What Is Political Law?


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Alice King answered
Political law is that which is made by the body (the legislature) given law-making powers under a constitution. It is therefore legitimate law made by a responsible legislature.
In a democracy, this legislative body will also have a mandate (ie permission to make those laws) given by the electorate in an election, and it is then accountable to that electorate in a future election.
In the UK this is statute law (Acts of Parliament) made by the (elected) House of Commons and the (appointed) House of Lords.
A Bill will pass through special procedures in both Houses and must be voted through to pass into law before given the Royal Assent.  Most Bills are introduced by Government**, as they have been given a mandate by the people based upon their manifesto (document produced before an election in which each political party makes policy pledges ).
**Government is made up of the party which wins the majority of seats in the House of Commons after a general election.  If no-one party wins outright, then a coaltion is formed.

Stages of a Bill: (which usually start in the House of Commons as a Government Bill):
1st reading : The Bill is introduced by the Minister of the Department responsible. A White PAper is produced for all MPs to read the Bill in detail.
2nd reading: A Commons debate on the principles of the policy - criticism of the Bill is led by the Leader of the Opposition.
Committee Stage: A "standing committee" made up of MPs from different parties can put forward amendments (changes)
Report Stage: The Commons vote for or against amendments.
3rd reading: The Commons vote for and against the Bill.
This process is then repeated in the Lords.
The House of Lords cannot vote down a Bill the Commons (as the elected body) have voted for; they only have the power of delay, which allows them put forward amendments to the Bill.

In theory, political power in the UK rests with Parliament (Commons & Lords) but in practice it rests with the party of Goverment, which dominates the Commons, and the Prime Minister who is head of the party with the largest majority,
It is therefore said that we have "Prime Ministerial" government in the UK.

The point about our political system is that it is very complex; it's like a jigsaw where you can't really pick out one piece to focus on, and you need to look at the entire picture to make sense of it!

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