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.
A brief history of the UK Parliament
What are the underlying principles of the UK’s parliamentary system?
How does Parliament’s history inform how it works?
What function does Parliament serve?
What levels of government exist in the UK?
What is the role of the House of Commons?
What is the role of the House of Lords?
Why have two different chambers?
What is the role of the Monarch?
What is the State opening of Parliament?
By what mechanism are MPs elected?
How are Peers appointed?
How do the two chambers complement each other?
What separation of powers is there?
What is the role of political parties?
What is the function of Civil Servants?
What is the role of the Judiciary?
What powers do the Judiciary have?
What is the work of Civil Servants?
Who oversees elections?
What is the Parliamentary lobby?
What pressures for reform are there?
What are the strengths and weaknesses of the UK’s parliamentary system?
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