awareness of issues e.eg Hunting Act 2004.
Private Bills - These affect individuals, organisations or specific areas of the country. Hence why they are called private, as they are private laws for those specific people/places. They are a lot less common than public bills.

An example includes the
Marriage Enabling Act 1980
that allowed a stepfather and stepdaughter to marry.
These are a cross between public and private bills. They are introduced by the government but only affect a particular person/place/organisation.

An example is the
Channel Tunnel Act 1996
, which affected land owners in Kent.
Question....? What is the dictionary definition of 'hybrid'?
The Legislative Process
Please watch the following video and answer the questions in your booklet. Then use the questions to complete the card sort (flowchart activity).
House of Lords
House of Commons
First Reading
- The title and a summary of the main aims are read out and a verbal vote is taken to see if the bills should continue. No debate is had at this stage.

Second Reading
- The House debates the whole bill and votes as to whether it should progress further. The Minister/Promoter starts the debate. Likely to become law if it passes this stage.

Committee stage
- A group of M.P's called the Standing Committee scrutinse the bill. They usual have specialist knowledge of that area or a particular interest.

Report Stage
- All amendments are voted for or against after being presented by the Standing Committee. If there are no amendments made oat the Committee stage the report stage is not necessary.

Third Reading
- The Bill is voted on for a final time. It is unlikely to fail at this stage.

If it passes it goes to the remaining house for the same process to be completed.

First Reading
- The title and a summary of the main aims are read out and a verbal vote is taken to see if the bills should continue. No debate is had at this stage.

Second Reading
- The House debates the whole bill and votes as to whether it should progress further. The Minister/Promoter starts the debate. Likely to become law if it passes this stage.

Committee stage

Report Stage
- All amendments are voted for or against after being presented by the Standing Committee. If there are no amendments made oat the Committee stage the report stage is not necessary.

Third Reading
- The Bill is voted on for a final time. It is unlikely to fail at this stage.

If it passes it goes to the remaining house for the same process to be completed.
Royal Assent
Royal Assent is given by the Monarch to make the bill a statute, or an active law. The Monarch usually leaves this for the speaker to do.

There is a constitutional convention the Royal Assent will not be refused. It hasn't been refused since 1707 as it would jeopardise the future of the monarchy.
Limited Powers of the House of Lords.
Exam Tip....Many student's forget this discussion as part of their answers. Without it you cannot access the top grades.
If the Lords propose amendments after the House of Commons have accepted a bill, it is returned to the Commons for whats called the Lords Amendments considered. 90% of amendments area.
Under the Parliaments Acts of 1911 and 1949, the House of Lords can delay monetary bills for one month and all other bills for a year. Once this time has passed the bill can go for Royal Assent without the house of Lords vote.
If the House of Lords vote against a bill it must pass through the legislative process in the House of Commons again before it is given Royal Assent.

Please complete the activity on page 16 of your textbook.

Activity...Please listen to the point i read out and
decide if they are an + or - of law making.
(see text book) Write the answer on your whiteboard.
Advantages of Law Making
Law making is
as M.P's are elected...
...each M.P can put forward the
of their constituents...
cannot veto
a bill as they are not elected...
...Peers can only
a bill for 1 month for monetary matters and a year for all others....
...the Monarch also has
limited power
as they are unelected.
Government Control
The Government has
significant control
over law making....
....for example, it controls timetables, debates and is
likely to win
votes as it has the majority of M,P's....
...this is
as the Government are the countries preferred choice...
...A minister introducing a bill has
considerable expertise
and the support of his civil service.
House of Lords
The Lords are a
checking system
to guard against the government passing laws solely for their political agenda...
...their power of delay allows for
further debate
and amendment...
...The Peers have
considerable expertise
and experience meaning that the quality of scutiny and debate is high....
....Peers act
when voting wheras M.P's are consigned to their party...
...Special rules exist for money bills, meaning all peers must debate them...
...this makes sure to guard against
unlawful taxation.
There are several types of bills that can
begin in either
...this means all M.P's and Peers have the chance to
propose new
....this means that things the Government may
not have considered
come to light...
...it also allows for controversial
to arise, which the Government may not wish to raise...
....for example, the Abortion Act 1967 and the Marriage Act 1994 which allowed people to marry outside of church.
Passes through
both houses
and Royal assent...
...this is very
...which provides lots of
for debate and amendment....
....ensuring mistakes can be
Exam tip...advantages and disadvantages should not be a list. They should be a developed point with lots of information that is linked and if possible with examples. As above.
Exam Tip....when writing up an exam question think of the headings as paragraphs and the points within as your development.
Disadvantages of Law Making
Government Control
As the Government has the
of M.P's in the HOC it can vote against any bill that's against it's agenda.
Little time
is dedicated to Private Member's Bills.
Very few
Private Bills are passed each year.
In 2005-6 only
were introduced as law.
The HOC can
the HOL by using the Parliament Acts. E.g. The Hunting Act 2004.
The process is
and has many readings over many months.
Some laws need to be passed
Royal Assent has become a
and is arguably not needed.
Language and Structure
When the bill is drafted the language is often
and obscure.
This leaves it up to the judges to
what is meant.
Approx. 75% of appeals heard by the Supreme Court are about the
meaning of words
in a statute.
The language in
to laypeople and even some lawyers.
The structure of some acts is
. And similar acts are not obviously connected.
This makes it even more difficult for a layperson to
the act or when it came into force.
Some acts, or part of the act,
don't come into force
at Royal Assent.
E.g. The Police and Criminal Evidence Act.
1 - Research the Renton Committee's Report on the Preparation of Legislation 1975 and what it said about the problems with language in statutes.
2 - Research what the Hansard Society Commission, led by Lord Rippon 1992, said about the structure of legislation.
3 - Research what changes the PACE Act 1984 introduced to the police force.
4 - Research what disadvantages of the legislative process are apparent in the Christmas Day (Trading) Act 2004.
Use the internet, your own knowledge and the textbooks for this task. You have 45 mins.
It is
as the Peers and the Monarch are unelected...
...they should not have the power to
the elected Commons' bills...
...however many M.P's are persuaded to
vote along with party
...rather than with what their
...A government can introduce any legislation it wants and is only
to the country ever 5 years.
Parliamentary Sovereignty
Established in the 17th century by the Bills of Rights which deemed Parliament to be the supreme law maker.
Limitations of Parliamentary Sovereignty - European Union
Effects on Parliamentary Sovereignty - Human Rights Act 1998
The Effect of Devolution on Parliamentary Sovereignty
Parliamentary Sovereignty
Article IX, "The freedome of speech, debates or proceedings in Parliament ought not to be questioned by any court or place outside Parliament."

A.V.Dicey, "The principle of Parliamentary Sovereignty means that Parliament has the right to make or unmake any law...and that no person or body has the right to overide or set aside it.
So Parliamentary sovereignty means that;
Their power is unlimited and it can many any law.
No one can question their laws including the Monarch, Chruch or the Courts.
No one can limit or undo Parliamentary Sovereignty.
European Union
The UK Joined the EU in 1973 which was established by the Treaty of Rome 1957 and other ammendments/secondary legislation.
It was implemented in the UK by the European Communities Act 1972.
s2(1) - EU law is given force in the UK.
s2(4) - Uk acts of Parliament are subject to EU law.

This means that if there is a conflict between UK and EU law, then EU law prevails.

This goes against Dicey' theory.
European Court of Justice
The supremacy of the EU was confirmed in the ECJ by the following case;

Costa v ENEL (1964)
- The judge in this case stated that the member states must transfer from their domestic legal system to the EU legal system when dealing with issues covered by the Treaty of Rome.

This clarified existing and new domestic law must follow EU law.
Challenges to Parliamentary Sovereignty
The biggest challenge to P.S was the following case;

To EU or not to EU...?
the following points became clarified;
When a piece of Uk legislation is in conflict with EU law, the courts must follow EU regulations.
This limits parliamentary sovereignty as it has to make law when the EU tells it to, unless the UK withdraws from the EU.
The Department of Trade estimated that 1/3 of new legislation is enacted due to the EU.
In or Out?
It is possible for the UK to recover it's sovereignty from the EU, as no legislation is entrenched. Meaning the ECA can be repealed.

However this is unlikely to happen as the UK needs to retain its close ties to the EU for trade.
Ex Parte Factortame No 2 (1991)
Facts - This was a case about Spanish fisherman and their rights to fish in British waters. The Spanish said that the British law (Merchant Shipping Act) that was preventing them from fishing there was contradictory to EU law.

Principle - The ECJ upheld the argument of the Spanish and set aside the British law. Agreeing that it was in contradiction of EU law that allowed the Spanish to fish there.
Activity....Go and research in the media arguments for and against staying in the EU. This is something that has been hotly debated in the current Government.
The European Convention on Human Rights
Before the Human Rights Act 1998 our HR were protected by the ECHR 1950. This is an international treaty created by the Council of Europe.
The purpose was to prevent atrocities occuring against the EU citizens.
The ECHR is concerned with the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. The UK signed it in 1950.
Human Rights Act 1998
Came into force in the UK
law in 2000.
It requires any law made by Parliament to stick to the HR law set out in the HRA 1998.
s19 - requires the PM before the 2nd reading to check if the bill complies with the HRA.
In the event it doesn't follow the HRA, the Government can
or refuse to apply the law made by a subordinate body (delegated legislation).
They may make a declaration of incompatibility in relation to an act, prompting the Government Minister to make a remedial order to amend the act to make it compatible.
Incompatibility with the HRA
Since the start of the HRA there have been around 20 declarations of incompatibility, resulting in 12 being overturned on appeal by the COA or the HOL.
A and others v Secretary of State for the HOme Department
- Challenge to the
Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001
which said that foreign nationals who were suspected of terrorism could be prevented from being deported and could be held indefinitely without trial. This was amended by the
Prevention nof Terrorism Act 2005
as the HOL held it to be in contradiction of the HRA.
Conclusion of the HRA
The effect of the HRA on Parliamentary Sovereignty is limited.
The courts in the UK only have the power to declare the legislation invalid but not to amend or repeal it.
Changes can be made by Parliament only.
A Government Minister in charge of a bill must declare if it is invalid but there is no specific requirement that the bill must be valid in the first place.
Question....look at the date this treaty was signed/made...can you think of why this treaty came about when it did?

What kind of things do you think this treaty might prevent happening?
Question...do you know how long we can now hold these people in custody for?
After referendums in Scotland and Wales the
Scotland Act 1998
and the
Government of Wales Act 1998
, the Palace of Westminster
certain powers to the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly.

This means they can make laws for their own countries without consulting Parliament. This removes parliamentary sovereignty in these countries.

However, Parliament can repeal these acts whenever they want, so this could soon be reversed.

They have retained some power in these countries. For example, they still make law in terms of domestic defence.
Limitations on Parliamentary Sovereignty
Parliament can make any law.
The validity of this cannot be challenged by anyone.
Parliament cannot ind itself or future Parliaments.
Existing and future UK law must comply with the EU.
PS is not effected by the HRA.
Parliament has devolved power to other countries.
Influences on Law Making
The Media
The media can influence law making using TV, radio, newspapers, magazines and the internet.
The media can influence or represent the public opinion.
Members of the public can make their opinion known to the media or via their M.P. As the HOC is democratically elected
Name and Shame Campaign
Double Jeopardy
Pressure Groups
Pressure groups are groups of people who share similar ideas and campaign for changes in the law.
These groups use many methods to influence the law including talking to M.P’s, running petitions, making a publicity campaign in the media and organising demonstrations, marches and strikes.
Sectional Groups (Insider Groups) - already in existence and have Government support.

Cause Groups (Outsider Groups) - have a particular idea, belief or cause and formed because of this.
E.G Greenpeace, Fathers for Justice, RSPCA.
Through a range of tactics, pressure groups are able to raise public awareness of their cause.
One example is AllOut who campaign for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights.
Measures include, online petitions, flash mobs and you tube videos.

Pressure groups raise awareness.
Pressure groups are therefore important to keep Parliament aware and in touch with matters the public deem to be important.
For example, environmental groups Parliament much more aware of global warming, leading to an increase in car tax for less fuel efficient vehicles.

Some pressure groups have numbers larger than any political party.
E.g. The National Trust, for instance, has 2 million members
Makes raising awareness much easier.

Pressure groups must have sound knowledge of their cause. Considerable expertise.
For example, Jamie Oliver
Inevitably biased towards their cause.
may not present a balanced, objective argument.
For example, Father’s for Justice.

Can often relate to undesirable tactics.
Examples include animal rights activists destroying labs and threatening workers.

Opinions of pressure groups may only represent a small amount of the country.
May change the law for everyone.
Full transcript