Реферат на тему:

«The British Parliament»

The British Parliament is the oldest in the world. It originated in the
12th century as Witenagemot, the body of wise cancellers whom the King
needed to consult pursuing his policy. The British Parliament consists
of the House of Lords and the House of Commons and the Queen as
its head. The House of Commons plays the major role in law-making. It
consists of Members of Parliament (called MPs for short). Each of
them represents an area in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. MPs
are elected either at a general election or at a by-election
following the death or retirement. Parliamentary elections are held
every 5 years and it is the Prime Minister who decides on the exact
day of the election. The minimum voting age is 18. And the voting is
taken by secret ballot. The election campaign lasts about 3 weeks, The
British parliamentary system depends on politicals parties. The party
which wins the majority of seats forms the goverment and its leader
usually becomes Prime Minister. The Prime Minister

chooses about 20 MPs from his party to become the cabinet of
ministers. Each minister is responsible for a particular area in the
goverment. The second largest party becomes the official opposition
with its own leader and «shadow cabinet». The leader of the opposition
is a recognized post in the House of Commons.

The parliament and the monarch have different roles in the
goverment and hey only meet together on symbolic occasions, such as
coronation of a new monarch or the opening of the parliament. In
reality, the House of Commons is the one of three which has true
power. The House of Commons is made up of six hundred and fifty
elected members, it is presided over by the speaker, a

member acceptable to the whole house. MPs sit on two sides of the hall,
one side for the governing party and the other for the opposition.
The first 2 rows of seats are occupied by the leading members of both
parties (called «front benches») The back benches belong to the
rank-and-life MPs. Each session of the House of Commons lasts for
160-175 days. Parliament has intervals during his work. MPs are paid
for their parliamentary work and have to attend the sittings. As
mention above, the House of Commons plays the major role in law making.
The procedure is the following: a proposed law («a bill») has to go
through three stages in order to become an act of parliament, these
are called «readings». The

first reading is a formality and is simply the publication of the
proposal. The second reading involves debate on the principles of the
bill, it is examination by parliamentary committy. And the third
reading is a report stage, when the work of the committy is reported on
to the house. This is usually the most important

stage in the process. When the bill passes through the House of
Commons, it is sent to the House of Lords for discussion, when the
Lords agree it, the bill is taken to the Queen for royal assent,
when the Queen sings the bill, it becomes act of the Parliament and
the Law of the Land. The House of Lords has more

than 1000 members, although only about 250 take an active part in the
work in the house. Members of this Upper House are not elected,
they sit there because of their rank, the chairman of the House of
Lords is the Lord Chancellor. And he sits on a special seat,
called «WoolSack» The members of the House of Lords

debate the bill after it has been passed by the House of Commons. Some
changes may be recommended and the agreement between the two houses is
reached by negotiations.

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