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Angličtina - Political system of UK

Autor: Jana Pancová

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- political system  - a constitutional monarchy, with Sovereign  as a head of state

                               - the country is governed by the Government

                               - parliamentary and democratic system (the oldest in Europe – British parliament became the important

                                  part in the system of government after the signing of the Magna Charta by King John in 1215)


- the Constitution (=ústava)    unwritten, based on traditions and common law

- it´s easy to change it (by an Act of Parliament or by general agreement)


- The Constitution divides power between 3 independent branches : legislative, executive, judicial power:


-the LEGISLATIVE power:

                 à the Parliament  -it has its seat in the House of Parliament in Westminster in London

                                               - the main task is to make laws, to vote taxes and public expenditures (=výdaje) 

                                                  and to revising the Government work          

it consists of   à the Sovereign

           à the House of Commons

           à the House Lords

                               à the Sovereign – at present Queen Elizabeth II.

                                                               - mainly symbolical function ( she takes part at ceremonials,traditional celebrations,..)

                                                               - she appoints ministers, judges and governors

                                                               - she summons and dissolves Parliament

                                                               - she opens each new annual session with a “speech from the throne”                                                                              - she must be informed of all Cabinet decisions

                                                               - she must sign all the laws, she can also refuse it

                                                               - she is also the head of the British Commonwealthin the other nations

                                                                 she is represented by a Governor –General

                                                               + she is the head of the Armed Forces and of the Church of England


                               à the House of Commons    -consists of 651 Members of Parliament (MPs) – each represents

                                                                                a particular part of the country

                                                                              - they pass the bills

                                                                              - the chief officer =the Speaker (elected by MPs)- he preside over the house

                                                                              - elections – every 5 years

                                                                                              - minimum voting age – 18 years

                                                                                              - candidates must be over 21

                              à the House of Lords -    has over 1000 members

- made up of the Lords of Temporal (about 900 lords, they have their title hereditary                                                                       and about 150 lords, the were appointed only for their lifetime)

                    the Lords Spiritual  (2 Archbishops of Canterbury and York

                                                          + 24 bishops of the Church of England)

- the head is the Lord Chancellor

- they sign the bills to consider it as a law,they can refuse bills got from The House ofCommons


                - the EXECUTIVE power:

                  à the Government – the head is Prime Minister (the leader of the party, which has the majority in The House

                                                                                                     of Commons)

                                                                                              - lived at 10 Downing Street, but in 1994 was changed by Tony

                                                                                                Blair (now the PM lives at 11 Downing Street)

                                                                                              - Tony Blair – the representative of the Labour Party        

                                                               - he chooses his government ministers (about 20) = the Cabinet (formally appointed

                                                                  by the Queen)

                                                               àthe second strongest party forms an Opposition (Shadow-Cabinet)

                                               - the Prime Minister with the Cabinet have real political power

- from Monday to Thursday all ministers must answer MPs´ questions for one hour

   (=questioning time”)

- two days a week the Prime Minister must answer MPs´ guestion


                - the JUDICIAL power:

                  à the Supreme Court – consists of the Court of Appeal and the High Court of Justice


- political parties in the UK today:

                - The Conservative Party – right wing, they put more emphasis (=důraz ) in private enterprise (=podnikání)

                        - The Labour Party – left wing, their program includes many social reforms and active social politics

- the royal family today:

 - Queen Elizabeth II. became Queen in 1952 - her husband is Prince Philip (Duke of Edinburgh)

                                                                        - the oldest son is Prince Charles (Prince of Wales) – he´s the heir to the throne

                                                                              (he married Lady Diana Spencer the Princess of Wales

 – they have 2 sons                :Prince William and Prince Henry,

    Lady Diana died in a car crash)