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CIVILISATION BRITANNIQUE The BRITISH MONARCHY Attitude towards the monarchy (page 2): The initials E.R.

mean Elizabeth Regina, latin for Queen (Rex, for King). A thin k tank is an organization which talks about issues, founded by government. It tr ies to give powers to people. The text gives the impression that the Queen has a lot of power. But its not real ly true. It doesnt require the abolition of the monarchy. Republicanism is absolu tely out of question. They asking for a lot of rights of monarch and it creates paradox. The monarchy should be more model, less traditional. Elisabeth II is the reigning Queen of the UK. She is also the elder daughter of George II and Queen Elisabeth (Queen Mother). She was born in 1926 and became Qu een in 1952. She is married to Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, also called the Prince Consort, title that given to the husband of a Queen when he is not h imself a King. She has 4 children and 8 grand-children. Prince Charles is the heir apparent to the Crown, so hes the next in line because hes the elder. Prince Anne is the Princ ess Royal and then Prince Andrew and Prince Edward. 1- The way to a constitutional monarchy Elizabeth II is the head of the state of the UK (G-B, England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales), and 15 other Commonwealth realms (countries which hav e the Queen as their monarch) Australia, Canada, New Zealand. She is also the fi gurehead of the Commonwealth of Nations (political union but an organization com posed of 54 independents states which are almost all former colonies of the Brit ish Empire. These states work together to promote a common set of values (ex: Democracy, ind ividual liberties, world peace ). 2- The Origins and development of the British Monarchy Monarchy is the older form of government in the UK until the end of 17th century. British monarchs were executive monarchs, which mean that they had the right to make and pass legislation even though there was also a Parliament. During the 17th century, the Stuart Kings (James I and then, his son Charles I) propagated the theory of the divine right of King, claiming that they were subject t o God only and not to the law and that, therefore, they could rule as they pleas ed which created tensions with Parliament. These tensions eventually led to the English Civil War which opposed Parliamentarians (those in favor of more power f or Parliament) and loyalists (those loyal to the King). The Parliamentarians won the war and they imposed the principles that a monarch couldn t govern without Parliament s consent. In 1688-1689, Parliamentarians drafted a Bill of Rights which notably establishe d the supremacy of Parliament. So, the constitutional monarchy that we know toda y really developed in the 18th-19th centuries as power came to be more exercised by Parliaments and ministers than by the Monarch. This means that today even if the Queen is still head of state, she does not have the power to pass legislati on anymore. As a constitutional monarch, she has to remain strictly neutral with respect to political matters. She cannot vote or stand for an election, and thi s is true for the whole royal family. One of the most important writers on the s ubject of constitutional monarchy was Walter BAGEHOT (1826-1877), a Victorian jo urnalist and economist, his book The English Constitution published in 1867, provide d an analysis of the role of monarchy but it s still used (/ that is still revel

ent) today. It views of how monarchy works very influential and by the beginning if the 20th century, principle and constitutional family firmly established in Britain. 3- The role of the sovereign in a Constitutional monarchy According to BAGEHOT, even if the sovereign cannot make a law, she is st ill an integral part of the government. BAGEHOT defines the rights of the sovere ign, the right to consulted, the right to be encourages and the right to warn. Indeed, a sovereign world, over the course of a long reign, accumulates far more knowledge and experience than any other minister. Thus, today, the Queen is abl e to advise the Prime Minister (PM) whom she sees on a weekly basis, by conventi on (= nor statutory rule that is still binding), her long experience enabling to give him advice on political matters. The Queen has many other important ceremonial and formal roles in relation to th e government of the UK. So first, she is the head of the executive power and as such she formally appoints PM. She is also the head of the Parliament and thus o f the legislative branch. She opens each new session of Parliament. She also has the power to prorogue Parliament (= reporter une session du parlement ultrieurem ent). She dissolves it before a general election. The Queen is required to assen t to all bills passed by Parliament, which she does on the advice of ministers. The Royal Assent (=consenting to a bill becoming law) has not been refused since 1707. The Queen has formal roles with relation to the devolved assemblies of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The Queen is also Fan of Justice, that is to say the he ad of the justice system. This title comes from the fact that in earlier times, the sovereign played a major role on the establishment of legal systems and the enforcement of the law. Even if this is not the case anymore, monarch still play s an important symbolic role as the figure in whose name justice is carried out and law and other are maintained. The courts are called the Queen s courts judges and the judges are her majesty s judges and they derive their authority from the Crown criminal prosecutions are bought in the name of the Queen and prisons are her majesty s prisons.rhdgfgsf Also the Queen appoints senior judges. She does so, on the advice of the PM. She also exercises the prerogative of mercy on the advice of ministers. The Queen a s other official roles: such as head of the Armed Forces. She is the only person who can declare war or peace. She does so, on the advice of ministers. She is a lso the Supreme Governor of the Church of England. In addition, she is the one that is officially recognizes success by granting re wards. And finally, the Queen represents Britain to the rest of the world as suc h, she receives heads and state and foreign ambassadors. She also makes state vi sits to other countries in support of economic and diplomatic relations. 4- Monarchy as a part and a symbol of the British identity In addition to her many state duties; the Queen plays a less formal role as Head of Nation: a role she performs through different kinds of engagements. By means of regular visits through every part of the UK, the Queen is able to act as a f ocus for national identity pride and unity. The others members of the royal fami ly also fulfill this function, notably by replacing the Queen where she cannot b e present. However, the sovereign gives a sense of stability and continuity to the nation s ince the Head of State and the Head of Nation remain the same whereas government s change. This point was underlined by BAGEHOT, the author of the last text on m onarchy. As BAGEHOT suggested, people are attached to the monarchy for this reas on, but also because members of the royal family make everyday life concerns a p art of politics. And give meaning and importance to peoples own lives since they can identify to them. Monarchy appeals to people feelings and emotions but it commands peoples allegian ce more easily than any political regime. The research of the Demos think tank a

nd the poll carried out in 1997 show that the British people are deeply attached to the monarchy: and would not think of giving it up. Theyre not interested in a Republic. The only thing they are asking for is for the monarchy to be less traditional, t o be more modern. For all its demands, the Demos think tank doesnt even think of talking about the abolition of monarchy. The Demos think tank is asking for the sovereign to be legitimated by a referendum, and he would be closer to the peopl e. But he or she would have no role, no function, would cease to be a monarch. I n that sense, they are partly wrong in their definition of public expectation si nce the poll shows that a slight majority of people do not want the Queen to giv e up her political function, which are already purely symbolic. The BRITISH CONSTITUTION

A convention is like a law but its not written. Even if its not written, the Prime Minister has to do it. Common Law is based on jurisprudence; its based on decisi ons by judges. Statute law is the law from the Parliament. Works of authority ar e very important texts that are not the Constitution but so important that judge s referred to them. The Bill of rights gives to Parliament to pass all the laws that it wants. In the UK, there exists no single document called a Constitution. The word Constit ution referees to a series of laws, conventions and principles that govern the l ives of the British subjects. Thats why its often said that the British have an un written Constitution whereas in fact, the British Constitution frame work is com posed of different sorts of written documents. This partly written, partly unwritten Constitution has obvious advantages. Its fl exible enough to be amended or added to or subtracted from according to the will of the elected Parliament of the day. On the other hand, it is the source of di sputes among lawyers, politicians, historians since it leaves some ambiguity aro und crucial issues relating to the British peoples individual liberties. The main components of the British Constitution can be divided into 5 categories : First you have statutes, i.e. laws or Acts or Parliament. Then you have Common Law, also noun as case law or judge-made law, law on jurisprudence (/court decisions). Then you have conventions; traditions, customs, long-standing practices. Then you have treatises (= ouvrages de rfrence); historical works of lega and/or Constitutional authority. And then you have treaties; EU or international agreements. 1- Statutes Magna Carta (1215)

MAGNA CARTA (MC) was signed by King John in 1215. To be more prcised, a group of barons forced the King to sign it because they wanted to limit his power and pro tect their privileges. MC is often cited as the foundation of the British Consti tution, mostly because it involves the crucial principle of the RULE of LAW. MC states the inalienable right of any citizen accused of crime to a free and fair trial before their peers, as well as the principle than no one, not even the sov ereign, is above the law. In practice, this last principle cannot hold because c riminal prosecutions are instigated the name of the Crown. So the monarch cannot be accused of a crime and judged for it without it provoking a constitutional c risis. The Habeas Corpus Act (1679) It was passed in 1679, as a way to conform the ancient prerogative of HABEAS COR PUS which had existed in England for at least 3 centuries and which forbade the abusive detention of people without legal authority. The Bill of Rights (1689)

It stated that the rule through Parliament rather than tell it what to do, as in the past. In other word, monarchs would to seek the official consent of members of Parliament before passing legislation or declaring war, for example. In eff ect, the bill ended centuries of royal sovereignty and replaced of with the concep t of Parliament sovereignty. Its the one that most symbolizes the flexibility of the British Constitution. So this concepts assents the hegemony of the British Parliament over the British su bjects by giving each individual Parliament power to make its own laws and to re peal any of the laws passed by the previous Parliaments. In addition to this, the bill granted a number of specific rights to all English men, stating that: Suspending or executing laws on taxes without the consent of Parliament was illegal. People have a right to petition on the sovereign. Excessive bails and punishments cannot be imposed. People have a right to bear arms in their defense. Giving a foreign body authority over the British people was unconstituti onal. 1701 Act of Settlement: completed the newly introduced rules regarding monarchic al succession in the Bill of Rights by notably ensuring that only a Protestant c ould inherit the throne. The Acts of Union: were laws passed in England in 1706 and then in Scotland in 1 707 which formulized the Treaty of Union, the agreement that unified England and Scotland into one United Kingdom under one sovereign and one Parliament. 1911 and 1949 Parliament Acts: asserted the supremacy of the House of Commons ov er the House of Lords by limiting the power of the House of Lords to block or de lay laws in initiated in the House of Commons. And there are also several Represe ntations of the People Acts which extended the citizens voting rights. For example, giving right to vote to women in 1928, and in 1969, the legal age to vote was l owered to 18. Race relations acts (1965-68-76): outlawed discrimination or racial grounds. 1998 Government of Wales Act and Government Scotland Act: passed the way for nat ional referendums to establish devolved power in Scotland and Wales. The House Of Lords Act (1995): removed all but 92 hereditary peers then removing and created a transitional House of Lord to subsist until further reform was ag reed or by both Houses. 2- Common Law For several centuries, many laws passed in England were decided or a cas e-by-case basis by judges. When this system began to emerge in the 11th and the 12th centuries, the judges decisions were very often taken at a local level, lea ding to important disparities from area to another, in terms of what was and wha t was not considered as a crime and the type and severity of the punishment impl emented. In 1166, King Henry II decided to create a unified national framework of common law based on the more reasoned decisions made in local hearings (=audien ces) over the previous decades. This new system sought to eliminate arbitrary or eccentric rulings and established the right to be judge by a jury of ones peers in criminal cases. Even now, judges have to make rulings based on their interpretations of ambiguous Acts or apparent conflicts between international or European laws and domestic policy (British laws). 3- Conventions Perhaps, the most original feature of the British Constitution is its in corporation of customs and traditions. These practices have become accepted as p art of the British Constitution through endless repetitions (examples page 6). A ccording to the Salisbury Convention, the House of Lords cannot oppose legislati

ons from the House of Commons that was a part of the govern partys manifesto or e lection program. 4- Treatises Of all the books written on the UK Constitution, some have become indisp ensable that they are now considered as part of the British Constitution themsel ves. They are even used as handbooks by members of the legislative or judicial bod y. Many of todays new laws and court decisions are frames (=labor) in accordance wi th the analyses of these volumes. Over recent decades, the UK has signed many international treatises and pacts. Most of them are little more than membership agreements and, as such, cou ld theoretically be opted out of at any time. This is the case for the 1945 Charte r of the United Nations and of the North Atlantic Treaty which established the N orth Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 1949. Others have become incorporate d into the UK Constitution and would therefore require legislation to remove the obligations that they impose on the state. This is the case for the European co urt of Human rights ratified in 1998 in the UK by the Human Rights Act (HRA) whi ch extended the citizens rights. The extent to which the HRA is respected and tak es precedence over British laws and conventions is unclear. For example, the HRA was breached by the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act passed in 2001 just after the 9/11 attacks on New-York, which allowed the detention and deportation without trial of people suspected of terrorist links. More generally, the UK has been considerable debate about the growing powers of the EU, which British join ed in 1973 amid (/ in the middle of) some controversy. Recent treaties, and in particular, the 2007 Lisbon Treaty, have solidif ied the relations between member states and the EU governing institutions which led Euro-sceptics to claim that the UK was now governed by the EU and was not a sovereign nation anymore. 4- The separation of powers The guiding principles underlying the British Constitution is that of th e separation of powers. This is a model that splits the power into 3 branches: Executive power (government) Legislative power (Parliament) Judicial power (courts) This is a model that seeks to avoid despotism by separating the 3 branches of po wer while forcing them to cooperate so that each can act as a check and balance on the others. But in practice, numerous overlaps have emerged. The Queen, as Head of State, is Head of all 3 branches of power. Then, the Prime Minister and most of the ministers are members of the government (executive) and Parliament (legi slative).And so they end up voting legislation that they initiated. Before the c reation of an independent supreme court in October 2009, the LAW LORDS were judg es in the highest court of appeal (judiciary) and members of the House of Lords (legislative). The Lords in the 1990s (page 9) Hereditary rights Very healthy and high educated Work in big companies Mostly conservative

IIQueen s speech 2010 She talks about individual liberties, economiy, politic, about international con flicts and the way to stop it, and many subjects. Throwing out the Queen s speech There s limited time to passed the bills, they don t have time to ask british pe

ople about them, they passed them all in the same time. MP s expenses scandal They use public money for private reasons. -> Pour la semaine prochaine, prparer les documents des deux prochains chapitres : 16 23. ..hold legislative power is a bicameral body consisted of House of Lords ( = upp er house ) and the House of Commons ( = lower house ) meet separate chambers ( house of parlement) in the place of Weshminster, in Lon don. The sovereign is head of parlement. I - The house of Lords The numbers of its members isn t fixed, and changes all the times. Today, House of Lords have 792 members, and included 2 different types of members, 25 Lords s piritual: they re senior bishaps of the Church of ENgland and they can never be en more than 26. Then, there are 767 Lords temporal, either hereditory peer or l ife peers. They are peerage (titre de noblesse, la pairie) inherit a set from the sovereign , give them the right to sit in the house of Lords, they are not elected, not ch osen by the people, perceived as a problem. 1999- Labour gouvernment past a law removing the right of hereditary peers to sit in the House of Lords. The Act provided a temporary measure, according to each 92 hereditary peers migh t continu to sit in the House, for the time being. 2 stay in the house of lords, because they hold hereditary offices connected wit h parliament. of the remaining 90, 15 are elected by the whole House, 75 are chosen by their f ellow hereditary peers. Life peers (appointed under the life peerages Act of 1958) are appointed by the sovereign, on the advice of the prime minister. largest group of lords temporal (the whole house) 675 The Prime minister allows the leaders of the other parties to select some life p eers so as to maintain a political balance in the House. Number of non-party life peers to be nominated by a independent House of Lords A ppointments Commission. Until the creation of an independent supeme court in oct 2009, the House of Lords also included law lords who performed a policial role. The chairman of the H of Lords , Lord Speaker The members of the governing party and the bishaps sit on the right of the lord speaker, and the opposition sit on the left. The crossberch peers ( peers that are not affiliated to any of the main parties ) sit on berches that cross the chamber of the house of lords behind the clerck s table. II The house of c is an elected chamber of 650 members. His members are elected to serve both as representatives of their constituencies and as representatives of all british people. The members of h of c are also calls "MPs". Mps consider and propose new laws, and they can also examine the government s policies by askin g ministers questions about current issues. Uselly, majority of members in the H

supports the elected gvt of the day. By the constitutional convention, Almost of the ministers- also members of the H of C, or less often of the L of C. It s also true for the pm. the president is called the speaker. governing party sit on the right, oppositio n sit on the left.on each sides, the first 2 rows are occupied by the leaders of the party, and they re called the frontbenchers. The others mps sit in the back , and are called the "backbenchers". gvt frontberch > ministers (the cabinet) opposition frontberch > shadow ministers of which the most senior members form t he "shadow cabinet". its fonction is to criticizes the government and its legisl ation, and propose alternative policies. senior of parliament losts between 160 and 175 days. III. The Queen s role Important formal and ceremonial relationship with parliament. The phrases " cro wn in parliament" and "Queen in Parliament" are used to describe the British leg islature. General election, appointment of a parliament is the prerogatve of the sovereign. in appointing a prime minister, the sovereign in guided by constitu tional conventions. The main requierement is to find someone who can command the confidence of the house of commons. This is normally secured by a pointing the leader of the party with a majority of seats in the house of commons. They ve be en 12 pm during the queen s reign, from Winston Churchill to David Cameron. -> He is the current pm of the UK, he s also the first lord of treasury(dfinit la politique, economie....) minister for the civil service (fonction publique) and he s also the leader of the conservative party. Head of a coalition between the conservatives and the liberal democrats since the conservatives did not manage to get an absolute majority of seats in the House of commons. -> HUNG PARLIAMEN T The Queen also plays a important role in the ceremonial opening and dissolving o f parliament and the annual state opening of parliament ceremony, the Queen ope ns parliament in person and addresses both houses in the queen s speech. The queen speech usually take place in november or december, on the 1st day of t he new parliamentary session, but it also occurs after a general election. the q ueen speech is drafted by the government and not by the queen, it outlines the g vt s policy for the next session of parliament, and indicate legislation to co me.Since the parliament act, of 1911, the life of the United Kingdom parliament extends to 5 years.and less it is dissolve sooner by the monarch, at the reques t of the pm.In practice, except during the 2 World War, when the life of parliam ent was extended every year to avoid a wartime election, every modern parliament was dissolved before its turn ( = term) was expired. Indeed, the pm, usually c hooses the moment that he thinks is most suitable for a reelection. IV- The legislative procedure Bills may be Initiated in both houses, but most of them are initiated in the hou se of commons. Each bill goes through the following stages : -first reading. This is a formality. is formally introduced to the Mps for consi deration. No debate or vote occurs second reading: 2 weekends after the first reading.the debate on the general pri nciples of the bill is followed by a vote. This is the main opportunity to discu ss the "aime?" general ideas of the bill, rather than individual clauses. So a defeat at this stage, usually represent a major challenge (loss ? ) for the principle of the bill. and a major loss for the government.

Normally, the 2nd reading of a government bill is adopted. The bills then proceeds to the committee stage. Committee, composed of MPs from the different parties roughly in proportion to their number in the House of Comm ons, considers each clause of the bill and proposes amendments. report stage - "consideration MPs consider the amendments proposed by the committee, and may add further (?) c hanges. And then, the third reading, it s a debate on the final version of the bill, inc luding the amendments. In the house of Lords, amendments may still be added. In the House of Commons, a mendments not permitted, short debate followed by a single vote. The bill can be sent to the other house, where it goes through the same 5 stages . The House of Commons can reject a bill from the Lords outright.The Lords can pro pose amendments to a bill coming from the House of Commons. But if they reject i t, the House of Commons may force it through, without the Lords consent, in the next session of Parliament. If the 2nd House amends a bill, the bill is sent bac k to the 1st House for consideration. A bill may go back and forth between the 2 houses until they reach an agreement. ( its called "ping pong") Once both houses agree on the final version of a bill, it can receive the royal assent and become an act of parliament, i.e. a law. In theory, sovereign can eit her grant the R.A. and make the bill a law or withold it (i.e. veto the bill) practice, convention -> sovereign always grants the royal assent. LESSON 4 / THE BRITISH PARTY AND THE ELECTORAL SYSTEMS I- The british political parties The system have political parties which has existed in one form or another since the 17th century. Its an essential element in the working of the constitution. T he political parties are not formally recognized or registered in law.But most c andidates in election and almost all winning candidates belong to one of the mai n parties. Since 1945, either the conservative party or the labour party has held power. Th e conservative partys origins go back to the 17th party, as the TORY party. Its a centre right party and its current leader is David Cameron. The Labour party emerged in the last decade of the 19th century. It is a centre left party. It describe itself as a democratic socialist party and its current leader is Edward Milibard. A new party emerged in 1988 when the Liberal party, w hose origins go back to the 17th century as the WHIC party, merged with the soci al de democratic party (formed in 1981 ) First called the liberal and social democratic party, it became the liberal demo cratic ( lib dem ) party in 1989. Nick Clegg is the current leader. Other parties include nationalist parties: In Wales, there is a plaid cymru, founded in 1925, advocates the establishment o f an independent. Welsh state within the European Union. In Scotland, you have a scottish National party, which was founded in 1934, and it advocated the independence of Scotland (from the UK). In Nothern Ireland, its several national parties, like Sinn Fin, founded in 1905 b ut took its original form in 1970. Is in favour of a United Ireland. DUP = Democratic unionist party, founded in 1971 SDLP = Social Democratic and labour party, founded in 1970. both want NI to stay in the United Kingdom

II - The election system The uk is divided in 650 areas called constituencies. In general election, all c onstituencies become vacant, and an MP(member of parliament) is elected for eac h from a list of candidates standing for election. General elections happen every 4 or 5 years. But if a MP retires or dies, a by-e lection (lction partielle ) is held in his / her constituency alone to find a new MP. In a general election, every constituent ( = person who has the right to vote )v otes for the candidate of their choice. The candidate who gets the most votes become the MP for that area until the next election. All the other votes count for nothing. A candidate not need to have an absolute majority of votes to win , he/she only needs a plurality of votes ( le plus de voix par rapport aux autres candidats.) Its electoral system is called FPTP ( first past the post ). In a election, the party which gets a majority of seats ( mps = 326 seats at least ) in the h of c gets to form a government. The first past to post system tends to produce a two party system, which in turn tends to produce single party governments, who do not need to rely or other par ties to pass legislation. >advantage: since it produces strong gvt on the other hand, it leaves small parties disadvantaged on a national level. III - The party system in parliament nearly all the mps represent a political party. the party woth the greatest numb er of mps forms the gvt. party with the 2nd largest number of mps forms the offi cial opposition. If a MP does not belong to a political party, he or she is known as an independen t. effectiveness of the the party system of parliament is largely based on the rela tionship between the gvt party and the opposition party. depending on the strength of each party in the H of C, the opposition may seek t o overthrow the government by defeating it on a vote on a matter of confidence.

a rattraper Although the cabinet might outvote him, the PM can streng then his position by k eeping only personal supporters in the Government. In periodical reshuffle, the PM can simply fire the people (members of the cabinet) who disagree with him. To make sure that his legislation will pass in parliament, the PM appoints minis ters known as whips, whose work consist in getting MPs to support the gvt legislat ion and disciplining dissertees. 1 the powers of the mps MPs may be expelled from their party for failing to support the gvt on important issues and although this will not mean that they have to resign as MPs, it will make reelection difficult. So in general, the government is able to support of the h of c for any bill by o nternal party negociations and doesnt have to take it into acount the opinion of the opposition MPs. However a gvt with a strong majority can find itself unabl to pass legislation formaly, a pm whose gvt had been defeacted or an mp vote in the h of c would be regarded as eeeeeeeee weahered and his whole gvt would resign , usually precipit

ating a general election. In practice today, MPs who dissent on a minor issue are unlikely to provoke a ne w election, with the probable loss of their seats, salaries and any future in th e party. When the gvt party has an absolute majority in the h of c, only the vote (notion) of confidence On the vote that this house has no confidence in her majestys government can have t he effect of provoking a new election. when a gvt loses the support (confidence) of the h of c, the pm must either resi gn and make