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THE STATE SYSTEM OF THE UNITED KINGDOM

 

The State System of any nation is not an artificial creation of some genius or simply the embodiment of different rational schemes. It is nothing else but a work of many centuries, a product of a national spirit, a political mentality and the consciousness of people.

The United Kingdom is a parliamentary democracy with a constitutional monarch. State organs of the U.K. include the monarchy, the legislative, executive and judicial organs of Government.

The monarchy is the most ancient institution in the United Kingdom, with a continuous history stretching back over a thousand years. The monarchy is hereditary. The throne passes from a king or a queen to his or her eldest son or daughter. The crown symbolizes the British monarchs supreme power. For hundreds years the monarch held most authority. But as parliaments power grew, the monarchs power declined. Today, almost all the powers of the Crown are used by various government officials in the monarchs name. The British call their government Her Majestys Government and government officials work On her Majestys Service.

The monarch formally summons, dismisses and dissolves Parliament, completes the process of passing an act by giving the royal assent. The Lord Chancellor and the Speaker normally announce to Parliament that the monarch has given the royal assent to a bill. By tradition the monarch never acts without the advice of her or his ministers.

Parliament is the supreme legislative organ of the United Kingdom. It comprises the hereditary monarch in the constitutional role, the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

The Commons is an elected and representative body. Members are paid a salary and an allowance. The House of Commons has 651 elected Members of Parliament, known as MPs, each of whom represents a constituency of the United Kingdom. They are elected either at a general election, or at by-election following the death or retirement of an MP. The Speaker of the House of Commons is elected by the members of the House immediately after each new Parliament is formed.

The centre of parliamentary power is the House of Commons. The leader of the party that obtains a majority of seats in the House of Commons is the Prime Minister. The other party is the Opposition. It has a duty to challenge government policies and to present an alternative programme. The Prime Minister is appointed directly by the Crown. He consults and advises the Monarch on government business, supervises and coordinates the work of the various ministers and departments in the House of Commons. He also makes recommendations to the King or the Queen on many important public appointments. In fact, the Prime Minister is the virtual ruler of the country.

The House of Lords is still a hereditary body. It has no fixed number of members. But four groups of people are entitled to sit in the House of Lords: two archbishops (of York and Canterbury), and twenty-four most senior bishops of the established Church of England, the law lords, hereditary peers, and life peers. The monarch formally appoints all bishops and also creates peers on the advice of the Prime Minister. The House of Lords is presided over by the Lord Chancellor who is the chairman of the House. He is also a member of the government and head of the judicature (judicial system), presides over the House of Lords both when it sits as a legislative (lawmaking) body and when it sits as a law court.

The monarch asks the Prime minister to form a government that is to select ministers to head governmental departments and to hold various offices. The Prime minister appoints about 100 ministers. Ministers are responsible for government decisions and individually responsible for their own departments. From them, the Prime minister picks a special group of ministers to make up the Cabinet. The Cabinet is the nucleus of the Government. It includes the ministers in charge of major government departments or ministries. All major decisions of the Government are made by the Cabinet, and therefore it is the Cabinet which forms Government policy. There is no limit on the size of the Cabinet but the number of salaried Secretaries of state is limited to twenty-one.

The Government may hold office for five years. It makes the important decisions about foreign policy, education, or health. If Parliament thinks that a particular Government policy is against the public interest, then it can force the Government to change its mind but all these decisions have to be approved by Parliament. Departments and ministries are run by civil servants, who are permanent officials. Even if the Government is changed after an election, the same civil servants are employed.

The United Kingdom has no Ministry of Justice. Responsibility for the administration of the judicial system in England and Wales is divided between the courts themselves, the Lord Chancellor, and the Home Secretary. The Lord Chancellor is responsible for the composition of the courts, civil law, parts of criminal procedure and law reform in general. The Home Secretary is responsible for the prevention of criminal offences, trial and treatment of offenders and for the prison service.

 

VOCABULARY NOTES

artfcal, adj.syn. false, ant. natural .

creaton, n. ; the creaton of a sngle European currency ; work creaton .

embodment,n. syn. eptome , , , ; embodment of labour ; embodment of techncal know-how .

monarchy, n. ; absolute monarchy ; consttutonal monarchy ; heredtary monarchy ; lmted monarchy ; to establsh/to set up a monarchy ; to overthrow a monarchy .

legslatve, adj. ; consttuent/legslatve power ; legslatve act/enactment ; legslatve assembly ; legslatve procedure .

executve, adj. ; chef executve ; ; hgh executve ; junor executve ; sales junor ; senor/top executve ; the executve branch .

judcal, adj. ; judcal branch/power ; the judcal bench ; judcal proceedngs ; to take/to brng proceedngs aganst smb. - .

organ, n. ; local organs ; organs of government ; organs of state admnstraton ; organs of the press .

government, n. ; government party ; Her/Hs/Majesty' Government / ; puppet/soveregn government / ; to dssolve the government ; to form the government .

assent, n. , ; mutual assent ; Royal assent .

body, n. , , ; admnstratve body ; authorzed bodes ; elected body ; governng body ; nternatonal body ; judcal body ; legslatve body ; non-proft-makng body ; publc body ; supervsory body .

salary, n.syn. earnngs/fee/pay/wage/ncome , ; annual salary ; base/basc salary ; executve salares ; ntal/startng salary ; monthly salary ; regular salary ; top salary .

allowance, n. ; chldren's allowance ; lvng allowance .

retrement, n. ; compulsory retrement ' ; dsablty retrement .

offence, n.syn. crme/felony/msdemeanour/nfrngement/volaton/breach ; crmnal offence ; currency offence ; customs offence ; fscal offence .

preventon, n. ; preventon of damage ; preventon of loss .

tral, n. ; cvl tral ; crmnal tral .

offender, n. ; ; frst offender , ; juvenle offender ; old offender .

responsblty, n. ; absolute responsblty ; admnstratve responsblty ; cvl responsblty ; lmted/unlmted responsblty / .

VOCABULARY EXERCISES

 

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