Law Making

What are Statutory Instruments?

This video talks about the nature of statutory instruments, and the scrutiny that they often pass in Parliament.

Video Information

This video covers:

  • Laws often omit details and allow ministers to introduce the details as ‘orders’ called statutory instruments.
  • Some must be approved by Parliament in what is known as the Affirmative Resolution Procedure.
  • Others will take immediate effect.
Information for Teachers

Teachers can use this video as an introductory tool for students, at the start of a lesson, or as a summary at the end.

The video provides a sound summary of main topic areas and covers key points, including:

  • The system of checks within Parliament that allows for greater scrutiny and accountability.
  • The specific procedure for statutory instruments.
Credits

With thanks to:

  • Lord Norton

Image – Big Ben (UK Parliament-Jessica Taylor)

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What are ePetitions?

This video discusses the advent of ePetitions, and their new and deeply useful role in the UK political system.

Video Information

This video covers:

  • They are a modern way for the public to express their views.
  • Prior to ePetitions, MP’s would have to collect signatures on paper petitions.
  • They allow for greater public participation in government.
Information for Teachers

Teachers can use this video as an introductory tool for students, at the start of a lesson, or as a summary at the end.

The video provides a sound summary of main topic areas and covers key points, including:

  • The combination and marriage between government and the people in the UK political system.
  • The evolution of government in the age of revolutionary technological advancement.
Credits

With thanks to

  • Keith Vaz MP
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What are Free votes?

This video summarizes what free votes are, and their role in the wider Parliamentary system.

Video Information

This video covers:

  • Free votes are votes where no whipping is enforced.
  • Thus MP’s are left to decide for themselves on personal conviction alone.
  • Free Votes usually are on matters of morality or ethics.
Information for Teachers

Teachers can use this video as an introductory tool for students, at the start of a lesson, or as a summary at the end.

The video provides a sound summary of main topic areas and covers key points, including:

  • The voting and wider procedure of Parliament.
  • The importance of separation between party manifesto and matters of deep moral importance.
Credits

With thanks to

  • Sir Malcolm Rifkind MP
  • Baroness Boothroyd

Image – House of Commons (UK Parliament-Catherine Bebbington)

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What are Select Committees?

This video discusses the nature and role of select committees, and their importance in the British political system.

Video Information

This video covers:

  • Select Committees are mirrors of the government, each scrutinising a specified ministry.
  • They have the power to question Ministers, experts, etc.
  • Select Committees then publish a report, and in so doing send recommendations to the Government.
Information for Teachers

Teachers can use this video as an introductory tool for students, at the start of a lesson, or as a summary at the end.

The video provides a sound summary of main topic areas and covers key points, including:

  • The checks and balances system in the UK.
  • The role of scrutiny in the name of accountability that Select Committees afford.
Credits

With thanks to

  • Keith Vaz MP
  • Lord Tyler
  • Natascha Engel MP
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What pre legislative scrutiny is there?

This video summarises the scrutiny brought upon legislation before is it introduced as a formal bill.

Video Information

This video covers:

  • Draft Bills – submitted a year prior to the bill being formally discussed.
  • This allows Parliament to discuss the bill is general.
  • Draft Bills are often sent to a Joint Committee for detailed scrutiny.
Information for Teachers

Teachers can use this video as an introductory tool for students, at the start of a lesson, or as a summary at the end.

The video provides a sound summary of main topic areas and covers key points, including:

  • The detail of scrutiny in place in the UK political system to ensure checks and greater accountability.
  • The specific procedure for such scrutiny prior to a bill formally coming before Parliament.
Credits

With thanks to

  • Paul Evans
  • Baroness Smith

Image – Black Rod in Commons (UK Parliament-Roger Harris)

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What is post legislative scrutiny?

This video summarizes the way in which Parliament scrutinises a bill that has already become law, to ensure its continued effectiveness of use.

Video Information

This video covers:

  • Parliament debates and scrutinises policy and legislation that have become law.
  • This is done 3-5 year after becoming a law, and is presented as a memorandum by the concerning government ministry.
Information for Teachers

Teachers can use this video as an introductory tool for students, at the start of a lesson, or as a summary at the end.

The video provides a sound summary of main topic areas and covers key points, including:

  • The systems of checks that Parliament emplaces to ensure accountability.
  • The specific procedure and time frame for implementing said scrutiny.
Credits

With thanks to

  • Paul Evans, Principle Clerk of the Table Office in the House of Commons

Image – Library (UK Parliament-Jessica Taylor)

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How are the decisions of Parliament enacted?

This video discusses not only the way in which la is enacted, but crucially how it is executed in the UK.

Video Information

This video covers:

  • Decisions in Parliament are enacted through Bills.
  • Bills go through procedures in both Houses.
  • Once given Royal Assent, the bill is then binding as law, and the government ministries execute them.
Information for Teachers

Teachers can use this video as an introductory tool for students, at the start of a lesson, or as a summary at the end.

The video provides a sound summary of main topic areas and covers key points, including:

  • The way in which law is created and maintained.
  • The procedure to create law in the UK.
Credits

With thanks to

  • Baroness Scotland
  • Tessa Jowell MP

Image – Palace of Westminster (UK Parliament-Jessica Taylor)

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How do Bills become law?

This video discusses the means through which bills, policy and general legislation become law in the UK.

Video Information

This video covers:

  • Bills must pass through both Houses.
  • There are different procedures for both Houses.
  • Yet once a bill has been approved by both Houses, it then gains Royal Assent and becomes law.
Information for Teachers

Teachers can use this video as an introductory tool for students, at the start of a lesson, or as a summary at the end.

The video provides a sound summary of main topic areas and covers key points, including:

  • The systems of checks that Parliament emplaces to ensure accountability.
  • The procedures to scrutinise bills in Parliament.
Credits

With thanks to

  • Lord Norton
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Where does legislation come from?

This video discusses the origins of legislation in Parliament, and the different inspirations for said legislation.

Video Information

This video covers:

  • Most policy comes from the government’s manifesto.
  • Backbenchers also contribute policy recommendations for legislation.
  • The difference between public/private legislation.
Information for Teachers

Teachers can use this video as an introductory tool for students, at the start of a lesson, or as a summary at the end.

The video provides a sound summary of main topic areas and covers key points, including:

  • The process of legislation in Parliament.
  • The diverse ways and types of legislation that is available to Parliament to consider.
Credits

With thanks to

  • Natascha Engel MP
  • Lord Norton

Image – Big Ben (UK Parliament-Mark Duffy)

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What are the different types of legislation?

This video discusses the different types of legislation, both in origin and in composition.

Video Information

This video covers:

  • Most policy comes from the government’s manifesto.
  • Backbenchers also contribute policy recommendations for legislation.
  • The difference between public/private legislation.
Information for Teachers

Teachers can use this video as an introductory tool for students, at the start of a lesson, or as a summary at the end.

The video provides a sound summary of main topic areas and covers key points, including:

  • The process of legislation in Parliament.
  • The diverse ways and types of legislation that is available to Parliament to consider.
Credits

With thanks to

  • Natascha Engel MP
  • Lord Norton

Image – Corbyn Budget 2016 (UK Parliament-Jessica Taylor)

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How can individual Parliamentarians influence legislation?

This video discusses the effect that individual members of the House of Lords and Commons can influence legislation and its discourse.

Video Information

This video covers:

  • The House of Lords, where any individual can recommend amendments that must be debated.
  • The House of Commons, where small committees fulfil this same function.
  • The Whips in either house who slightly mitigate this factor, yet can still bolster it.
Information for Teachers

Teachers can use this video as an introductory tool for students, at the start of a lesson, or as a summary at the end.

The video provides a sound summary of main topic areas and covers key points, including:

  • Legislation and the influence individuals in both Houses have on it.
  • The Whipping system and its subsequent effect.
Credits

With thanks to

  • Baroness Smith

Image – Corbyn Budget 2016 (UK Parliament-Jessica Taylor)

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How does Parliament hold Government to account? 

This video summarises the different mechanisms in the UK parliamentary system which ensures governmental accountability.

Video Information

This video covers:

  • Parliament as a check against government through debate and scrutiny.
  • Party Opposition which allows for greater scrutiny of the government.
  • The House of Lords, which further scrutinises legislation through expertise.
Information for Teachers

Teachers can use this video as an introductory tool for students, at the start of a lesson, or as a summary at the end.

The video provides a sound summary of main topic areas and covers key points, including:

  • The checks and balances in the UK political system.
  • The means for assuring governmental accountability via Parliament.
Credits

With thanks to

  • Keith Vaz MP
  • Natascha Engel MP
  • Baroness D’Souza, Lords Speaker
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What are the strengths and weaknesses of the UK’s parliamentary system?

This video discusses the strength and weakness of Parliament for both the House of Commons, and the House of Lords; particularly, the fact that the strengths and weaknesses largely depend on the MPs who comprise both houses.

Video Information

This video covers:

  • The weaknesses of the House of Commons – MPs being spread thin from much work – and the benefits that this weakness can actually foster.
  • The strength of Parliaments willingness to change.
  • The strength garnerd from the adversarial nature of Parliament.
Information for Teachers

Teachers can use this video as an introductory tool for students, at the start of a lesson, or as a summary at the end.

The video provides a sound summary of main topic areas and covers key points, including:

  • The strengths that the UK parliamentary system brings.
  • The weaknesses the system brings.
  • How these two characteristics often demonstrate different sides of the same coin; that is to have the strengths we must endure the weaknesses.
Credits

With thanks to

  • Sir Malcolm Rifkind MP
  • Baroness Boothroyd
  • Baron Lisvane
  • Baroness Smith
  • Baroness D’Souza
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What is the work of Civil Servants?

This video delves into the duties and functions of civil servants in relation to their ministers and ministries within the British Government.

Video Information

This video covers:

  • The duties of civil servants which range from administrative day-to-day tasks, to top level advising for legislation.
  • The expertise that senior civil servants can provide to ministers in terms of policy objectives.
Information for Teachers

Teachers can use this video as an introductory tool for students, at the start of a lesson, or as a summary at the end.

The video provides a sound summary of main topic areas and covers key points, including:

  • The function and the work of civil servants.
  • The eclectic nature of this work, yet with specific expertise being applicable across all duties.
Credits

With thanks to

  • Baroness Symons
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What powers do the Judiciary have? 

This video looks at and clarifies the direct powers wielded by the Judiciary of the British government

Video Information

This video covers:

  • The powers of the Judiciary demand that it be: independent, fair, and non-political.
  • The power of the Judiciary rests in definition; its ability to clarify and define disputed sections of the law.
Information for Teachers

Teachers can use this video as an introductory tool for students, at the start of a lesson, or as a summary at the end.

The video provides a sound summary of main topic areas and covers key points, including:

  • The powers of the Judiciary.
  • The ability of the Judiciary to act impartially by defining the specifics of a law between two contending parties.
Credits

With thanks to

  • Baroness Scotland
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