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The System of Government





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The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy, this institution dates back in Britain to the Saxon king Egbert. The UK does not have a written constitution, as a single legal document. It is based on statutes and imported documents (such as Magna Carta, signed by King John (1215); Habeas Corpus Act, signed by Charles II (1679); the Bill of Rights signed after James II lost his throne in 1689 by his daughter Mary II and her husband William II); decisions taken by courts of Law; other customs and conventions, a combination of Acts of Parliament.

Monarch

In Law the Monarch is Head of the legislative, executive and judicial powers; the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces and the Supreme governor of the Church of England, but in reality her role is mostly ceremonial. Nowadays monarchs reign, but not rule. The monarch is considered to act as a “unifying force” in both in Constitution and the nation.

The legislative powerin the UK belongs to Parliament which comprises the Monarch, the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

The House of Commons consists of 651 Members of Parliament (MPs) who are elected by the citizens over the age 18. The main function of the House of Commons is to make laws.

The House of Lords consists of about 1200 hereditary and life peers and some senior bishops named by the Queen. The main function of the House of Lords is to revise Bills proposed by the House of Lords is to revise Bills proposed by the House of Commons. But it cannot reject them, it can only delay a Bill from becoming Law for six months.

The executive powerin the UK belongs to the Government, the main function of which is to put laws into effect and plan policy.

The main political parties in the UK are the Labour and the Conservatives parties. The leader of the party which wins the most seats in the Parliament at a general election becomes Prime Minister. Prime Minister is Head of Government. The group of ministers (100), 20 of them are invited by Prime Minister and are known as the Cabinet.

The judicial power in the UK belongs to Magistrates’ Courts, Crown Courts, County Courts, Courts of Appeal, House of Lords.

Local Government. Along with the national government there are local governments for administrative areas known as counties. The people elect representatives to regional and district councils which are responsible for housing, education transport, police and other social services.

 

Answer the questions:

1. What documents is the UK constitution based on?

2. Who is Head of the State?

3. Whom does the Legislative power in the UK belong to?

4. What is the structure of the Legislative power?

5. What are the main functions of the House of Lords and the House of Commons?

6. Whom does the Executive power in the UK belong to?

7. Who is Head of the Government?

8. What are the main political parties in the UK?

9. What types of courts function in the UK?

 

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