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Chapter

Cover Public Law

15. Case Study: Constitutionally Contested Legislation  

This chapter looks at the circumstances surrounding two events. The first is the 2005 decision of the UK Parliament to set up a committee to examine whether the constitutional conventions governing the relationship between the House of Lords and the House of Commons should be codified. The second is the decision of the Commons (and the Labour government) to press ahead and present the Hunting Bill 2004 for royal assent despite the opposition of the Lords to the policy of a total ban on hunting wild animals with dogs; the Lords preferred a policy of licensed hunting.

Chapter

Cover Public Law

8. Parliament  

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.

Chapter

Cover Public Law

11. Introduction to Legislative Functions  

This chapter provides an overview of the themes covered in Part III of the book, consisting of Chapters 12 and 13. The chapters are concerned legislation, which can be made for a variety of purposes: to set out public law rights; to impose taxation; to create powers for public bodies to take action; the regulation of commercial activity; and social control. Chapter 12 examines the processes involved in making Acts of the UK Parliament. The legislative process for making Acts of Parliament provides opportunities for democratic debate, but critics often express concern that the making of legislation is a rushed affair in which the public and parliamentarians have too little time and influence. Chapter 13 looks at ‘delegated legislation’—that is, rules that have the binding force of law made by ministers and other authorities, in which Parliament has even more of a limited scrutiny role.

Chapter

Cover Public Law

12. Introduction to Legislative Functions  

This chapter provides an overview of the themes covered in Part 3 of the book, consisting of Chapters 12 to 15. Chapter 13 examines the processes involved in making Acts of the UK Parliament. Chapter 14 looks at ‘delegated legislation’—that is, rules that have the binding force of law made by ministers and other authorities, in which Parliament has a limited scrutiny role. Chapter 15 is a case study designed to bring together and develop several key themes—notably, the relationship between the House of Commons and House of Lords in the legislative process.

Chapter

Cover Constitutional and Administrative Law

5. Parliament  

This chapter is concerned with the two chambers of Parliament, which, together with the Queen, collectively form Parliament: these are the House of Commons (HC) and the House of Lords (HL). The composition of both Houses is considered in this chapter, and attention is given to the officers of the House of Commons, the life of Parliament, House of Commons sittings, and the committee system. The electoral franchise is discussed and attention is focused on the important issues of electoral reform and the reform of the House of Lords. The chapter concludes by considering what is meant by the term ‘parliamentary privilege’.

Chapter

Cover Public Law Concentrate

5. Parliamentary government and the legislative process  

Each Concentrate revision guide is packed with essential information, key cases, revision tips, exam Q&As, and more. Concentrates show you what to expect in a law exam, what examiners are looking for, and how to achieve extra marks. This chapter first describes the UK legislature. The legislature of the UK is the Queen in Parliament. Parliament is bicameral, meaning that, apart from the Queen, there are two legislative chambers called the House of Lords and the House of Commons. The House of Lords—composed of life peers, senior bishops, and some hereditary peers—is guardian of the constitution through the work of the House of Lords Constitution Committee and protects the constitution and initiates and revises legislation. The House of Commons—composed of constituency representatives organized on party lines under the whip system—is the principal legislative chamber and plays a significant role in scrutinizing the executive. The discussion then turns to the legislative process, covering electoral law, alternative voting systems, and the devolution of the legislative function including the Wales Act 2017.

Book

Cover The Changing Constitution

Edited by Sir Jeffrey Jowell and Colm O'Cinneide

Since its first edition in 1985, The Changing Constitution has provided analysis of the key issues surrounding the UK’s constitutional development, and debates around reform. The ninth edition of this volume is published at a time of constitutional turbulence, with Brexit putting pressure on key aspects of the UK’s unwritten constitutional system. Other aspects of the UK constitution are also in a state of flux, and continue to generate political and legal controversy: the legal protection of human rights, understanding of parliamentary sovereignty and the rule of law, separation of powers, restructuring of the system of justice, the regulation of access to information and data privacy, and pressures for increased devolution to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. These issues and more are covered in this latest edition of one of the UK’s leading texts on the constitution, which includes contributions from a range of leading public law scholars.

Chapter

Cover The Changing Constitution

6. Parliament: The Best of Times, the Worst of Times?  

Philip Norton

Parliament fulfils functions that are long-standing, but its relationship to government has changed over time. It has been criticized for weakness in scrutinizing legislation, holding government to account, and voicing the concerns of the people. Despite changes in both Houses in the twentieth century, the criticisms have persisted and in some areas Parliament has seen a constriction in its scope for decision-making. The twenty-first century has seen significant steps that have strengthened both Houses in carrying out their functions, the House of Commons in particular acquiring new powers. Members of both Houses have proved willing to challenge government. It remains a policy-influencing legislature, but a stronger one than in the preceding century. While strengthening its position in relation to the executive, it has faced major challenges in its relationship to the public. It has seen a greater openness in contact with citizens, but has had to contend with popular dissatisfaction and declining levels of trust.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Public Law

Jackson v HM Attorney General [2005] UKHL 56, House of Lords  

Essential Cases: Public Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Jackson v HM Attorney General [2005] UKHL 56, House of Lords. This case concerned the interpretation of the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949 and the implications of this interpretation for the relationship between the Houses of Parliament. The case also contained important obiter from the House of Lords on the nature of parliamentary sovereignty. The document also includes supporting commentary and questions from author Thomas Webb.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Public Law

Jackson v HM Attorney General [2005] UKHL 56, House of Lords  

Essential Cases: Public Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Jackson v HM Attorney General [2005] UKHL 56, House of Lords. This case concerned the interpretation of the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949 and the implications of this interpretation for the relationship between the Houses of Parliament. The case also contained important obiter from the House of Lords on the nature of parliamentary sovereignty. The document also includes supporting commentary and questions from author Thomas Webb.

Chapter

Cover Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, and Human Rights

23. Conclusion  

This chapter addresses the question of whether it is legally possible to entrench legislation in a way that safeguards it from repeal by the traditional ‘simple majority in Commons and Lords plus Royal Assent’ formula; and, if so, under what political circumstances it might legitimately be employed. It argues that the Blair government’s commitment to establishing a pluralist political culture is head and shoulders above any of their twentieth-century predecessors. This is most evident in its devolution legislation as well as in its embrace of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and the provisions of the Amsterdam Treaty. The same observation may be made about the Blair government’s promotion of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005. Yet these initiatives, desirable though they may be, can hardly be seen as engineering a constituent reformation of the political system.

Chapter

Cover Concentrate Questions and Answers Public Law

5. Parliament  

The Q&A series offers the best preparation for tackling exam questions. Each chapter includes typical questions, diagram problem and essay answer plans, suggested answers, notes of caution, tips on obtaining extra marks, the key debates on each topic, and suggestions on further reading. This chapter presents information relating to Parliament. It looks at all aspects of how both the House of Commons and House of Lords work and how they might be reformed. The questions the chapter looks at deal with issues such as the reform of procedures and operation of the House of Commons; how newly elected MPs can influence government policy; the role of departmental select committees; parliamentary privilege; and House of Lords reform.

Chapter

Cover Complete Public Law

7. Parliamentary Supremacy  

The Theory

Titles in the Complete series combine extracts from a wide range of primary materials with clear explanatory text to provide readers with a complete introductory resource. Parliamentary supremacy means that the Westminster Parliament is legally entitled to pass, amend, or repeal any law it wishes. Consequently, if the House of Commons and the House of Lords pass the legislation and the monarch gives her royal assent, then no court or other body has the legal power to declare the legislation invalid. This explains why the term ‘parliamentary supremacy’ has been coined: (the Queen in) Parliament holds the supreme law-making power in the UK. This chapter sketches the history leading to parliamentary supremacy. It discusses the theories behind the doctrine of parliamentary supremacy; restrictions on the power of Parliament; how parliamentary supremacy compares with constitutional supremacy; and how parliamentary supremacy fits with the separation of powers and the rule of law.

Chapter

Cover English Legal System

3. Legislation and the law-making process  

This chapter examines the legislative (law-making) process. In the UK, the Westminster Parliament can make primary legislation called Acts of Parliament or ‘Statutes’. Parliament can also grant powers to other bodies to make legislation on Parliament’s behalf, in the form of secondary legislation or delegated legislation. Parliament is comprised of three bodies, the Queen in Parliament, the House of Commons, and the House of Lords. A draft piece of legislation, a bill, which will become an Act of Parliament must be passed by the House of Commons and the House of Lords and then receive Royal Assent. If the House of Commons and House of Lords cannot agree on legislation this can be governed by the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949. Secondary or delegated legislation is necessary for a number of reasons but is subject to controls exercised by Parliamentary and the courts.

Chapter

Cover Public Law Directions

10. The Legislature: membership, privileges, and standards  

This chapter explores the role and membership of Parliament’s two chambers, the House of Commons and the House of Lords, the operation of parliamentary privilege; and accountability of members. The key functions of Parliament include controlling national expenditure and taxation; sustaining the government; legislating and scrutinising government actions. The House of Commons is the pre-eminent chamber and dominates Parliament. The Commons’ membership consists of Members of Parliament (MPs) who are democratically elected by the public to represent their interests in Parliament. The membership of the House of Lords largely relies on patronage. Members of the Lords are appointed by the Queen on the Prime Minister’s advice. The House of Lords is an important revising and scrutinising chamber, and while it is subordinate to the democratically elected House of Commons, it is also a check on constitutional change by the Commons. The Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949 redefined the Lords’ legislative powers over public bills and established the Commons’ primacy. The chapter then considers the operation of parliamentary privilege. Parliament needs parliamentary privilege to conduct its core business effectively, independently, and without fear of outside interference, and to protect everything said or done in the transaction of parliamentary business. Indeed, Parliament is self-regulating and, as a sovereign body, operates outside the jurisdiction of the courts except for the criminal law. Each House has its own standards of conduct and disciplinary powers which ensure accountability.

Book

Cover Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, and Human Rights
Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, and Human Rights provides an in-depth cross disciplinary introduction to the subject of public law, covering the core elements of a constitutional and administrative law syllabus. In addition, it explores the latest ongoing debates around potential constitutional reforms. The book draws heavily on historical sources and on ideas from political science and political theory as well as legal and social history. It also includes detailed coverage of the UK’s proposed departure from the European Union after the 2016 referendum and the subsequent Miller litigations, as well as the negotiations on the terms of departure. It looks at the polarised positions of ‘soft brexit’ and ‘hard brexit’ and examines what brexit might actually mean for the United Kingdom.

Chapter

Cover Partnership and LLP Law

13. Rights and Duties of Membership  

This chapter addresses the rights and obligations of membership. It explains what a member's share in the LLP entails, and considers how the share can be assigned or treated as property. It considers the duties that members owe to the LLP and to each other, including both fiduciary duties and those that arise under a common law duty of care. It considers what duties a member may have to outsiders, and also the protections that a member may have in the event of unfair treatment by the LLP.