Questions: (CHECK TRIGGER WORDS)
1. Identify and describe the process of a Bill becoming an Act of Parliament.
Green Paper : Publication of a government consultation document; invites comment from interested parties; provides basis for later White Paper/draft bill.
Commons: Most bills of significance are introduced in the Commons, Readings (debates + voting),
Committee stage, relationship with House of Lords. Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949, elected body.
Lords: Revising chamber, process (Readings etc), relationship with House of Commons (power to delay, not overrule (possible example such as the Hunting Bill). non-elected body (reform).
Royal Assent by or on behalf of the Queen (King).
Final stage. Formal process/Bill to Act of Parliament
“various Readings” –
First Reading – Formal presentation of a Bill to Parliament. MPs can take a copy to read. Generally two weeks gap before.
Second Reading – debate and division in the Commons. Possible reference to political influences
(Party, Whips, etc).
Third Reading – debate on Bill and any amendments + Division. Final House of Commons stage before passing to House of Lords.
“Parliamentary Committees” –
Detailed consideration of the Bill
Types and composition of Committees
“the Royal Assent” –
Royal Assent by or on behalf of the Queen Describe the role of the Parliamentary Counsel to the Treasury.
2. Comment on the advantages and disadvantages of the process of a Bill becoming an Act of Parliament
The Commons is an elected body so parliamentary law-making is democratic. The Act can be passed when it is needed. The Act will cover exactly what Parliament intends to legislate on. The process is lengthy and detailed and great care is taken to ensure the Act is accurate and fit for purpose.
3. Describe the main features of the doctrine of precedent
4. Explain the importance of law reporting, and give an example of a law report.
Collection of case reports dating from the 16th century to date. Generally written by experienced barristers. Examples inculde, The Times, All England Law Reports, the Weekly Law Reports
Importance – provides a library of judgements which judges and lawyers can rely on when making judgements and advising clients.
5. Outline the importance of the hierarchy of the courts in judicial precedent.
Recognition of the difference between binding and persuasive precedent.
Understanding that English court structures have an order of precedence.
(Accurate) examples of that hierarchy from civil and/or criminal courts to illustrate the hierarchy.
Specific reference to the precedent position of different courts (in respect of both higher and lower courts and itself) eg Supreme Court (1966 Practice Statement), Court of Appeal (different position of
Civil and Criminal Divisions), Court of Appeal outranks High Court etc.
6. Explain the key differences between a persuasive and a binding precedent.
Binding precedent – a previous decision (ratio decidendi) which must be followed by a lower court.
For example a case law (precedent) set out in the Supreme Court is binding all the lower courts i.e, all the lower courts must follow it in later cases on same point of law.
Persuasive precedent – a previous decision which can be followed if the judge wishes but does not have to be. eg obiter dicta, Privy Council decision, etc.
7. Explain what “stare decisis” “obiter dicta” and “ratio decidendi” mean.
Ratio decidendi – translation, significance in terms of binding part of judgement/forms the precedent, case or example e.g. Donoghue v Stevenson (neighbour test).
Obiter dicta - translation, significance in terms of persuasive part of judgement/do not create binding precedents, case or example e.g. R v Howe (duress not applying to attempted murder).
Binding and Persuasive Precedent – definitions (must/may be followed), some reference to hierarchy, examples or cases to illustrate eg Supreme Court decisions; textbook writers, foreign