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Law making; influences on Parliament, and statute creation.

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Introduction

Module 1 - Law making; influences on Parliament, and statute creation. a) There are many influences operating on Parliament before and during the legislative process. Explain and evaluate any three influences. Give examples of how Parliament has been persuaded to introduce legislation. (15 marks) One influence operating on Parliament is that of the Law Commission. The Law commission is a full-time permanent publicly funded body, which was set up by the Law Commissions Act 1965. It was established to reform law. There are five Commissioners, they are full time and one is a High Court judge who chairs the proceedings. The other four are solicitors, barristers, academic lawyers, which allows a full range of views on the issues of the law. The commissioners are appointed for a five-year term expect the chair whose term lasts only three years. The Law Commission can be requested by the Lord Chancellor to consider an area of law in need of reform, or it can select a range of projects after consulting representatives of academic lawyers, the Bar and the Law Society. After the projects to be looked at have been decided the Law Commission puts together a programme of these projects. Every four to five years a new programme is produced and published. The Law Commission looks at a range of criteria before accepting projects. These criteria are the importance of the issues, availability of resources, and the suitability of the issues to be dealt with. ...read more.

Middle

Pressure groups use a range of tactics, which include lobbying, organising petitions, encouraging boycotts, informing MP's of the opposition of certain laws. The targets for pressure groups are politicians, the purpose of getting widespread support is to convince the politicians that there is a considerable amount of support for the opinions of the pressure group. Pressure groups deal with a range of issues including hunting, animal rights, human rights, the environment and health issues. Well-organised groups can be successful; for example the Poll Tax was removed because groups made it unworkable. Large pressure groups such as Greenpeace have raised environmental issues to a point that no government can ignore them when considering policies. Pressure groups tend to be very persuasive, as the issue is something they feel incredibly strongly about, and represent the population. But all pressure groups can do is get the support for their cause, they have no powers at all. Another influence on the way the government makes legislation is their own political considerations. A decision taken by the House of Commons is not always the best solution because the politicians are always thinking about being re-elected. A government is unlikely to make a very unpopular law as it means they will not be re-elected. A government will make what it sees as necessary but unpopular changes to law at the beginning of it five-year term because there is no need to have votes during the first year or so. ...read more.

Conclusion

The job of this committee is to look at the Bill in detail. They read through the Bill line by line and decide whether to make amendments to the Bill. After the committee stage comes the report stage where the committee reports back to the House on the amendments that chose to make, these amendments can be accepted or rejected by the House. The Third Reading is the final stage in the House of Commons. No changes can be made to the Bill at this stage but errors can be corrected. After the Bill has been through these stages in the House of Commons it will go through the same stages in the House of Lords. Any changes that the House of Lords suggests must be approved by the House of Commons. The function of the House of Lords is to try to get the House of Commons to reconsider certain aspects of the Bill. If a compromise is not made after a year the House of Commons can send the Bill for Royal Assent anyway. The monarch does not undertake the Royal Assent anymore. The Royal Assent is traditionally not refused, but instead is given because the Bill will only reach this stage after it is precisely defined and approved by the country. The fact that the Royal Assent still exists, even though it is no longer the monarch who approves the Bill, shows the power which exists historically. Only after these stages have been completed does a Bill become a statute. ...read more.

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