ТОП 10:

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (3)



Parliament comprises the House of Lords and the House of Commons, together with the Queen in her constitutional role. The Lords is made up of …………………………………………………….. and the two archbishops and 24 most senior bishops of the established Church of England. The Commons is the elected House, …………………………………………….. (MPs), each representing a local constituency area.

The two-chamber system has long been feature of British parliamentary government, although over the years the balance between the two Houses has undergone a complete change. In modern practice the centre of parliamentary power is in ………………….…. . Limitations on the Lords’ powers of legislative veto are based on the belief that the main function of the House is to complement the Commons and not to rival it.

General elections to choose MPs and the next Government must be held at least ……………. . Voting, which is not compulsory, is by secret ballot and is from the age of 18.

Under the traditional two-party system governments are formed by the party, which has ……………………….. in the Commons. The leader of the government, the Prime Minister, chooses a number of ministers, including 20 or so in the cabinet. The second largest party traditionally forms …………………………….. with its own leader and ‘shadow cabinet’. Ministers are collectively responsible for government decisions, and individually responsible for their own departments.

Local government is carried out by ……………………………….., which deal with planning and housing, education, personal services, police, fire brigades and many other local services. The authorities are given their power …………………………. and have considerable freedom to govern local affairs in their own way.

 

Vocabulary Exercises

 

3. Find the words in the text below that mean:

 

- to consist

- the area represented by a Member of Parliament

- restrictions

- not obligatory

- together

- to concern

- to compete

 

Fill in the appropriate word(s) from the list, then make sentences using the completed phrases.

hereditary and life, most senior, established, undergo, complement, fire, shadow, government

 

the …………….. bishops ……………… peers

to ……………… a complete change the ………….. Church

the …………….. cabinet ……………… decisions

………………… brigades to …………… the Commons

 

Fill in the correct prepositions, then make sentences using the completed phrases.

1 to be made …. ….; 2 to be based …. smth.; 3 to be formed …. the party; 4 to be responsible ….; 5 to be held …. secret ballot; 6 to be carried …. ….; 7 to govern …. one’s own way.

 

Speaking

Make up 8 sentences and try to say each of them by heart.

 

1. The powers of the Queen 1. direct national policy.
2. The bodies of the legislature consist of 2. is the House of Lords.
3. The bodies of the executive consist of 3. usually takes policy decisions with the agreement of his Cabinet.
4. The entire constitutional and state apparatus 4. is in the hands of the tiny section of rich property owners.
5. The Cabinet and other ministers of the Crown 5. the Cabinet and other ministers of the Crown, government departments, local authorities and *statutory boards.
6. The Prime Minister 6. control many services at the local level.
7. The highest judicial body 7. are hereditary, not elective.
8. Local authorities 8. the House of Lords and the House of Commons, together with the Queen.

 

* statutory boards are responsible for the operation of particular nationalized industries or public services.

Look through the text above, then close your books and try to complete the following sentences.

· Parliament comprises ………………………………………………………

· The Lords is made up of ……………………………………………………

· The House of Commons consists of ………………………………………..

· In modern practice the centre of parliamentary power is …………………..

· The main function of the House of Lords is …………………………………

· The main function of the House of Commons is …………………………….

· General elections to choose MPs and the next Government must …………..

· Voting, which is not compulsory, is …………………………………………

· Two-party system governments are formed by ……………………………...

· The leader of the government chooses ………………………………………

· The second largest party traditionally forms …………………………………

· Ministers are collectively responsible for ……………………………………

· Local government is carried out by …………………………………………..

Reading

Read the text about the English Constitution, translate it, using a dictionary and explain the difference between the “unwritten” Constitution and “flexible” Constitution. Which Constitution corresponds to Great Britain, the USA, Russia?

The English Constitution and Theory and Practice Diversity

To understand English constitutional law it is necessary to study numerous documents, including constitutional treaties like the Bill of Rights, various statutes and judicial decisions and others. But the whole of the Constitution of Britain will not be found in any of these documents. The English constitution, though partly written, is yet to be regarded as “unwritten” from the standpoint of constitutional lawyers, *as it is not codified as a whole in any particular document or documents. The English Constitution is considered to be flexible because Parliament *can “make or unmake” any law by the same procedure and with the same ease.

The Constitution is not the source of the law, but the law gives birth to the Constitution.

Though the King (Queen) is the nominal Sovereign, any particular Parliament during the period of its existence is legally supreme.

In England *the rights of the subject aremostly deduced from actual decisions in which remedies have been afforded for their invasion. Thus it is sometimes said that under the English Constitution *the remedy precedes the right.

In administering justice the Judges enjoy little arbitrary power. The law, which they administer, is defined by statutes and other documents *having statutory validity and by judicial precedents.

Certain important Conventions control the entire working of the Constitution. These Conventions relate to the duties of the King as a person, the duties of the Ministers of the Crown and so on.

Theory and practice concerning English constitutional law are divergent, as it is seen from the following illustrations:

1. In theory the Sovereign is to be an active party to the making of laws, but in practice he has a shadowy veto.

2. In theory every Lord of Parliament is a Judge of the House of Lords, entitled to take part in appeals from the lower Courts; in practice *he always absents himself unless qualified by statute to sit there as one of the quorum.

3. In theory certain persons (e.g. Lord Mayor) are invested with judicial powers at trials in the Central Criminal Court, but in practice they don't take part in judicial work there.

4. In theory certain public departments are supposed to be controlled by boards consisting of various high officials (e.g. the Board of Trade), but the real head is a single Minister of the Crown (e.g. the President of the Board of Trade).

5. Finally, Legislature and Executive are joined together by a connecting chain — the Cabinet.

 

*as it is not codified — так как она не кодифицирована

*can «make or unmake» any law — может составить или аннулировать любой закон

*the rights of the subject are deduced from actual decisions — права подданных складываются на основании фактических судебных решений

*the remedy precedes the right — средство судебной защиты предшествует закону

*having statutory validity — имеющие силу закона

*he always absents himself unless qualified by statute to sit there as one of the quorum — он всегда уклоняется, кроме тех случаев, когда закон уполномочивает его заседать для обеспечения кворума

Speaking

Answer the questions and speak about the diversity of theory and practice concerning English constitutional law.

1. What is it necessary to do in order to understand English Constitutional law?

2. Why is the English Constitution to be regarded as “unwritten” from the standpoint of constitutional lawyers?

3. Is the English Constitution rigid or flexible?

4. The Constitution is the source of the law, isn't it?

5. What power do the judges enjoy in administering justice?

6. What law do the judges administer?

7. What can you say about theory and practice concerning English constitutional law?

8. In what way are the Legislature and Executive joined together?

 

Writing

Write a short commentary concerning Russian constitutional law.

Just for fun

 
 
Great Britain Quiz   How much do you know about Great Britain? Decide whether these statements about Great Britain are true or false. Put T (True) or F (False) on the line next to the sentence. 1. If you drive a car in Scotland you will have to drive on the left. …… 2. If you go on a sightseeing tour of London you will be able to see the National Gallery. …… 3. If you go to Madam Tussaud's you'll be able to buy new clothes for yourself. …… 4. If you go shopping in Cardiff you will have to change English pounds to Welsh pounds. …… 5. If you want to see how the bridges raise London, go to Tower Bridge. …… 6. If you go to Piccadilly Сircus you'll see Nelson Column. …… 7. If you go to Regent's Park you'll be able to visit London Zoo. …… 8. If you fly from London to Scotland you'll have to show your passport at the airport. …… 9. If you take the ferry to Northern Ireland you will cross over the English Channel. ……  


 

 

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