Legislation: the law-making process

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Legislation: the law-making process
What is a law?
A law is like a rule.
Give some examples of rules which apply in various everyday
situations.
E.g. football rules, class rules, house rules, computer game rules …
Why do we need laws?
To maintain order and peace; to protect us from harm, abuse or
injury; to enforce our rights as humans and as citizens of our
country.
What do you think would happen if we did not have any laws in
the UK?
Criminal and civil offences would increase dramatically;
democracy would no longer exist.
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Legislation: the law-making process
A law:
a rule, usually made by a government, that
is used to order the way in which a society
behaves
Cambridge Dictionaries Online: http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/ accessed 26/02/13
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Legislation: the law-making process
Which are the main three bodies (people or
groups) who make laws in the UK?
the House of Commons
the Queen
the Prime Minister alone
the Mayor
the House of Lords
Princes William and Harry
the Local Authority
Read the information ‘The trio which makes UK laws’ and write the
name of the correct body at the top of each description.
Summary:
Laws are made by the legislature, which is the House of Commons and
the House of Lords. All new laws have to be approved by the Queen.
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Legislation: the law-making process
What is a bill?
Here are some recent examples:
• Cosmetic Surgery (Minimum Standards) Bill
• Free School Meals (Children over the age of 16) Bill
• Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill
• Voting Age (Reduction to 16) Bill
A bill is a proposal for a new law which is being discussed by the
legislature (= the law-making bodies).
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Legislation: the law-making process
A bill is a proposal for a new law which is being discussed by the
legislature (= the law-making bodies).
There are four different types of bill: private bills, public bills,
(private) members’ bills and hybrid bills.
•
Private bills only affect a specific area or group of people.
•
Public bills affect the whole country and are introduced by the
government.
•
Members’ bills are introduced by a specific group in the House of
Commons.
•
Hybrid bills are public bills which affect a particular person or
organisation.
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Legislation: the law-making process
Quiz: stages of the legislation process
1. At which stage(s) is there no debate?
First Reading; Royal Assent
2. At which stage(s) is there the most debate?
Second Reading; Committee Stage
3. At which stage(s) do all MPs vote on the bill?
Report Stage
4. What is the ‘standing committee’?
A group of 16-30 MPs who examine a bill
5. Why does the ‘Ping Pong’ stage have this name?
Because the bill passes from the HOC to the HOL and back.
6. What does ‘to pass through the house’ mean?
To be discussed by the House of Lords or House of Commons.
7. What is the difference between a Green Paper and a White Paper?
A Green Paper is just to encourage discussion; a White Paper is a formal proposal
8. When does a Bill become an Act?
Once the Queen has given her assent.
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Legislation: the law-making process
Is the legislation process democratic (= fair)?
The Queen
The House
of Lords
The different The whole
The House
readings of a law-making
of Commons
bill
process
Democratic
Not
democratic
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