Text of Parliament explained intro to parliament 29.01.15
Introduction to Parliament
David Lawrie, Mark Cullen & Ed Faulkner
29 January 2015
Parliament is made up of:
a) House of Commons & House of Lordsb) House of Commons and Governmentc) Government and Monarchd) House of Commons, House of Lords
What is Parliament?House of Commons House of Lords
Which TWO answers describe the work of Parliament?
a) running Government departmentsb) checking up on the work of Governmentc) being the highest court of appeal in the UKd) making new laws
What is the role of the Queen?
• politically neutral • signs off laws passed by Parliament (Royal
Assent)• opens Parliament each session
The core tasks of Parliament
Makes and passes laws(Legislation)
Holds Government to account
Enables the Government to set taxes
The House of Lords
How can you become member of the House of Lords?
a) Members of the public nominate themb) An independent Commission recommends themc) The Prime Minister chooses themd) Their titles are passed down to them through their familye) All of the above
• 780 Members (approx.)• 665 Life Peers• 92 Hereditary Peers• 26 Bishops and Archbishops• 240 Seats in Chamber (Capacity)
The House of Commons
The Government• The party with (usually) the majority of
seats in the House of Commons forms the Government
• The Government:– runs public departments (e.g. Home Office)– proposes new laws to Parliament– is accountable to Parliament
• Commons, Lords and Monarch
• Holds Government to account
• Passes laws
• Some MPs and some Lords, chosen by the Prime Minister
• Runs Government departments and public services
BILLS & LEGISLATION
Types of legislation
• Public Bills are proposed changes to general lawoGovernment Billso Private Members Bills
• Private Bills are local /one-off changes to laws
• Hybrid Bills are a mixture of the above• Delegated/Secondary Legislation
The House of Lords pass more changes (amendments) to legislation than the House of Commons.
a) Trueb) Falsec) Both Houses pass approximately the same number of amendments
Passage of a bill
Scrutiny of legislation• Green Papers and White Papers• Pre-legislative committees, Draft bills• Passage of a bill
– Public Bill committees– MPs and members of the House of Lords
• Act of Parliament• Post-legislative scrutiny
Commons LordsOne for each Government department looking specifically at the department’s spending, policies and administration
A committee will have a minimum of 11 members, who decide upon the line of inquiry and then gather written and oral evidence.
Findings are reported to the Commons, printed, and published on the Parliament website. The government then usually has 60 days to reply to the committee's recommendations.
Other Commons Committees are involved in a range of on-going investigations, like administration of the House itself or allegations about the conduct of individual MPs.
These committees do not shadow the work of government departments. Their investigations look into specialist subjects, taking advantage of the Lords' expertise and the greater amount of time available to them to examine issues.
There are currently five major Lords Select Committees:- the European Union Committee- the Science and Technology Committee- the Communications Committee- the Constitution Committee- the Economic Affairs Committee
List of Commons Committees
• Business, Innovation and Skills Committee• Communities and Local Government Committee• Culture, Media and Sport Committee • Defence Committee• Energy and Climate Change Committee• Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee• Environmental Audit Committee• Foreign Affairs Committee• Health Committee• Home Affairs Committee• International Development Committee• Justice Committee
• Northern Ireland Affairs Committee• Political and Constitutional Reform Committee• Procedure Committee• Public Accounts, Committee of• Public Administration, Select Committee on • Science and Technology Committee• Scottish Affairs Committee• Transport Committee• Treasury Committee• Welsh Affairs Committee• Work and Pensions Committee