Parliament as Legitimate Body

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Parliament as the main legislative body has got many functions. According to classification of Prof. Norton, these functions can be divided into several categories. In legal theory Parliament refers to the House of Commons, the House of Lords and the Crown. In practice, the Crown plays a largely ceremonial role as head of state, while the legislative process unfolds within the two Houses of Parliament. The House of Commons The House of Commons, the lower House, is the most powerful of the two Houses of Parliament. The House of Commons fulfils several key functions. There are different ways of defining and describing these functions according to different sources and legal theories in the UK. According to Norton there are five main functions of parliament as legislative body. These are: representation, legislature, recruitment, scrutiny and legitimacy. Main functions are therefore identified as: scrutiny and influence. Each function is equally valid, that tend to work out as a set, not separately on their own account. 1. Scrutiny of the Executive: As governments tend to enjoy large parliamentary majorities, Parliamentary approval is rarely withheld. However, the House of Commons plays an important role in scrutinising the policies and actions of the government, in debates, parliamentary questions and within the influential cross-party select committees. In this particular respect, Parliament is representing interests of different groups of public, ensuring therefore that there is no unnecessary discrimination during legislative process. Both primary and secondary sources of legislation are subject to scrutiny, including international and EU legislation as well. Parliament is not expected to make substantial changes to such legislation but it is able to issue some warning or advise government about such legislation to be implemented. Vote is not
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