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Oddities on British Parliament

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Oddities on British Parliament

Post by sabine on Fri Jan 27, 2012 5:39 pm

Hi mates! Last week, I made a research in British civ and I worked on some anomalies on British Parliament. I will start today by the first oddity which concerns the British constitution.

1.British constitution

The United Kingdom of Britain is a parliamentary democracy i.e. a country whose government is controlled by a parliament which has been elected by people. The British political system is governed by a collection of laws and traditions. But what is strange is that UK does not have a formal document setting out the arrangements by which it is to be governed Shocked . With Israel, UK constructs the only two democracies in the world not possessing a written constitution . The central focus of the British system of governance is Parliament. Parliament comprises the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The House of Commons, as the democratically elected House, is the more powerful and important of the two. In almost all countries in the world there have been historical events as revolutions and wars that pushed a given country to draw a written constitution.
One of the reasons that Britain has not adopted a written constitution is that there has never been an event in British history that has led to a new beginning. In other words, this mainly happened due to the long stability of the country.
Despite the fact that the UK does not possess a formal written constitution, the legal sources of the British constitution are the same as the sources of law generally:
• European Union law: The law of the European Union is incorporated into English law by virtue of the European Communities Act 1972, which came into force on 1 January 1973. In order to enable European Union law to apply uniformly across the Union, it prevails over the law of individual member states.
• Acts of Parliament: For matters not affected by the European Union, Acts of Parliament have the highest status in the United Kingdom.
• Common law: This is the law developed by the judges in cases coming before the courts.

The idea of drawing a written constitution raises a serious political debate these days. Between supporters of the idea and opponents, the debate is over. The supporters’ main argument is that a written constitution will help the citizens to clarify their rights and protect them from the state. While opponents of a written constitution argue that Britain had survived very well until now with an unwritten constitution. Indeed, this system has served Britain well for long centuries.
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Re: Oddities on British Parliament

Post by sassy86 on Fri Jan 27, 2012 8:38 pm

Thank you so much Sabine for sharing ! You're such a blessing Smile
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Re: Oddities on British Parliament

Post by sabine on Sat Feb 04, 2012 7:45 pm

Hi mates, here is another oddity on the British parliamentary system. This time it concerns the royal assent

2.Royal Assent

The Queen is the head of state; her functions are largely ceremonial, although to an outsider, she may appear to be the most important person in the country. In practice, however, power is largely exercised by the government, with the Prime Minister at its head. A key characteristic of the British constitution is that the appearance and reality are often different.
A Bill must pass by both Houses of the Parliament i.e. the House of Commons and the House of Lords and receive Royal Assent in order to become an Act of Parliament. It should go through a number of stages which are demonstrated in the following figure.



After going through all these stages in both Houses, the Bill will go to the queen to be signed in order to become a law. This is a formality making the Bill’s official passage into law. The Royal Assent is achieved by a ceremony in the House of Lords. The queen can accept, refuse or reserve the Royal Assent of any Bill. Since 1708 no monarch had refused a Bill. This happened during the reign of Queen Anne, when she refused to agree on The Scottish Militia Bill on March 1708. It was an Act for raising an army to sort disorder in Scotland. This was the last time on which a monarch had refused to grant assent to a parliamentary Bill. It is assumed that the Queen will grant assent to any parliamentary Bill presented to her. So, the Queen herself plays no part in determining decisions made in Parliament
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Re: Oddities on British Parliament

Post by sassy86 on Sat Feb 04, 2012 9:51 pm

Very well explained ! Bravo Sabine
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Re: Oddities on British Parliament

Post by wonderland20 on Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:51 am

Thank you so much Sabine
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Re: Oddities on British Parliament

Post by sabine on Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:00 pm

Hi Girls! you're welcome Smile . Now, let's move to another oddity. This time it concerns the Prime Minister

3. The Prime Minister
According to the Constitution, all public power (executive, legislative and judicial) is created and commanded by the Queen. The Prime Minister is, in theory, a counselor who advises her. But as we have said before, in British politics what is in theory is different from what is practiced in reality. Therefore, the Prime Minister is the most important person in British politics. As head of the UK government, the Prime Minister oversees the operation of the Civil Service and government agencies, appoints members of the Cabinet, and is the principal government figure in the House of Commons. Parliamentary elections are held once every five years, or less. In fact, British voters do not choose their Prime Minister (PM). He/she is voted for within their political party. So, the system is not very democratic. After the announcement of the results of the General Election, the leader of the party with an overall majority (i.e. with more MPs than all of the other parties put together) becomes the Prime Minister. He goes to Buckingham Palace and asks the Queen for permission to form a government. What is strange in that system is that the Queen will never say no to the leader of the biggest party!!!!!
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