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Public Law

Public Law (3rd edn)

John Stanton and Craig Prescott
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date: 29 February 2024

p. 3068. Parliamentlocked

p. 3068. Parliamentlocked

  • John StantonJohn StantonSenior Lecturer in Law at The City Law School, City, University of London
  •  and Craig PrescottCraig PrescottLecturer in Law, Bangor University


This chapter discusses the functions, structure, and procedures of Parliament. Parliament’s main functions are to be the forum for debate on the main issues of the day; to represent citizens; to enact legislation; and to hold the government to account. Parliament has three elements: the House of Commons, the House of Lords, and the monarch. The chapter focuses on the two Houses, often referred to as ‘chambers’. The main output of Parliament is legislation. There are two forms of legislation. Primary legislation, referred to as Acts of Parliament, which are the exercise of Parliament’s legal supremacy to change the law, either by making new law or amending or abolishing existing law. Parliament also has the power to delegate its law-making power to others, usually to the government, allowing them to make delegated legislation according to the terms set out by Parliament.

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