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Explain the parliamentary stages through which government bills must pass before becoming law, making reference to the various kinds of legislative committees that may contribute to the process

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Introduction

´╗┐House of Commons ? Legislative process in parliament ?Explain the parliamentary stages through which government bills must pass before becoming law, making reference to the various kinds of legislative committees that may contribute to the process?? Before government bills are passed, it is important that there is adequate scrutiny on legislative proposals. The government, being a voice for the people is accountable to the people and hence they are responsible for putting out bills, which safeguards the interests of the people. Scrutiny processes are important due to there being no strict separation of powers between the legislature and the executive. There also has to be an assurance of parliamentary sovereignty so that the bills are of parliament?s intention. Also, the doctrine of the rule of law must also be upheld and thus, adequate scrutiny of legislative proposals is necessary for there to be quality legislation, to ensure the bill is compatible with human rights or European Union laws. This would also ensure the accountability to the electorate and the Opposition?s. There are four types of governments bills; public bills that apply to everyone, private bills that apply to certain type of people, hybrid bills, which are a mixture of a public and private bill and the money bills. ...read more.

Middle

Next is the committee stage, all bills go to one of three committee types; Committee of the Whole House for constitutional Bills and parts of the Finance Bill, Public Bill Committee which is the most usual procedure; 16-50 MPs, in proportion to overall party strengths and the infrequently used select committee. A select committee would nominate the backbenches as members of the Public Bills Committee. The Public Bills Committee (PBC) goes through the bill, clause by clause, the bill undergoing the greatest scrutiny at this stage. Amendments can be made where certain clauses can be added or removed and the short title may be changed by the PBC. Through the PBCs, loopholes may be eliminated as their purpose is to scrutinize bills and this detailed scrutiny reflects Parliamentary intentions. However PBC is known as a mini HOC and therefore majority of the members would be government supporters and may feel inclined to tow the party line and is not effective when it is a political manifesto. Hence, there may not be sufficient objectivity or neutrality in scrutinizing the bills. Bills, which may contain highly technical provisions on specialized areas would demand expert knowledge that members may lack of. ...read more.

Conclusion

Also debate on amendments is not timetabled or ?guillotined?. The report stage gives a further chance to amend the bill and can be spread over days. Unlike the HOC, ?tidying up? amendments can be made in the third reading. Issues debated and decided at an earlier stage cannot be reported. It is also the final opportunity for the members to comment and vote on the bill. Then after the bill will be passed back to the HOC and then for Royal Assent. Royal Assent is obtained. The advantages of having such scrutiny is to give all members to consider details of the policies, MP/Ministers will be able to explain the reason behind the Bill and the Opposition can voice out their views. The disadvantages of having such a scrutiny is the fact that HOC dominated by government MP?s and may be influenced by pressure from groups, also the Parliament can cut short debating time. In conclusion the legislative process is a very tedious process as it is a long one, since it goes through so many stages in the Houses. However this scrutiny ensures a separation of powers, bills give in to Parliament?s intention, which ensures parliamentary supremacy and hence rule of law upheld since an opportunity is given for all members to consider details of the policies. ...read more.

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