The United Kingdom. Legislature
Pre-reading task. Read the words. Mind the stress. A):
΄legislate cons΄tituent ,obli΄gation
΄archbishop e΄xceed ,recommen΄dation
΄senior de΄liberative ,consti΄tutionally
΄suffrage dis΄qualify ,repre΄sentative
΄bankrupt a΄llowance ,secre΄tarial
΄arbiter suc΄cessor ad,minis΄tration
΄circumstance pre΄side ,parlia΄mentary
΄substance con΄currence su΄premacy
B) Complete the word building table.
1. Look through the words and expression to make sure that you know them. Learn those you don’t know.
2. Read and translate the text into Ukrainian.
Parliament is the legislative organ and is constitutionally composed of the Monarch, the House of Lords, and the House of Commons.
The House of Lords currently has around 730 members, and there are four different types: life peers, Law Lords, bishops and elected hereditary peers. Unlike MPs, the public do not elect the Lords. The majority are appointed by the Queen on the recommendation of the Prime Minister or of the House of Lords Appointments Commission.
Life peers appointed for their lifetime make up the majority of the total membership. The power to appoint belongs formally to the Crown, but members are essentially created on the advice of the Prime Minister. Life peers’ titles cease on death. Law Lords were the first life peers. The Appellate Jurisdiction Act 1876 provides for up to 12 Law Lords to be appointed to hear appeals from the lower courts. They are salaried and can continue to hear appeals until they are 70 years old. After they retire they go on sitting in the House. Archbishops and bishops. The Anglican Archbishops of Canterbury and York, the Bishops of Durham [´darəm], London and Winchester and the 21 senior bishops of the Church of England have seats in the House. This is because the Church of England is the “established” Church of the State. When they retire as bishops their membership of the House ceases. Elected hereditary peers. The House of Lords Act 1999 ended the right of hereditary peers to sit and vote in the House of Lords. Until then there had been about 700 hereditary members. While the Bill was being considered, an amendment was passed which enable 92 of the existing hereditary peers to remain as members until the next stage of reform.
The House of Lords has a judicial function in addition to its legislative and deliberative functions. The House is the highest court in the land – the supreme court of appeal. It acts as the final court on points of law for the whole of the United Kingdom in civil cases and for England, Wales and Northern Ireland in criminal cases. Its decisions bind all courts below.
This is an unusual role for a legislative body that is part of Parliament. In most other democracies, the judiciary is separate from the legislature – usually in the form of a supreme court of appeal. For this reason the Government has legislated to establish a United Kingdom Supreme Court that will be constitutionally and physically separate from Parliament. Until October 2008, when the new UK Supreme Court is expected to come into operation, the present system will continue. The reasons for the present set-up are historical – the House of Lords has done this work for more than 600 years as part of the High Court of Parliament. Although the House of Commons was originally part of the High Court of Parliament, it has not been involved in judicial work since 1399. Today only highly qualified professional judges appointed to be law lords take part in the judicial function of the House.
The House of Commons is an elected and representative body; members (at present 650) are elected by almost universal adult suffrage to represent constituencies in England (523), Scotland (72), Wales (38) and Northern Ireland (17). The law relating to Parliamentary elections is contained in substance in the Representation of the People Act, 1949, as amended. Any British subject aged 21 or over, not otherwise disqualified (as for example, members of the House of Lords, certain clergy, undercharged bankrupts, civil servants, holders of judicial office, members of the regular armed services and the police forces) may be elected a Member of Parliament (M.P). Members are paid a salary and an allowance for secretarial and office expenses; after a Parliament is dissolved all seats are subject to a General Election. By elections take place when a vacancy occurs during the life of a Parliament, as when a member dies, is elevated to the House of Lords or accepts an “office of profit” under the Crown.
The Speaker of the House of Commons is elected by the members from the members to preside over the House immediately after each new Parliament is formed. He is an impartial arbiter over Parliamentary procedure and the traditional guardian of the rights and privileges of the House of Commons.
The functions of Parliament are: making laws; providing money for the government through taxation; examining government policy, administration and spending; debating political questions.
No law can be passed unless it has completed a number of stages in the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The Monarch also has to give a Bill the Royal Assent, which is now just a formality. Whilst a law is still going through Parliament it is called a Bill There are two main types of Bills – Public Bills, which deal with matters of public importance, and Private Bills which deal with local matters and individuals. Public and Private Bills are passed through Parliament in much the same way. When a Bill is introduced in the House of Commons, it receives a formal first reading. It is then printed and read a second time, when it is debated but not amended. After the second reading the Bill is referred to a committee, either a special committee made up of certain members of the House, or to the House itself as a committee. Here it is discussed in detailed and amended if necessary. The Bill is then presented for a third reading and is debated. If the Bill is passed by the Commons, it goes to the Lords, and provided it is not rejected by them, it goes through the same procedure as in the Commons. After receiving the Royal Assent the Bill becomes an Act of Parliament. In order to be enforced, it must be published in Statute form, becoming a part of Statute Law. The power of the Lords to reject a Bill has been severely curtailed. A money Bill must be passed by the Lords without amendment within a month of being presented in the House. The Act of 1949 provides that any Public Bill passed by the Commons in two successive parliamentary sessions and rejected both times by the Lords, may be presented for the Royal Assent, even though it has not been passed by the Lords. The Lords, therefore, can only delay the passage of a Public Bill, they cannot reject it.
The supremacy, or sovereignty, of the United Kingdom Parliament is probably the most basic principle of British constitutional law. Parliament acts in such a way as not to bind its successors in the manner or form of their legislation, and, in the Parliament Acts of 1911 and 1949 has provided that in certain circumstances a Bill may become law without the concurrence of all the component parts of Parliament. These two acts have clarified the supremacy of the House of Commons over the House of Lords, which can only delay the passage of Public Bills for a maximum period of one year and cannot delay at all the passage of Money Bills (financial measures).
3. Give Ukrainian equivalents for the following words and expressions. Use them in the sentences or situations of your own.
to end the right of hereditary peers to sit and vote; the final court on points of law; the supreme court of appeal; to be involved in judicial work; to be appointed by the Queen on the recommendation of the Prime Minister or of the House of Lords Appointments Commission; hereditary body; to bind all courts below; to legislate to establish a United Kingdom Supreme Court; the reasons for the present set-up; highly qualified professional judges; representative body; universal adult suffrage; civil servant; to be elevated to the House of Lords; an office of profit under the Crown; Parliamentary procedure; without the concurrence; the supremacy; the passage; the exercise of rights; to take office; to give the force of law; to examine government police: to give a Bill the Royal Assent; to deal with the matters of public importance; to receive a formal first reading; a special committee made up of certain members of the House; the House itself as a committee; provided it is not rejected; to go through the same procedure; the power of the Lords to reject a Bill; to pass without amendments within a month.
4. Find in the text English equivalents for the following words and expressions:
вищий законодавчий орган влади; довічний пер; судові лорди / лорди-судді; обраний спадковий пер; передбачати, що до 12 Лордів-суддів буде призначено; розглядати апеляції з судів нижчої юрисдикції; загальне виборче право; за певних умов; світські та духовні лорди; члени палати лордів призначені для розгляду апеляцій; лорд-канцлер; підданий Британії; службові витрати; сучасний устрій; комітет з призначення (на посаду) до вищого апеляційного суду; надавати можливість чи право існуючим спадковим перам залишатися в парламенті; представляти виборчі округи; дорадчі функції; фінансовий законопроект; продовжувати розглядати судові справи (в апеляційному порядку палатою лордів); державна церква; вступати в дію; завершуватися зі смертю (тривати довічно); забезпечений правовою санкцією; державні службовці; по суті бути обраним за порадою; неупереджений арбітр; банкрут; без згоди всіх складових частин Парламенту; відхилити законопроект; висунути законопроект; оподаткування; внести поправку до законопроекту; обговорювати політичні питання; отримати королівську санкцію; асигнувати гроші на потреби уряду; прийняти закон; обговорювати законопроект; відправити законопроект до комісії; бути суттєво скороченим; при умові що; відкласти прийняття закону.
5. A: Fill in the appropriate word from the list below.
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