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date: 25 April 2024

p. 1055. The House of Commonslocked

p. 1055. The House of Commonslocked

  • Ian LovelandIan LovelandProfessor of Public Law, City, University of London


This chapter examines the relationship between the government and the House of Commons, in order further to develop arguments concerning the doctrines of parliamentary sovereignty and the separation of powers within the contemporary constitution. Consideration is given both to the role played by the House of Commons within the legislative process and its effectiveness as a means to provide scrutiny of and challenges to the ways in which the government exercises its statutory and prerogative powers. The chapter argues that, for most of the modern era, the House of Commons has been a body in which party politics is the dominant determinant both in the legislative process and in respect of executive accountability and asks if we should accept that the Commons is manifestly now a factional rather than national assembly for most purposes. But it is also suggested that it would be premature to conclude that the constitution permits factional concerns to determine both the content of legislation and the parliamentary accountability of government behaviour.

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