Advantages and Disadvantages of Parliamentary Law
1 Parliamentary Law Making
1.1.1 Scrutiny: The legislative process is very thorough. There are three readings and two
stages in each of the Houses of Parliament.This provides several opportunities for
debate, scrutiny, and amendment, ensuring that any mistakes or poor drafting can be
1.1.2 Democratic: Parliamentary law - making is democratic. MPs in the House of
Commons are democratically elected to make laws. During the debates on
the proposed law, each MP should have the opportunity to put forward the
view of his/her constituents.
188.8.131.52 The members of the House of Lords are not
democratically elected therefore they can't
veto a bill that has the approval of the
Commons. Under the Parliaments Act of 1911
and 1949 the delaying power of the Lords is
limited to one month in respect of money bills
and one year for other bills.
184.108.40.206.1 The role of the Monarch, also unelected, has been reduced
to a formality.
1.1.3 Government Control: Government has considerable control over
parliamentary law- making. It controls parliamentary timetable for
debates and is likely to win at each voting stage of the process unless a
number of its own MPs vote against it. This is democratic because the
1.1.4 The House Of Lords: Acts as a checking mechanism- it can guard against
laws being passed solely to fir the Governments political agenda. If the
House of Lords exercises its power of delay there will be further opportunity
for debate and amendment of the bill's provisions.
220.127.116.11 The House of Lords contains many peers with significant expertise
in many different issues. The quality of scrutiny and debate is very
18.104.22.168 Special rules are in existence in respect of money bills. The
whole House will sit in at the committee stage in the House
of Commons when a finance bill is being considered.
1.1.5 Flexibility: Several types of bills which are introduced into either House.
Not only the Government but all MPs and Lords have the opportunity to
propose new laws. Useful when the Government has not given thought
into a particular matter or does not want to be seen to introduce
controversial legislation. E.g. Abortion Act 1967, Marriage Act 1994.
1.2.1 Undemocratic: Neither the House of Lords or the Queen is elected so therefore they should not be able to have
the authority to delay bills that have been approved by the democratically elected House of Commons however
whilst they are elected MPs are persuaded to vote with their party rather than in accordance with the the
wishes of their constituencies.
22.214.171.124 A Government with a large majority may be able to introduce any legislation it pleases.
1.2.2 Government Control: Government has a majority of MPs in the House of Commons it can vote out any private members' bill that does not fit its
political agenda. Very little parliamentary time is allocated to private members' bills.
126.96.36.199 Only a small amount of private members' bills are enacted
each year. In 200/10 only five private members' bills made it
into the book of statutes.
1.2.3 Slow: Parliamentary law making is a long process and is very slow. A bill has to go through many readings
and stages in each House. It can take many minths and is not appropriate when important laws need to be
made quickly. It also has to go through Royal Assent which some people think is irrelevant because it is no
longer a formality and just holds up the process.
1.2.4 Dated processes, language and statistics: When drafting a bill,
parliamentary draftsmen use words and phrases that are ambiguous,
unclear, obscure and over - elaborate. Therefore it is sometimes up to the
Judges to decide what the Act is meant to say. Sometimes the language is
also non understandable to the public and sometimes lawyers. Another
problem is that the structure of the Acts is illogical. These issues make the
law inaccessible to ordinary people.
188.8.131.52 Not all Acts become law at the point of Royal Assent, they may be brought into force by a government minister
at a later date. In situations like that it is necessary to research regulations issued by the minister.