UK Parliament — страница 9

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Lords. Although most bills have their committee stage on the floor of the House of Lords, a report stage, similar to that in the Commons, still follows two weeks later for bills of considerable length and complexity. “Third Reading” of a Bill. At the bill’s third reading it is reviewed in its final form including amendments made at earlier stages. In the Commons substantive amendments cannot be made to a bill at this stage and the third reading debate is usually short. In the Lords, amendments can be made at third reading provided the issue has not been voted on at an early stage. After passing its third reading in one House a bill is sent to the other House where it passes through all the stages once more. Financial legislation is not scrutinized in detail by the Lords.

The passage through the second House is not a formality, and bills can be further amended. Amendments made by the second House must be agreed by the first, or a compromise agreement reached, such that both Houses have agreed the same text, before a bill can receive Royal Assent. Bills with contentious amendments pass back and forth between the Houses before agreement is reached. If each House insists on its amendments a bill may be lost. Limitations on the power of the Lords. Most government bills introduced and passed in the Lords pass through the Commons without difficulty, but a bill from the Lords which proved unacceptable to the Commons would not become a law. The Lords do not generally prevent bills from Commons becoming law, although they will often amend them and return

them for further consideration by the Commons. The assent of the Lords is not essential, subject to certain conditions, in the case of “money bills”. Bills dealing solely with taxation or expenditure must become law within one month of being sent to the Lords. If, after the process of considering amendments, it proves impossible to reach agreement on non-financial bill, then the bill may be lost. Alternatively, the Commons can use its power to present a bill originating in the House of Commons for Royal Assent after one year and in a new session, even if the Lords’ objections are maintained. These limits to the power of the Lords are contained in the Parliament Acts of 1911 and 1949. They are based on the belief that the main legislative function of the non-elected House is

to act as a chamber of revision, complementing, but not rivaling the elected House. “Royal Assent” When a bill has completed all its parliamentary stages, it receives Royal Assent from the Queen. Royal Assent nowadays is generally declared to both Houses by their Speakers and is listed in Hansard, the official record of proceeding in Parliament. After this a bill becomes part of the law of the land and is known as an Act of Parliament. Royal Assent was last given in person by the Sovereign in 1854. The Royal Assent has not been refused since 1707 when Queen Anna refused it for a Bill for setting militia in Scotland. “Queen in Parliament” is the formal title of the British legislature, which consists of the Sovereign, the House of Lords and the House of Commons. The

Commons, a majority of whom normally support the elected government of the day, has the dominant political power. As constitutional monarch, the Sovereign is required, on the advice of Ministers, to assent to all Bills. The role of the Sovereign is the enactment of legislation is today purely formal, although The Queen has the right to be consulted, to encourage and to warn. The Queen in Parliament is most clearly demonstrated in the annual State Opening of Parliament, when The Queen opens Parliament in person and addresses both Houses in The Queen’s Speech. This speech drafted by the Government and not by The Queen outlines the Government’s policy for the coming session of Parliament and indicates forthcoming legislation. Each session therefore begins with The Queen’s

Speech and the Houses cannot start their public business until the Speech has been read. Literature used: Britannica.