Law Making

What is the role of the Judiciary?

This video discusses the role of the judiciary within the British system of government, whereby the Judiciary both enforces and explicates law passed by Parliament where either is needed.

Video Information

This video covers:

  • The duties of the Judiciary which include but are not limited to: interpreting, clarifying, and upholding the laws and legislations passed by Parliament.
  • The relationship thereby between the Judicial and Legislative branches of 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 function of the Judiciary.
  • The role the Judiciary plays in ‘checking’ the Legislative branch.
Credits

With thanks to

  • Baroness Scotland

Image – Supreme Court (DAVID ILIFF. License- CC-BY-SA 3.0)

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What is the function of Civil Servants?

This video outlines the usefulness of civil servants not only in their own right and their duties, but in their direct relationship with government.

Video Information

This video covers:

  • The duty of advising ministers that makes up the core of civil servant work.
  • The innate necessity for civil servants to remain impartial in order to continue their work from government to 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 advisory role of civil servants for both parliamentary and party-line (manifesto) legislation.
  • The duty to maintain the confidence of both government and opposition by the civil service.
Credits

With thanks to

  • Tessa Jowell MP
  • Baroness Symons
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What separation of powers is there?

This short video covers the separation of power within the British governmental system, whereby checks and balances ensure accountable and responsible governance.

Video Information

This video covers:

  • The separations of power between the Crown represented by the government de jure, the legislative in the form of Parliament, and the judiciary.
  • The restrictions and necessities born from this separation.
  • The contrast to the American system of checks and balances, whereby the the government cannot be part of the legislature.
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 manner in which the powers of government are separated.
  • The individual entities which comprise this system of checks and balances.
  • The key differences between the British and American systems of separation of power.
Credits

With thanks to

  • Baroness Scotland
  • Lord Cormack
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How do the two chambers complement each other? 

This video summarises the relationship between the lower and upper houses of Parliament, and the way they fulfill complimentary duties.

Video Information

This video covers:

  • The expertise thatthe House of Lords brings, and its untimed scrutiny.
  • The duties of the House of Commons – such as the duty to legislate on behalf of those MPs represent.
  • The way in which these duties compliment each other.
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 undemocratic, yet essential nature of the House of Lords.
  • The fundamental role to Parliament that the House of Commons plays.
  • The way in which these two houses combine to legislate, and make said legislation accountable.
Credits

With thanks to

  • Sir Malcolm Rifkind MP
  • Baroness Boothroyd
  • Baroness D’Souza, Lords Speaker 2011-2016
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What is the role of the monarch?

This video gives a brief summary of the role the monarch plays within the constitution and government of the United Kingdom.

Video Information

This video covers:

  • The fact that the Monarch reigns, yet does not rule.
  • The contrast between the the Monarchy and other branches of governance.
  • The constitutional duties of the Monarch.
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 relevance of Monarchy in government.
  • The duties and contrast of Monarchy in the British governmental system.
Credits

With thanks to

  • Baroness Boothroyd

Image – Queens Speech (UK Parliament-Roger Harris)

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Why have two different chambers?

This video covers the contrast between the House of Commons and the House of Lords, and crucially, the benefits that this contrast brings.

Video Information

This video covers:

  • The necessity of different chambers for checks and balances.
  • The contrast between the House of Lords and the House of Commons.
  • The different duties and functions specific to each house.
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 differences between the two houses.
  • The overall function of Parliament that the individual functions of the houses combine to make.
Credits

With thanks to

  • Lord Tyler
  • Baroness D’Souza, Lords Speaker 2011-2016
  • John Bercow MP, House of Commons Speaker 2009-present.
  • Sir Malcolm Rifkind MP
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What levels of government exist in the UK?

This video summarises the power balance of Parliament, devolved assemblies and parliament within the United Kingdom, as well as local councils.

Video Information

This video covers:

  • The separation of central and local government.
  • The separation of power from Westminster to the devolved parliaments and assemblies.
  • The manner in which these levels interact.
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 different levels of governance in the United Kingdom.
  • The power balance between these levels.
  • The shared responsibility to the electorate of all levels of government.
Credits

With thanks to

  • Lord Tyler
  • Madeline Moon MP

Image – George Osbourne, Budget 2016 (UK Parliament-Jessica Taylor)

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What function does parliament serve?

A summary of the functions of Parliament. This video explores the overarching role and function of Parliament, and the specific duties it carries out as necessities of those functions.

Video Information

This video covers:

  • The core functions of Parliament.
  • The duties that Parliament owe to the electorate.
  • The necessity of democratic accountability.
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:

  • Parliament’s democratic nature.
  • The wider function of Parliament.
  • The duties of Parliament towards the electorate and its functions.
Credits

With thanks to

  • Baroness Boothroyd
  • Sir Malcolm Rifkind MP

Image (UK Parliament-Jessica Taylor)

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A Brief History of UK Parliament

Our short history of the mother of parliaments. This documentary covers the basics of our parliamentary history, its past conflicts, and the forces that have molded into its current form.

Video Information

This video covers:

  • The formation of Parliament.
  • The at times dichotomous relationship between the Crown and Parliament.
  • The past conflicts that have shaped the modern Parliament and its foundational legislation, e.g. the Bill of Rights.
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:

  • Parliament’s historical role.
  • The historical clashes between Parliament and Crown.
  • The Resolution of these conflicts.
  • The birth of our modern Parliament from these conflicts and resolutions.
Credits

With thanks to

  • Lord Norton

Image (UK Parliament-Jessica Taylor)

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Parliament in 30 Minutes

Watch Parliament in 30 Minutes – our short insight into the workings of the mother of parliaments. This documentary covers the basics of our parliamentary system; how our institutions work, how laws are made, and what our representatives do.

Video Information

This the introductory video in the Parliament Revealed project. This video covers:

  • The roles of parliamentary institutions – examining how the various institutions of government in the UK function and interact.
  • How laws are made and scrutinised – examining the processes of law-making, the typical stages that a bill will pass through and the various forms of scrutiny that laws undergo before, during and after their passage through Parliament.
  • The role of representatives – examining the work of Parliament, the different responsibilities and powers of MPs and Peers and the staff, resources and mechanisms available to support them.
  • How Parliament works day to day – examining how business is conducted, how timetables are determined, the rules of debate, the function of specific instruments such as Early Day Motions and Adjournment Debates, and the roles of specific actors such as the Speaker and Clerks.
Information for Teachers

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

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

  • What is the role of parliament?
  • What are laws, and how are they made?
  • What are representatives?
  • How does parliament work?

These key questions are answered by parliamentarians past and present.

Credits

With thanks to (by order of appearance):

  • Baron Lisvane (Robert Rogers), Clerk of the House of Commons 2011-2014
  • Lord Norton
  • Baroness Boothroyd
  • Keith Vaz MP
  • Sir Malcolm Rifkind MP
  • John Mann MP
  • Natascha Engel MP
  • Andrew Rosindell MP
  • Baroness D’Souza, Lords Speaker 2011-2016
  • Baroness Scotland
  • Lord Tyler
  • Baroness Smith
  • Lord Cormack
  • Baroness Stowell
  • Baroness Stern
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