The structure and role of the House of Commons and House of Lords. The selection of members of the House of Commons and House of Lords, including the different types of Peers. The main functions of the House of Commons and House of Lords and the extent to which these functions are fulfilled. The comparative powers of the House of Commons and House of Lords. The exclusive powers of the House of Commons. The main powers of the House of Lords. Debates about the relative power of the two houses.
The legislative process. The different stages a bill must go through to become law. The interaction between the Commons and the Lords during the legislative process, including the Salisbury
Convention. The ways in which Parliament interacts with the Executive. The role and significance of backbenchers in both Houses, including the importance of parliamentary privilege. The work of select committees. The role and significance of the opposition. The purpose and nature of ministerial question time.
The Supreme Court and its interactions with, and influence over, the legislative and policy-making processes The degree to which the Supreme Court influences both the Executive and Parliament, including the doctrine of ultra vires and judicial review. The relationship between the Executive and Parliament. The extent to which the balance of power between Parliament and the Executive has changed. The aims, role and impact of the European Union (EU) on UK government. The aims of the EU, including the ‘four freedoms’ of the single market, social policy, and political and economic union and the extent to which these have been achieved. The impact of the EU. The location of sovereignty in the UK political system. The distinction between legal sovereignty and political sovereignty. The extent to which sovereignty has moved between different branches of government.