UK System

The United Kingdom is home to one of the world’s oldest parliamentary democracies. Whilst the Monarch is the official Head of State and signs bills into law, power over making legislation lies with the two chambers of Parliament; the House of Commons and the House of Lords, which meet at Westminster. In addition, the UK has devolved assemblies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, which have power over various aspects of the law within their respective borders.

This section contains information about how the various institutions of government in the UK function and interact.


f4A brief history of the UK Parliament
mul-2What are the underlying principles of the UK’s parliamentary system?
mul-3How does Parliament’s history inform how it works?
mul-5What function does Parliament serve?

f4What levels of government exist in the UK?
mul-2What is the role of the House of Commons?
mul-3What is the role of the House of Lords?
mul-5Why have two different chambers?

f4What is the role of the Monarch?
mul-2What is the State opening of Parliament?
mul-3By what mechanism are MPs elected?
mul-5How are Peers appointed?

f4How do the two chambers complement each other?
mul-2What separation of powers is there?
mul-3What is the role of political parties?
mul-5What is the function of Civil Servants?

f4What is the role of the Judiciary?
mul-2What powers do the Judiciary have?
mul-3What is the work of Civil Servants?
mul-5Who oversees elections?

f4What is the Parliamentary lobby?
mul-2What pressures for reform are there?
mul-3What are the strengths and weaknesses of the UK’s parliamentary system?

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