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Parliament of the Great Britain

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1 Parliament of the Great Britain

2 British Parliament is housed in the Westminster Palace, which stands on the bank of the river Thames. British Parliament consists of the House of Lords and the Commons and the Queen as its head.

3 The lower chamber , the house of Commons, occupies the north part of Palace, and the upper chamber , the House of Lords, occupies the south end. Parliament is the highest legislative authority in Great Britain and its legislative power is unlimited. British Parliament can pass any law, and there is no institution in Britain strong enough to abolish it.

4 The House of Lords The House of Lord is the oldest part of British Parliament. It has more than 1,000 members, although only about 250 take an active part in the work of House. This House consists of those lords who sit by right of inheritance and those men and women who have been given life peerages which end with the life of their possessors.

5 The House of Lords is a part of legislative branch of Government and, in principle, the Lords have a right of legislative initiative, i.e. they have a right to suggest a bill. But, by tradition, the Lords never use this right, limiting their legislative activities by discussions and approvals of the bills prepared and passed by the House of Commons.

6 The role of the House of Lords is primarily to act as a body of specialist knowledge that scrutinizes in greater detail bills that have been approved by the House of Commons. It regularly reviews and amends bills from the Commons. While the House of Lords is unable unilaterally to prevent bills passing into law (except in certain limited circumstances), its members can severely delay bills that they believe to be misguided and thereby force the government, the Commons and the general public to reconsider their decisions.

7 The House of Commons The House of Commons is the centre of parliamentary power. It is the main law-making organ. It is elected every five years. The whole of the UK is divided into 650 electoral districts. Each district elects one member of the Houses of Commons. The minimum voting age is 18. Voting is on the same day (usually a Thursday) in all districts. The chief man of the house of Commons is the Speaker.

8 The two Houses of Parliament sit in the same building, the Palace of Westminster. The life of Parliament is divided into sessions. A Bill to become a law must go through some necessary stage in both Houses of Parliament. Firstly it is presented in The House of Commons and passes three readings there. Then the Bill is sent for consideration to the House of Lords. And finally the Bill must be signed by the Queen, though it is a formality. Only then the Bill becomes law.

9 British parliamentary system depends on the political parties
British parliamentary system depends on the political parties. Although there is no limit to number of political parties, only two parties dominate: the Conservative Party (1830) and Labour Party (1900).

10 The party, which has majority of seats in the House of Common, forms the Government. The leader of the party becomes Prime Minister. The Queen appoints him (her). Then the Prime Minister forms the Cabinet of Ministers.

11 Each minister is responsible for a particular area of the government
Each minister is responsible for a particular area of the government. The second largest party becomes the official opposition with its own leader and “Shadow cabinet”.

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