• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Critically evaluate the laws and conventions that regulate and control the relationship between the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐Critically evaluate the laws and conventions that regulate and control the relationship between the House of Commons and the House of Lords. In United Kingdom (UK), it consists of a bicameral legislative system, consisting of the House of Commons (HOC) and the House of Lords (HOL). This is to ensure that the legislative system also represents aspects of society and also ensures that the power to legislate is shared between two bodies, rather than being concentrated on one body. The two chambers should not have the same character as the ?UK?s bicameral legislative system should be composed of two complementary rather than rival chambers.? Having a bicameral system would also ?mutually keep each other from exceeding their proper limits? as per William Blackstone. The HOC is made up of the ruling government as majority members while HOL is more politically balanced as it is not organised based on political part affiliations. HOL consists of; the hereditary peers, who have the most controversial memberships and only 92 members out of an initial 759 members remained after the House of Lords Act 1999; life peers, where it is a high honour conferred to be one in the UK. They are usually more participatory in terms of attendance and debates than hereditary peers. ...read more.


Hence referring back to the electorate, particularly contentious Bills, usually involved a revision of the constitutional settlement, which had been passed by the Commons. Hence, the doctrine as understood today is that HOL should not reject bills at the second or third reading. This convention can be seen as self-imposed by HOL and established the primacy of HOC and this served as a self-legitimising attempt. This was supported by Lord Strathclyde who believed ?that the unelected House must not challenge the clear mandate of the elected one. HOL delaying Bills reflected on the government bills and raised concerns that a manifesto bill should not be subjected to ?wrecking amendments? which would change the government?s manifesto intention as proposed in the Bill and the manifesto is not to be revised or rejected at this stage. The relationship between the HOC and HOL evolved when considering the War Damages Bill 1965, where if the matter raised issues important to justify such drastic action (intervention with a manifesto Bill) and if the issue is such that the electorate can understand it and express approval for the House of Lord?s position (tries to reconcile its role with public legitimacy of its actions). HOL?s significant contribution despite restrictions Despite the many restrictions HOL may have, they still play a crucial role in parliament. ...read more.


If HOL were to be partially elected; coalition government?s proposals would allow the retention of other non-electable categories and allow the Salisbury convention to continue to operate against the unelected peers. A hybrid chamber could comprise some peers (elected) with legitimacy and others with not. Some peers would be seen to be more legitimate than others. * Nevertheless, not being fully elected allows the composition of the House of Lords to be determined to be more representative of the society. There is more pressure on them to be legitimate in the eyes of the electorate since they need to justify their presence. If the HOL became fully appointed, this would not be good as the HOL would be rival chambers to HOC, thus losing the essence of a bicameral legislative system. * In conclusion, the bicameral system in UK can be seen to be largely successful one as compared to having one chamber that can act as a check and balance on each other. They can also facilitate a deliberative approach to legislation for one chamber is free of the ruling government, to enhance oversight of the executive branch and can also be seen as a monitor to ensure it abides its election manifesto. This would help hinder the passage of flawed or reckless legislation. However the only hindrances of having an bicameral legislative systems slows down the passing of legislation and is expensive to maintain two legislative houses. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level United Kingdom section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level United Kingdom essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    "The House of Commons is a highly effective parliamentary chamber" to what extent do ...

    4 star(s)

    the Public Bill Committees because most of the people would be from the leading party, and it also works the other way round, for example if the Bill was proposed by the party in government, it is likely to do well in the Public Bill Committees.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Functions of the House of Commons and how it makes Government accountable.

    3 star(s)

    A third way in which the House of Commons can control the power of Government is by calling in legislative committees to examine proposed legislation. These start by the committees looking at the Green paper, where MPs and pressure groups look at the legislation then adapt what they think needs to be changed in it.

  1. The House of Lords, is their need for futher reform?

    The Lords also have a Deliberative role. The role is carries out in the form of debates. Due to how much freedom the Lords have, the whips are rarely used which means these debates aren't strictly controlled (unlike the House of Commons). Many people believe that the peers are more willing to contribute to debates as they

  2. Government & Politics Revision Notes

    representative democracy popular participation is indirect, in that the public merely choose (usually by election) who will make policy on their behalf. 2. They also differ on the extent of popular participation. In direct democracy popular participation is ongoing and continuous, whereas in a representative democracy it is infrequent and

  1. Outline the main ways the House of Commons and the House of Lords differ

    got 1/4 the vote. In Britain, the different social classes have traditionally voted certain ways. The Working class naturally tend to support Labour, who are meant to represent them but have grown apart from their core ideologies, but the upper/middle classes tend to support the Conservatives for the same reason.

  2. Explain the limitations on the powers of the House of Lords.

    The Parliament Act of 1949 followed this up and reduced the length of time the House of Lords could delay bills, limiting its ability to check the power of government.

  1. Reforming the Lords - Elected Second Chamber

    When a politician is elected as a Lord, partisan pressure would lead to the newly-elected Lord not to be neutral and, therefore, not to debate without bias. Such findings speak against an elected upper chamber. At present, critics argue that the House of Lords does not reflect British society of the 21st century.

  2. Analyse the main distinctions between the role and importance of the House of Commons ...

    lawyers, journalist, pressure group leaders whom have retired from their professions but hold a keen interest in politics, they play a key role in society and may have strong party allegiances, but they are no longer subject to prime-ministerial patrongre and do not do not submit themselves to a constituency or worry about defying their party leadership.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work