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Parliament and the law
How are rules made and who can influence this procedure? This unit will introduce you to the rule-making processes in of the UK Houses of Parliament in Westminster. You will examine how laws are enacted and how it is possible for unelected bodies and people to influence the content of such laws. First published on Wed, 15 Jun 2011 as Author(s): Creator not set

Introduction

This unit considers the growth of human rights and humanitarian law before looking at the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) in detail. It will also look at the position of human rights in the UK and the effect of the Human Rights Act 1998.

This study unit is an adapted extract relevant to The Open University course W100 Rules, rights and justice: an introduction to law, which is no longer taught by the University. If you want to study formally with us, you may wish to ex
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Starting with law
Starting with law explores key legal concepts such as legal capacity and the rights and responsibilities of the individual. You will examine how laws are made, and how they affect us at different points in our lives. This unit is ideal if you are a beginner or returning to study. First published on Fri, 15 Jun 2012 as Author(s): Creator not set

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9.5 Tables

Using a table or just a set of columns can help you to analyse information and ideas. You can vary the number of columns and rows as needed. The following activity provides an opportunity for you to summarise information in a table.

Activity 7: Completing a table


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9.3 Linear notes

This is the most common form of note-taking. It involves writing in sequence the points you want to note. As with all note-taking, the aim is to pick out and record the most important points. Avoid simply writing out most or all of the text again.

Try to write your notes in your own words as this will help you understand what you have been reading about. Also add a reference to which page(s) of the text your notes refer so you can easily find your way back to the relevant part of the te
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5.1 Solicitors

In 2008 there were about 75,000 solicitors working for firms providing legal advice to individuals and companies on a wide range of legal matters including buying and selling houses, family matters, contracts, tax and crime. As laws become more complicated and detailed, there is a growing trend for solicitors to specialise in a particular area of law, for example, crime or family or company. In addition, there were around 20,000 solicitors who did not practise. Solicitors are governed by the
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Acknowledgements

The content acknowledged below is Proprietary (see terms and conditions) and is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Licence

Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following sources for permission to reproduce material in this unit:

The content acknowledged below is P
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4.12.2 Expertise

Delegated legislation by its very nature concerns specialist technical and/or local knowledge. So it is an advantage for such specialist provisions to be dealt with by those who have this knowledge rather than by Members of Parliament who generally would not have the required specialist or local knowledge.


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4.12.1 Time

Delegated legislation is far quicker to introduce than an Act of Parliament. This can be an advantage in instances when emergencies or unforeseen problems require laws to be changed. The use of delegated legislation also saves parliamentary time. The detail of the delegated legislation can be dealt with by the appropriate minister, leaving Parliament as a whole more time to focus on the general principles of the enabling Act.


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4.11.1 Procedural ultra vires

This is where the enabling Act sets out the procedural rules to be followed by the body which has been given the delegated power. The court can find the delegated legislation to be ultra vires and void if these rules were not followed.

In the Aylesbury Mushroom case (1972) Agricultural Horticultural and Forestry Industry Training Board v Aylesbury Mushrooms Ltd (1972) 1 All ER 280 delegated legislation required the Minister of Labour to consult ‘any organisation … appe
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4.10 Parliamentary control

Initially, Parliament has control in that the enabling or parent Act passed by Parliament sets out the framework or parameters within which delegated legislation is made. In addition, there are scrutiny committees in both Houses of Parliament whose role is to consider the delegated powers proposed by a Bill. However, these committees have limited power. European legislation is considered by a specific committee and local authority byelaws are usually subject to the approval of the Department
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4.8 Professional regulations

Certain professional bodies, such as The Solicitors Regulation Authority, have delegated authority under enabling legislation to regulate the conduct of their members. The Solicitors Regulation Authority has power to control the conduct of practising solicitors under the Solicitors Act 1974. The General Medical Council regulates the conduct of its members under the Medical Act of 1858. It has four main functions:

  • to keep up-to-date registers of qualif
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4.5 Byelaws

Byelaws can be made by local authorities and certain other public corporations and companies concerning issues within the scope of their geographic or other areas of responsibility. So, a County Council can make byelaws affecting the whole county, whilst a District or Town Council can only make byelaws for the district or town. Byelaws are usually created when there is no general legislation that deals with an issue that concerns people in a local area. If a council wishes to make a byelaw it
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4.4 Statutory Instruments

The vast majority of delegated legislation is in the form of Statutory Instruments (SIs). SIs are rules and regulations made by Government ministers acting under the delegated power given to them or their department by Parliament in a broadly drafted parent or enabling Act concerning their area of responsibility, for example, health or transport or education. SIs are normally drafted by the legal department of the minister concerned and are just as much part of the law as their parent or enab
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3,3,7 Royal Assent

You have already seen references to Royal Assent in this unit. The monarch formally assents to a Bill in order for it to pass into law. Royal Assent has never been withheld in recent times. Queen Anne was the last monarch to withhold a Royal Assent, when she blocked a Scottish Militia Bill in 1707. The Queen feared a Scottish militia might be turned against the monarchy.

Since the sixteenth century no monarch has actually signed a Bill themselves. Instead, the monarch signs what are kno
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3.3.4 Report stage

A Bill that has been amended in committee stage is reviewed by the House in which it started. The amendments will be debated in the House and accepted or rejected. Further amendments may also be added.


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3.1 Types of Bill

Figure 7
Figure 7 The Houses of Parliament.

An Act of Parliament starts off as a Bill. A Bill is a proposal for a new piece of legislation that
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2.9 (v) Private Members' Bills

Individual Members of Parliament have the power to introduce their own legislation known as a Private Members' Bill. An example of a successful Private Members' Bill which became law is the Marriage Act 1994 introduced by Gyles Brandreth who was MP for Chester at the time. This Act allows people to marry in any registered place, not just a Register Office or religious building. Private Members' Bills may be the result of an MP being approached for support for a proposal put forward by particu
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The House of Commons

The members of the House of Commons are elected by the public, with the country being divided into constituencies and each of these returning one Member of Parliament (known as an MP). There must be a general election every five years, though an election can be called sooner by the Prime Minister. The Government of the day is generally formed by the political party which has the most MPs elected to the House of Commons. The Prime Minister will usually be the leader of the largest political pa
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