A satellite image of the British Isles, with Great Britain on the right (east) and Ireland on the left (west). Only Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The remainder of Ireland is an independent country.
-Great Britain as we know it today only exists since 1707 when England, Wales and Scotland were really united. In 1801 Ireland joined the union but in 1921 part of Ireland voted for independence and only Northern Ireland (north-eastern part) stayed within the United Kingdom.- Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK that shares a land border with another sovereign state—theRepublic of Ireland
Constitutional conventions of the UK--While the United Kingdom does not have a written constitution that is a single document, the collection of legal instruments that have developed into a body of law known as constitutional law has existed for hundreds of years.As part of this uncodified British constitution, constitutional conventions play a key role. They are rules that are observed by the various constituted parts though they are not written in any document having legal authority; there are often underlying enforcing principles that are themselves not formal and codified. Nonetheless it is very unlikely that there would be a departure of such conventions without good reason, even if an underlying enforcing principle has been overtaken by history, as these conventions also acquire the force of custom.Royal prerogatives--The royal prerogative is a body of customary authority, privilege, and immunity, recognized in common law and, sometimes, in civil law jurisdictions possessing a monarchy, as belonging to thesovereign alone. It is the means by which some of the executive powers of government, possessed by and vested in a monarch with regard to the process of governance of the state, are carried out. Individual prerogatives can be abolished by Parliament, although in the United Kingdom special procedure applies.
Members of Parliament are required to swear an oath of loyalty to the queen, not to the people who elected them and not to a constitution. Those who have refused have been barred from taking their seats in the legislature. Bishops of the Church of England also swear their allegiance to the monarch, rather than to their god or their church. Police officers and soldiers likewise swear loyalty to the Queen, not to the government or their country.
The Westminster system is a democratic parliamentary system of government modelled after the politics of the United Kingdom. This term comes from the Palace of Westminster, the seat of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.
Prime Minister--usually the current leader of the largest political party in that chamber. The Government is formed by the party which has the majority in the Parliament and the Queen appoints its leader as the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister appoints a team of main ministers as the Cabinet (about 20 people).The prime minister and cabinet are formally appointed by the monarch to form Her Majesty's Government, though the prime minister chooses the cabinet and, by convention, the Queen respects the prime minister's choices.
650 constituencies electing a single member of parliament by simple plurality.
During the 2010 general election these three parties won 622 out of 650 seats available in the House of Commons
Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the Labour Party:Ed Miliband MPShadow Deputy Prime Minister, Party Chair and Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport:Harriet Harman
The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR; French: Cour européenne des droits de l’homme) in Strasbourg is a supra-national court established by the European Convention on Human Rights and hears complaints that a contracting state has violated the human rights enshrined in the Convention and its protocols. Complaints can be brought by individuals or other contracting states, and the Court can also issue advisory opinions. The Convention was adopted under the auspices of the Council of Europe and all of its 47 member states are parties to the Convention. The court is not part of the European Union.
Great britain ppt
• Europe is the worlds second’s-smallest continent by surface area• 10,180,000 square kilometres (3,930,000 sq mi)
2% of the Earths surface and about 6.8% of its land area
• 50 states• Russia is the largest by both area and population (although the country has territory in both Europe and Asia)• Vatican City is the smallest
• Third-most populous continent after Asia and Africa• Population of 733 million or about 11% of the world’s population• Among the continents, Europe has a relatively high population density, second only to Asia. The most densely populated country in Europe is the Netherlands, ranking third in the world
• Europe, in particular Ancient Greece, is the birthplace of Western Culture.• It played a predominant role in global affairs from the 16th century onwards, especially after the beginning of Colonialism
• the economy of Europe is currently the largest on Earth and it is the richest region as measured by assets under management with over $32.7 trillion.• In 2009 Europe remained the wealthiest region. Its $37.1 trillion in assets under management represented one-third of the world’s wealth.
• Between the 16th and 20th centuries, European nations controlled at various times the Americas, most of Africa, Ocenia, and large portions of Asia.
Guide for Oral Presentation• At a glance – geography, demographics, population, etc…• Recent History• Political System/Elections• Political Parties• Branches of Government: Executive, Legislative and Judiciary• Current Issues and Trends
OFFICIAL NAME: United Kingdom of GreatBritain and Northern Ireland (United Kingdom)
• UK’s four constituentcountries: England, NorthernIreland, Scotland and Wales.
• England, Scotland and Wales together with the province of Northern Ireland, form the country officially known as "The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" or simply the United Kingdom.• Northern Ireland is a self-governing jurisdiction within the United Kingdom with its own parliament and prime minister.
• The Kingdom of Great Britain resulted from the political union of the kingdoms of England and Scotland with the Acts of Union 1707 under Queen Anne.• In 1801, under a new Act of Union, this kingdom merged with the Kingdom of Ireland to create the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.• After the Irish War of Independence, most of Ireland seceded from the Union, which then became the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Geography• Location – North West Europe 2• Area - 229,848 km (88,744.8 sq mi) th• Area rank - 9 in the world• Largest in the European island• Capital - London• Population - 60,003,000 (mid-2009 est.)• 3rd most populous island in the world• Ethnic groups: British, Cornish, English, Scottish, Welsh
Capital cities of Great Britain• England: London• Scotland: Edinburgh• Wales: CardiffOther largest cities by urban area population:Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool,Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham andSheffield.
• The United Kingdom is a unitary state governed under a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary system, with its seat of government in the capital city of London• The Monarch is the head of state• The Prime Minister is the head of government
The British (unwritten) Constitution: Its Main Principles• 1. Constitutional Monarchy• 2. The Supremacy of Parliament• 3. The Unitary State• 4. The Flexible Constitution
• The British Constitution is not written in any single document (“uncodified or unwritten constitution”)• Sources: 1. written--statutes, court, judgments, treaties; 2. unwritten: parliamentary constitutional conventions, royal prerogatives• The bedrock of the British constitution has traditionally been the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty, according to which the statutes passed by Parliament are the UKs supreme and final source of law. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitutional_conventions_of_the_United_Kingdom
The Monarchy in Britain: What Powers do they have???•to be consulted, to encourage and to warn the government
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (reigned since 1953)• The Queen is Head of State of the UK and 15 other Commonwealth realms.• The elder daughter of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth• Born in 1926 and became Queen at the age of 25, and has reigned through more than five decades of enormous social change and development.• The Queen is married to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and has four children and eight grandchildren.
-Had 8 PMsserved under her-Head of theBritish state-Act as unifyingnational symbol
Pledge of Loyalty to the Queen"I swear by Almighty God that I willbe faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth,her heirs and successors, according to law. So help me God."
Government of UK• The UK has a parliamentary government based on the Westminster system The Houses of Parliament are situated within the Palace of Westminster, in London.
Legislative• Legislative Power is vested in both the government and the two chambers (2-house system) of the Parliament of the United Kingdom:1. House of Commons (elected)2. House of Lords (appointed) Note: Any bill passed requires Royal Assent to become law.
Parliament’s Role• Examining and challenging the work of the government (scrutiny)• Debating and passing all laws (legislation)• Enabling the government to raise taxes ************* Note: The UK is one of 27 member states of the European Union and is subject to European Union (EU) legislation.
Law-making• A bill (a proposal of a new law) must pass through the Houses and then is sent to the Queen for Royal Assent What is Royal Assent? • the final step required for a parliamentary bill to become law. • Once a bill is presented to the Sovereign or the Sovereigns representative, he or she has three formal options:Firstly, the Sovereign may grant the Royal Assent, thereby making the bill an Act of Parliament. Secondly, the Sovereign may withhold the Royal Assent, thereby vetoing the bill. Finally, the Sovereign may reserve the Royal Assent, that is to say, defer a decision on the bill until a later time.
HOUSE OF COMMONS HOUSE OF LORDS• Democratically elected house, • Public do not elect the Lords.makes laws and checks the work Appointed by the Queen on the recommendation of the Primeof Government Minister or of the House of Lords• 650 Members of Parliament (MPs) Appointments Commission.Propose new laws, and scrutinize • A forum of expertise, making lawsgovernment policies by asking and providing scrutiny of Governmentministers questions about currentissues either in the Commons • 830 Members, and there are three different types: life Peers, bishopsChamber or in Committees and elected hereditary Peers.
Committee Work• Much of the work of the House of Commons and the House of Lords takes place in committees, made up of around 10 to 50 MPs or Lords.• These committees examine issues in detail, from government policy and proposed new laws, to wider topics like the economy.
Committee Calendar• This calendar provides advance information about all public committee meetings, publication dates of reports and debates on select committee reports in Westminster Hall.
UK’s head of government: PRIME MINISTER • How is he chosen? -a member of parliament who can obtain theconfidence of a majority in the House of Commons,
Executive power is exercised by theprime minister and cabinet
Powers and Functions of the PM• 1. Chairs the cabinet• 2. Acts as the national leader• 3. Acts as diplomat• 4. Speaking for the gov’t in the Parliament• 5. Party leader-it is the leadership of the party that makes him/her the PM
POWERS OF PM• 1. Appoint and dismiss cabinet members• 2. Dissolution of Parliament (terminate the gov’t)—(upon recommendation to the monarch, then call for a general elections)• 3. Summon, chair & summarize cabinet meetings
David Cameron Prime Minister since May 11, 2010• David William Donald Cameron• Born 9 October 1966• Leader of the Conservative Party• Represents Witney as its MP• Studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford gaining a first class honours degree
Youngest British PM• In the 2010 general election held on 6 May, the Conservatives won 307 seats.• After five days of intense negotiations, Cameron formed a coalition with the Liberal Democrats. (the first coalition government since WW2)• The 43-year-old Cameron became the youngest British Prime Minister
UK Elections: HC vs. HL• General elections to The House of choose MP´s are held every five years. Lords is made up Voting is not of hereditary compulsory and is and life peers, from the age of 18. two archbishops• The House of Commons has 650 and 24 bishops constituencies, of the Church of elected and paid England. Members of Parliament.
HC and HL: Compare and contrastedHouse of Commons House of Lords-legislation -the other “crown in the-sustaining the parliament”government -may delay a bill passed by-controlled finance the HC (“power of amendment & delay”) -”the poodle of the Conservative party”
• General elections are called by the monarch when the prime minister so advises. The Parliament Acts 1911 and1949 require that a new election must be called within five years of the previous general elections.
British Elections• Qualifications: age, citizenship, duly registered• British election campaigns are short (PM is free choose to the date of elections w/n the 5 yr period)• Britain is divided into 650 constituencies: 1 constituency=1 MP• First-past-the-post majoritarian electoral system: the candidate with the most votes in the constituency wins
Features of the British Party System• 1. They are programmatic-platform-based; policy oriented vs. personality• 2. They are disciplined-vote along party line• 3. They are centralized-decisions about a party’s policies, election strategies & political tactics are decided at the center (HQ)
THE PARTY SYSTEM• Major Political Parties:• Conservative Party• Labour Party• Liberal Democrats
The CONSERVATIVE and UNIONIST PARTY• a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism.• largest party in the United Kingdom: -being the largest single party in the House of Commons with 304 MPs, -the largest party in local government with 9,391 councilors, -the largest British party in the European Parliament with 25 MEPs. It governs in coalition with the Liberal Democrats, with party leader David Cameron as Prime Minister.
Known Conservative PMsSir Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher,[Primetwice Prime Minister of the Minister of the UnitedUnited Kingdom. Kingdom (1979–1990).
Known Conservative PMsJohn Major, Prime Minister David Cameron, Primeof the United Kingdom Minister of the United Kingdom(2010-present).1990–1997
UK Labour Party• a centre-left political party• Having won 258 seats in the 2010 general election, the party currently forms the Official Opposition in theParliament of the United Kingdom.• a member of the Socialist International and Party of European Socialists• The current leader of the party is Ed Miliband MP.
Known Labour PMsRamsay MacDonald: First Labour Tony Blair: Labour PrimePrime Minister, 1924 and 1929–31 Minister, 1997–2007
Known Labour PMs Gordon Brown: Labour Prime Minister, 2007–2010
Leader of the OPPOSITIONEdward Samuel Miliband (born 24 December1969) is a British Labour Party politician, currentlythe Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of theOpposition.
Harriet Harman Deputy Leader of the OppositionShadow Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The LIBERAL DEMOCRATS• a social liberal political party which supports constitutional and electoral reform, progressive taxation, wealth taxation, environmentalism, human rights laws, cultural liberalism, European integration, banking reform and civil liberties
Nick Clegg: Leader from 2007 to present, and current Deputy Prime Minister
“SHADOW CABINET”• a senior group of opposition spokespeople in the Westminster system of government who together under the leadership of the Leader of the Opposition form an alternative cabinet to the governments, whose members shadow or mark each individual member of the Cabinet.• Members of a shadow cabinet are often but not always appointed to a Cabinet post if and when their party gets into government. It is the Shadow Cabinets responsibility to pass criticism on the current government and its respective legislation, as well as offering alternative policies
• The Shadow Cabinet is made up of frontbench MPs and Members of the Lords from the second largest party, or official Opposition party. • The Opposition party appoints an MP to shadow each of the members of the Cabinet. In this way the Opposition can make sure that it looks at every part of the Government and can question them thoroughly.• It also means that the Opposition has MPs and Lords that are ready to take specific jobs in the Cabinet if they win at the next General Election. In the House of Lords the term "spokesperson" is used instead of "shadow".
Judiciary• The Judiciary is independent (doctrine of separation of powers) of the executive and the legislature, the highest national court being the Supreme Court of the UK• The Judiciary is not a single body. Each of the separate legal systems in England and Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland have their own judiciary.• The judges of the Supreme Court of the UK, the Special Immigration Appeals, Employment Tribunals, Employment Appeal Tribunal and the UK tribunals systems do have a UK-wide jurisdiction.
Role of the UK Supreme Court• is the final court of appeal for all United Kingdom civil cases, and criminal cases from England, Wales and Northern Ireland• hears appeals on arguable points of law of general public importance• concentrates on cases of the greatest public and constitutional importance• maintains and develops the role of the highest court in the United Kingdom as a leader in the common law world
• The Supreme Court hears appeals from the following courts in each jurisdiction:England and Wales• The Court of Appeal, Civil Division• The Court of Appeal, Criminal Division• (in some limited cases) the High CourtScotland• The Court of SessionNorthern Ireland• The Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland• (in some limited cases) the High Court
The Supreme Court and Europe• The Supreme Court is the highest court of appeal in the United Kingdom. However, The Court must give effect to directly applicable European Union law, and interpret domestic law so far as possible consistently with European Union law. It must also give effect to the rights contained in the European Convention on Human Rights.• Under the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (article 267), The Court must refer to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg any question of European Union law, where the answer is not clear and is necessary for it to give judgment.• In giving effect to rights contained in the European Convention on Human Rights, The Court must take account of any decision of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. No national court should “without strong reason dilute or weaken the effect of the Strasbourg case law”• An individual contending that his Convention rights have not been respected by a decision of a United Kingdom court (including The Supreme Court) against which he has no domestic recourse may bring a claim against the United Kingdom before the European Court of Human Rights.
Assignment for WednesdayPlease choose one current issue (this year 2012) confronting the UKand briefly discuss the salient points. Please write in a piece ofrecycled paper. To be submitted.• Poverty/Housing• Environment• Politics and Governance• EconomicsSources:• http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk/• http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian• http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/