Flashcards in Parliamentary Law Making - Legislative Process Deck (22):
What is Parliament made up of?
The HoC which has 650 MPs and the HoL which has 798 peers who are appointed by the Queen. Members of HoL are hereditary
What is a bill?
A draft law going through Plm. Must pass all Parliamentary (Plmtry) 5 stages to become an AoP.
A bill is drafted by special lawyers from Plmtry counsel to a treasury.
What is a Government Bill?
Put forward by gov and usually public bills as they involve public matters: E.g. Criminal Justice & Court Act 2015 – raised the max age of jurors from 70 to 75.
Constitutional Reform Act 2005 – which established Supreme Court.
What is a Private Members Bill?
Public bill that’s sponsored by back-benchers, each Plmtry session has a ballot, 20 MPs are selected to present a bill to Plm.
there’s limited time allocated to debating bills. Only the first 6/7 MPs have a change of releasing a bill. Not many private member bills become law but some do. E.g.:
Abortion Act 1967 – legalised abortion.
Household Waste & Recycling Act 2003 – placed a duty on local authorities to recycle.
What is a Private Bill?
Back-benches can introduce a bill under the 10 min rule (rarely successful). They
involve matters which affect individual people or corporations. E.g.:
Bail Amendment Act 1993 – gave the prosecution the right to appeal against the gaining of bail.
What is a Hybrid Bill?
A cross between a public and private Bill. Introduced in gov, but only affect a particular organisation or place. E.g.:
Crossrail Act 2008 – allowed the building of new rail link in London.
What is the first stage in the legislative process in Parliament?
First Reading: name and main aims of the Bill are read out.
What is the second stage in the legislative process in Parliament?
Second reading: MPs have the main debate about the principles of the Bill. A vote is taken – there must be a majority in favour of the Bill for it to pass to stage 3.
What is the third stage in the legislative process in Parliament?
Committee stage: A detailed examination of each clause of the Bill by a Standing Committee (scrutiny).
What is the fourth stage in the legislative process in Parliament?
Report Stage: The committee report back to the House on any amendments passed.
What is the fifth stage in the legislative process in Parliament?
Third Reading: Final vote on the Bill, usually a formality. There will only be further debate if 6 MPs request one
what happens after the 5 legislative stages in one House of Parliament?
The bill is then passed to the other house for them to look at it and it goes through the same stages in the other house and is passed back till both Houses agree with it.
When both houses agree what happens?
Royal Assent: Monarch formally gives approval of Bill and it become an Act of Parliament with effect from midnight of that day. Monarch only sees short title of Bill, Royal Assent is a formality, not having been refused since Queen Anne refused the assent of Scottish Militia Bill 1707
Where can a bill be introduced, and go through the 5 legislative stages?
Bills can be introduced in any house, but finance bills can only start in HoC.
If the bill is introduced in House of Commons what is the Second Reading stage like?
There's a debate on the principles of bill to catch eye of Speaker (who controls the debate). Vote is taken at end of debate – can be verbal or MPs can walk out of chamber and walk back in through two doors with two “tellers” making a list of members voting on each side.
If the bill is introduced in House of Commons what is the Committee Stage like?
Committee Stage: Consists of 16-50 MPs who are nominated based on their knowledge of the Bill. For Finance Bills the whole House will sit in committee.
If the bill is introduced in House of Commons what is the Report Stage like?
Report Stage: No amendments if this stage doesn’t happen.
What does the House of Lords act as in the legislative process?
Acts as a checking mechanism on the HoC. If bill starts in HoC its passed to HoL and goes through the 5 stages.
What does the House of Lords do if they make amendments to a bill?
If HoL makes amendments to Bill they send it back to HoC to consider them – goes back and forth till they both agree “ping pong”
What is done differently if the Bill is introduced in the House of Lords?
It goes through the 5 stages, but committee stage will be the while House. It then goes to HoC, then 5 stages “ping pongs” again.
Can the House of Lords reject bills sent to them?
Power of HoL to reject Bills is limited by Plm Acts 1911 and 1949 – allows a Bill to become law up to a year after HoL rejects it provided the Bill is reintroduced in HoC.