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What Are The Houses of Parliament

What Are The Houses of Parliament

Parliament, like many different forms of legislative bodies, is often divided into multiple houses or bodies. The houses of parliament may vary between different parliamentary systems, but in the case of English parliament, the houses of parliament include the House of Lords and the House of Commons. The Monarch is another important part of English parliament, but the Monarch is of course, not a house of parliament.
Each of the houses of parliament has a different set of powers given to it, and a different set of rules with regard to how and individual might come to be a member of one of those houses of parliament. For example, an individual who is a member of one house of parliament may not be a member of the other house of parliament. Also, an individual who is a member of one of the two houses of parliament, the House of Lords, may not vote in the elections for members of the other house of parliament, the House of Commons.
In the system of English parliament, the House of Lords is technically the upper house of parliament in the bicameral legislature, but the House of Lords has actually come to hold significantly less power than the House of Commons, which was technically the lower house of parliament in the bicameral legislature. Members of the houses of parliament in the system of English parliament are elected into the position differently, and there are different numbers of members, as there are currently 650 members of the lower house of parliament, the House of Commons.

Understanding the Parliament

Understanding the Parliament

Parliament is a particular kind of legislative body which differs somewhat from the legislative bodies found within the governments, both state and federal, of the United States of America. Parliament is differentiated from the system found within America primarily by the fact that in a parliament system, as is that of the Parliament of the UK, the legislative and executive branches are more directly linked than they are in the American system.
In the American system, the executive branch of government is separate from the legislative branch, both in terms of how the members of either branch are elected, and in terms of direct influence for either branch. There are obviously exceptional circumstances, but for the most part, the two branches are clearly delineated and separated from one another. In a system involving parliament, however, the executive branch is often appointed directly by the legislative branch, such that the legislative branch will determine the nature of the executive.
Furthermore, the legislative branch of a parliament system, as that of British Parliament, will be able to dismiss or otherwise hold the executive branch accountable significantly more easily than the President may be removed or otherwise prosecuted by Congress in the American system.
The Parliament of the UK is the evolution of parliaments which existed as early as the 13th century, when they took a rather different form than the British Parliament of the modern world. One of the most important differences between historical British parliament and the Parliament of the UK today is the fact that the prime minister appointed by the lower house of Parliament has significantly more power as the executive than he or she would have had in the past, as the King of England would have held all that power.

Member of Parliament At A Glance

Member of Parliament At A Glance

A Member of Parliament is, aptly enough, a member of a parliamentary system, standing as a representative for the voters who elected that individual to the position of Member of Parliament. The term “Member of Parliament” is often used specifically to refer to those individuals who are voted into office within the lower house of the Parliament in question. This is often because the lower house of the Parliament is often the house which actually holds significant power within the parliamentary system in question.
For example, in the Parliament of the United Kingdom, the House of Commons, the members of which are elected by the populace of the United Kingdom, as opposed to being appointed in some other fashion as are the members of the House of Lords, holds most of the power within the Parliamentary system of the United Kingdom. A Member of Parliament in the United Kingdom system, then, would refer specifically to an individual who is a member of the House of Commons. This is often also a side effect of the upper house of Parliament granting upon its members titles which are different than Member of Parliament. Member of Parliament is often abbreviated to “MP”. 
A Member of Parliament will most often belong to a particular parliamentary party, made up of other members of Parliament who are from the same political party. Thus, a Member of Parliament will most often vote along the lines of this overall party.

Parliament of Australia

Parliament of Australia

The Parliament of Australia is the primary legislative branch of the federal government of Australia. Political theorists who have examined the Australian Parliament have likened it to the English system of parliament in primary form, but blended to a certain extent with modifications and improvements made as a result of examination of the American system of government.  Like many other parliamentary systems and legislative branches throughout the world, the Australian Parliament is a bicameral institution.
The two houses involved in the Parliament of Australia include the Senate of Australia and the House of Representatives of Australia. The House of Representatives of Australia is made up of 150 representatives from the different electoral divisions of Australia, and the Senate of Australia is made up of 76 Senators of Australia, with 12 coming from the states of Australia and two each coming from the mainland territories. 
The Australian Parliament describes these legislative entities primarily, though it can also encompass the executive branch of the government, in the form of the Queen, and the Prime Minister of Australia, who is elected from Parliament. The judicial system of Australia is kept relatively separate from the Parliament of Australia, however.
Courts such as the Family Court of Australia are not directly under the jurisdiction of the Australian Parliament. They may be created by acts of the Parliament of Australia, however, such that the two bodies of government are not entirely detached from one another. The Family Court of Australia, for example, was created by an Act passed through the Australian Parliament.  

Court of Protection Overview

Court of Protection Overview

The Court of Protection is a specific kind of English court which is designed to fulfill a particular overall purpose within the English legal system. The Court of Protection was actually only created relatively recently, as the result of the Mental Capacity Act of 2005 in England. The Act established the Court of Protection as a court for the sake of those individuals who do not have the ability to make conscious decisions on their own behalf.
The Court of Protection thus makes decisions with regard to the disposition of power of attorney for such individuals, as well as decisions with regard to wills for such individuals, the appointment of trustees for such individuals and their property, and the granting of gifts from the property owned by such individuals. The Court of Protection is primarily focused on ensuring that the individuals who fall under the jurisdiction of the Court of Protection are well served and protected by the Court’s rulings.
The Court of Protection is considered a superior court of record within the court system of England, which makes it separate from other important courts in England, such as the Crown Court. The Crown Court of England is one of the three parts of the Senior Courts of England and Wales, along with the High Court of Justice and the Court of Appeal.
The Crown Court is thus an entirely separate body from the Court of Protection, though the Court of Protection is likely subordinate to the Crown Court. In theory, an appeal of a verdict from the Court of Protection might reach the Crown Court, leading to an individual involved attempting to obtain Crown Court listings of all the judges involved. Fortunately, Crown Court listings are generally publicly available online.  

What Are The Acts of Parliament

What Are The Acts of Parliament

Acts of Parliament are the statutes or acts instituted by a parliamentary system. They are, in other words, the laws of parliament. Acts of Parliament can be used as a term to describe the overall legislation in place for a particular parliamentary system, or a single piece of law can be described as an act of Parliament. The exact system for passing acts of Parliament through the system will depend on the rules of the parliamentary system in question, as acts of parliament in the Australian Parliament may be passed into effect differently than the acts of parliament in the United Kingdom Parliament. Acts of Parliament which have not been passed into law yet, and which have only been proposed, are considered to be bills, not acts, as they are only called acts of Parliament once they are passed into effect.

 

In the United Kingdom system of Parliament, as an example, acts of Parliament are considered public acts of Parliament or private acts of Parliament. Private acts of Parliament are very specific and focused in their purview and effect, while public acts of Parliament affect the United Kingdom, or member countries, as a whole. Acts of Parliament in the United Kingdom Parliament system begin in one of the two houses of the bicameral Parliament, either the House of Lords or the House of Commons. Once they begin in that House, they are several times read, considered, and debated, until eventually they are voted on by the House, and if passed, they are sent to the other House of the Parliament for approval by that House, followed by Royal Assent, at which point they are passed as acts of Parliament.

Parliament of India

Parliament of India

The Parliament of India is the legislative body in the federal government of the Republic of India. The Parliament of India, like many legislative bodies, is a bicameral institution, meaning that it is made up of two houses, or Chambers. The upper Chamber of the Indian Parliament is the Council of States, which is called the Rajya Sabha.
The lower Chamber of the Indian Parliament is the House of People, which is also known as the Lok Sabha. Members of the Parliament of India are elected differently depending upon to which Chamber they are being elected. Members who are being elected into the Rajya Sabha are elected via a proportional voting system by the State Legislative Assemblies.
Members who are being elected to the Lok Sabha of the Indian Parliament are elected via direct election of the people of India. The House of People of the Parliament of India currently holds 545 members, with 530 as representatives of Constituencies in the States, and 15 representing Union Territories.
Members of this lower house of the Indian Parliament hold office for five years before they are elected again via general election. The lower house of the Indian Parliament uses a proportional system, such that every state of India gets a number of representatives appropriate to its population.
The upper house of the Parliament of India holds 250 members, who are set up in terms of six years. The members of the upper house of the Indian Parliament have their terms staggered, so that they do not all leave office at the same time.

The Scottish Parliament

The Scottish Parliament

The Scottish Parliament is the parliamentary legislative body of Scotland. The Scottish Parliament is unlike many other parliamentary bodies in that it is a unicameral body, instead of a bicameral body.
This means that there is only one House in Scottish Parliament. Furthermore, Scottish Parliament functions underneath the overall government of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which means that there are certain powers held by the Parliament of the United Kingdom over Scotland, and all other powers are made to go to the Scottish Parliament. The United Kingdom Parliament does also have the power to amend and modify the powers it holds over Scotland, however.
The Scottish Parliament currently meets in the Scottish Parliament Building, which is located within Holyrood. Holyrood is a specific neighborhood within Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. The Scottish Parliament Building is a relatively young construction, and was only opened in September of 2004. The most recent form of the Scottish Parliament is also a very young body, as it only first met on the twelfth of May in 1999.
Prior to moving into the current Scottish Parliament Building, the Scottish Parliament met in the General Assembly Hall of the Church of Scotland. The Scottish Parliament contains 129 members at the current time, 73 of whom are considered Constituency MSPs, and 56 of whom are considered List MSPs, with the Constituency MSPs being elected from specific constituencies, and the List MSPs being elected from larger electoral regions.

Understanding the House of Lords

Understanding the House of Lords

The House of Lords is one of the two houses in the Parliament of the United Kingdom, with the other house being the House of Commons. The House of Lords is considered to be the upper house of the Parliament, while the House of Commons is considered the lower house. The House of Lords is also known as the House of Peers in some communications. Members of the House of Lords are not elected directly by the public of the United Kingdom, but are instead appointed to the position through specific means.
Lords might also come into the position by inheriting the position, or by being a senior bishop within the Church of England, as the House of Lords does also encompass Lords Spiritual, who are supposed to be ecclesiastical leaders. In general, the modern form of the House of Lords primarily features individuals who have been appointed to the position as a result of the decree of the Monarch of England, on the suggestion of the Prime Minister of England, as opposed to individuals who have inherited the position. The House of Lords can have any number of members, and the exact membership has often fluctuated depending upon circumstances. As of the current time, the House of Lords contains 744 members.
The House of Lords does not have as much power in the overall United Kingdom government as does the House of Commons. The House of Lords does not have any direct power on the Prime Minister, as does the House of Commons, which is part of the reason for the limited power of the House of Lords. The House of Lords might propose, amend, or veto legislation, but it rarely exercises most of these powers, and there are often severe rules in place for when it does exercise such powers.

Understanding The European Parliament

Understanding The European Parliament

European Parliament is the parliament of the European Union. Thus, European Parliament might also sometimes be known as the EU Parliament. The European Parliament joins with the Council of the European Union as the legislative branch of the European Union, meaning that the European Parliament is not, in and of itself, the legislative branch of the European Union.
The EU Parliament is made of 736 different Members of the European Parliament, or MEPs. These members are voted for directly within the member states of the European Union. The European Parliament is considered to be the “lower house” out of the two institutions involved in the legislative branch of the European Union.
Neither the EU Parliament nor the Council of the European Union has one of the most commonly seen powers of legislative branches in other state governments, which is legislative initiative. Legislative initiative is the power to propose new legislation. Because the EU Parliament does not have this power, then, it can only repeal or veto incoming legislation, but it cannot actually create new legislation on its own. The European Commission must instead propose the legislation which comes before the European Parliament.
The European Parliament can directly ask the European Commission to propose a piece of legislation, however, and thus de facto has the power to propose new legislation, as the European Commission often goes along with the proposals made by the EU Parliament. The EU Parliament also has a significant amount of power on other elements of the European Union’s conduct and functioning.