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Britain's Political System

The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy organized as a democratic and parliamentary unity state. The country has no written constitution. The form of governance has evolved gradually and is based on tradition and customs.

Although the United Kingdom is formally a monarchy, the supreme executive power lies with the government, which is based on the majority in the elected House of Commons. The royal power is hereditary and can be taken over by both man and woman, but brothers go before sisters. The monarch must belong to the State Church, the Church of England.

Political System of United KingdomThe legislative authority has Parliament, which consists of two houses, the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Of the two houses, the former is by far the most important. The upper house can only review, amend, or defer legislation for one year, but does so in an inactive way. Budget proposals can stay over 30 days for the House. After 1997 the authority of the House of Commons has been cut. The lower house is directly elected and has 651 members after the 2010 election; 533 from England, 59 from Scotland, 40 from Wales and 18 from Northern Ireland. In addition comes the Speaker of the House of Commons.

From the election in 2005, the number of seats in Scotland was reduced from 72 to 59 as a result of the establishment of the Scottish Parliament in 1999. The members are elected from one-man constituencies and so that the candidate with the most votes, so-called simple majority, takes the mandate. Thus, winning the mandate does not require more than 50 percent of the vote. See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for how UK can stand for United Kingdom.

The lower house is selected for up to five years, but can be dissolved at any time with a few weeks' notice. The voting age is 18 years.

Political System of United Kingdom

In 1998, before the constitutional reform came into force, the House of Commons consisted of 1191 members; of these, about 4/5 had inherited the seat, the others hold the seat for life - either by virtue of position (as the foremost cleric) or by reason of life peers. In 1999, the House decided that only life peers should have voting rights. A total of 667 inheritance orders lost their powers, 92 were allowed to retain their seats. In 2006, the upper house consisted of 741 members; Of these, 623 were life peers.

Government

The government is formed and headed by a Prime Minister (Prime Minister) and is collectively responsible to the House of Commons. The prime minister is the largest party's deputy leader. Most other ministers have also been in the lower house; however, some come from the upper house.

The entire government can include up to 100 members. The government in our sense of the word, the Cabinet, has 22 members. Most of these are called Secretaries of State, a legacy from the time when the ministers constituted the king's private office. Furthermore, the government includes 30 Ministers of State, and 34 others (called parliamentary secretaries, sub-secretaries of state and the like).

Within the Cabinet, an internal cabinet is often formed of the Prime Minister (who is also titled First Lord of the Treasury) and his closest associates - notably the Deputy Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister, the Minister of Finance, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Minister of the Interior and the Defense Minister, formerly also the Lord Chancellor (High).) Chancellor).

The opposition party in the Lower House has an official, state-paid leader. The opposition leader also forms a " shadow government ".

Topartisystem

Britain has had an approximate two-party system, and the government has more or less regularly switched between the two major parties, now The Conservative Party and Labor Party.

The bipartisan system dates back to the 18th century, when the Whig and Tory parties emerged. Following the Reform Act (1832), the two became the Liberal Party and the Conservative Party (still called "tory" in daily speech).

In the 1920s, the Labor Party replaced the Liberals as the other major party. The Liberals were merged in 1988 with the Social Democrats of the Liberal Democrats, who have gained increased support.

Both of the two major parties have been characterized by internal tensions. In Labor, the left took power after the 1979 election defeat, which led to party divisions and several electoral defeats. In the 1990s, Labor moved toward the center and, under Tony Blair, who won three elections for the party (1997, 2001, 2005), became a middle-class oriented party ("New Labor").

The Conservative Party was dominated by the Liberal Right and its strong leader Margaret Thatcher from 1975 to 1990. Thatcher was followed by the more moderate John Major. In the 1990s, the party was characterized by ideological and personal tensions, especially in relation to EU integration, and suffered major defeats in the 1997 and 2001 elections. The party also had frequent leadership changes with a total of five leaders from 1997 to 2005. But after David Cameron took over as party leader, the Conservatives again appealed to the electorate, and Cameron formed government in 2010 with the Liberal Democrats.

In addition to the three parties mentioned, a number of smaller parties are represented in the House of Commons. In recent years, a protest party on the right wing, UKIP, has gained a lot of support, and the Greens have also begun to make their mark.

In Northern Ireland, own parties are up for election, where the dividing lines go by the degree of affiliation with the UK. Both Scotland and Wales have significant nationalist parties represented. The Scottish SNP in particular has considerable support and is on the way to Labor as the leading party north of the border.

The sub-representatives do not have deputy representatives; if a member dies or resigns, supplementary elections are held, which often produce completely different results than ordinary elections. The composition of the Lower House therefore changes during the election period.

Political system in Northern Ireland

By The Government of Ireland Act (1920), Northern Ireland, the six north-eastern counties on the Irish island, had its own government, its own two-chamber parliament and self-government in all matters that had no "significance for the empire". The king was represented in Northern Ireland through a governor; he had the executive power, but was to be advised by parliamentary responsible ministers. However, since the unrest began in 1968-1969, local autonomy was suspended. Following the peace agreement in 1998, Northern Ireland was again given its own assembly and government, but this did not work and was suspended in 2002.

Political system in Scotland and Wales

Following Labor's election victory in 1997, referendums were held in Scotland and Wales on internal self-government for the national constituencies. In Scotland, a clear majority was created to form a separate parliament, and the first parliament was elected in 1999. In Wales, the enthusiasm was somewhat less and the Welsh representative body is called "assembly". Both Scotland and Wales got their own governments in 1999 with prime ministers.

Administrative division

Britain's traditional division into counties has now to some extent been replaced by other administrative units; the most important are so-called Unitary Authorities. England is divided into Greater London (Greater London), six Metropolitan Counties, 34 Non-Metropolitan Counties and 46 Unitary Authorities. Northern Ireland has 26 Districts, Wales 22 Unitary Authorities and Scotland 32 Council Areas. These are further divided into smaller units such as districts, small parishes or communities.

All local units have a degree of local autonomy. At all levels there is advice, chosen for four years in general elections. The councils are chaired by a mayor, elected by and among the council members. Greater London is governed by 32 borough counties as well as the Corporation of the City of London (for the downtown area). In the reorganization of the administrative division in the 1990s, many counties (counties) lapsed; these have nevertheless retained certain ceremonial functions.

The United Kingdom has traditionally been regarded as one of the most stable political systems in the world. No other form of government has been developed for so long, in fact since the Middle Ages, in such a gradual way, and with such respect for continuity as the British. Nevertheless, the stability problems have increased in scope and severity over the past decades. The Northern Ireland problem has challenged stability, economic stagnation has tightened social tensions, and significant immigration has resulted in ethnic tensions. The increased political polarization reflects these underlying problems. To some extent it also reinforces them.

The legal system

England and Wales

The judicial system is strongly nationally characterized and differs in significant respects from continental legal systems. The basis of applicable law is largely old customary law, built on Anglo-Saxon and Frankish conceptions of law, and formulated and adhered to by the courts' common law practice. The original customary law has gradually been supplemented by the right of cheapness that was developed through the Chancellor's right, Equity from the 13th century. The specialty of English law is the decisive importance given to the courts' decisions. Large parts of the applicable law have their basis in court decisions. When deciding on a specific legal matter, it is often necessary to review a number of previous court decisions in similar cases. Written law plays a more prominent role in recent times, and a number of codification laws have been adopted.

The English court system and procedure are also clearly national. The participation of lay judges in the form of a jury originates in England.

The court of first instance in minor civil cases is the County Courts. Major civil cases initially go to the High Court, which is also the appeal court in certain cases. The Court of Appeal (Civil Division) is otherwise the appeal court for the County Court and the High Court.

Minor criminal cases are adjudicated in Magistrates' Courts, which normally have three unpaid, not legally trained judges. Almost all criminal cases are settled here. In the larger cities, however, the court has a legal judge as sole judge. Own juvenile courts handle cases where the offender is under 17 years old. There are approximately 900 Magistrates' Courts.

More serious criminal cases are handled by the Crown Court with jury. This Court and a High Court Division are appeals courts for Magistrates' Courts. The appeal from Crown Court goes to the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division).

The upper house may in certain cases be the supreme court of appeal for both civil and criminal cases. The High Court, Crown Court and Court of Appeal together make up the Supreme Court. From 2003, constitutional work is underway to establish a new Supreme Court, the Supreme Court, independent of the House of Commons.

Scotland

The Union Act of 1707 explicitly upheld the current legal and judicial system in Scotland. The legal system was at that time very different from the English, among other things, the influence of Roman and canon law was strongly prominent, but otherwise the judicial system built on customary law, different from the English Common Law. Later, an approach has been made, especially because of the common law.

The court system in Scotland is quite different from the English one. The minor criminal offenses are adjudicated in District Court by a magistrate. The most important subordinate court is the Sheriff Court, where a legally trained judge presides. The land is divided into six sheriff's prisons, each headed by a Sheriff's Principal, and in a total of 50 districts each with one court administered by a sheriff. In civil cases, the sheriff will initially judge, and the verdict may be appealed to the Sheriff Principal, in some cases directly to the superior court. In criminal cases, the Sheriff Court has a limited jurisdiction, in small cases the Sheriff convicts alone, in larger cases there is also a jury.

The Supreme Court in civil cases is the Court of Session which is based in Edinburgh. The court is divided into an Outer House, which in a number of areas is the first instance judge, and an Inner House, which is the appeal court for the Outer House and Sheriff Court judges. Anchor from Inner House goes to the Upper House in London. The highest court in criminal cases is the High Court, which consists of judges from the Court of Session. It deals with serious criminal cases in the first instance and is then set before a judge and jury, and it acts as an appeals court and is set with at least three judges.

Northern Ireland

The judiciary in Northern Ireland is in many ways similar to the English.

There are a number of special tribunals in the United Kingdom (Administrative Tribunals). Military Courts (Courts-Martial) have jurisdiction over members of the armed forces, but the most serious crimes committed by military are judged by ordinary courts.

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