Law and Order
and Order in Great Britain
Why do we need laws? We all
depend on other people. Even those who live alone depend on others to provide them with heat, light and other services.
They generally accept that these services can only be provided if they obey the rules and pay their bills. Those of us who live as part of a group, perhaps a family, find that we
have to follow unwritten rules which tell us how we should behave towards the other members of our group. At the college your timetable
provides one set of rules telling you which lesson you should be in at a given
time. The fire regulations are a different set of rules which could save your life. As well as belonging to a group at home, college or work, we
all belong to a national group and have to obey the national rules known as
How does the Parliament make Laws? Every year
the Parliament passes about 100 Laws directly by making Acts of Parliament. The Parliament sometimes passes a very
general law and leaves a minister to fill in the details. Using the powers
given to them by the Parliament ministers become lawmakers themselves.
No new law can be made by the Parliament
unless it has completed a number of stages in both the House of Commons and the
House of Lords. The Queen also has to sign a Bill to show that it has been
given the Royal Assent (a formality). Only after the Royal Assent it
becomes a new law or Act of Parliament. Before this it is called a Bill. Bills
can begin in the House of Lords or the House of Commons, so they can pass
through Parliament in one of two ways:
There are two main sorts of Bill:
Bill and Public Bill. Private Bills deal with local matters and individuals.
Public Bills deal with matters of public importance. Important Bills are
usually sponsored by the Government. One example of a Government Bill is the
Sea Fish (Conservation)
Bill of 1992—1993 which
affects the amount of time that fishing boats may spend at sea. Although a
rather old example, it illustrated well how a Government Bill became an Act of
Parliament. This particular Bill was introduced into the Commons by the
Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.
This stage is called First Reading. It
gives MPs notice that soon the Bill will be coming for discussion. The text is
then printed and read by Members in time for the important Second Reading, Here the main purpose of the Bill is
explained by the Minister of State responsible for fisheries, and the Bill is
debated by the House.
The House then votes to decide whether the
Bill should continue its passage through Parliament.
The Bill continues to its Committee Stage where eighteen Members from both Government
and Opposition discuss it in detail, considering many possible changes (amendments). This is followed by Report Stage when the committee reports back to the rest
of the House.
At the Third Reading stage
the House decided to pass the Bill as a whole. The Bill cannot be changed at
this stage — it is either accepted
or rejected. Once a Bill has passed its Third Reading in
the Commons, one of the Clerks at the Table carries the Bill to the House of
The House of Lords has the job of reviewing Bills received from the
Commons. A different group of people can often see something in a completely
different way. The House of Lords often makes changes to Commons Bills. Once
both Houses of Parliament have passed a Bill, then it has to go to the Queen
for the Royal Assent. After receiving the Royal Assent the Bill becomes an Act
Even after an Act has received the Royal
Assent, it may not come into force straight away.
to provide — забезпечувати
rule — правило
bill — законопроект
to behave — діяти, поводитися
to save — рятувати
Act of Parliament — закон парламенту a lawmaker — законодавець Royal Assent — королівська санкція conservation — збереження
First Reading — перше читання законопроекту в парламенті
Second Reading — друге читання законопроекту в парламенті Committee Stage — парламентський пленум, який обговорює деталі
amendment — поправка
Stage — доповідь про законопроект у парламенті перед
Third Reading — третє читання законопроекту в парламенті to accept — приймати
to reject — відхиляти
in the blanks.
1. Every country has its own ...
2. People must obey the national ...
known as laws.
3. Every year Parliament passes about 100
Laws directly by making ...
4. A new law in the making is called a ...
5. Every Bill must complete certain ...
in Parliament before it
becomes a new law.
6. Important Bills are usually sponsored by the ...
7. Bills can be introduced into the ...
8. There are two main types of Bills —
... Bills and ...
9. Once both Houses of Parliament have passed a
Bill, then it has to go to the Queen for the
10. Once a Bill has received the Royal Assent
it becomes an ... .
words and expressions in the text which mean.
1. the approval by the British Sovereign of a
Bill which has been passed by both Houses of Parliament;
2. a proposed law- the preliminary version of an
Act of Parliament;
3. changes in a rule, document, law, etc.;
4. law or custom which guides or controls
behaviour or action.
1. What is the difference between a Bill and an
Act of Parliament?
2. What two types of Bills do you know?
3. What stages should a Bill complete to become
4. What is the function of the House of Lords in
making a law?
5. Which of two Houses of Parliament has more
6. When does a Bill become an Act of Parliament?
Complete the following text
with the words and expressions from the box.
Both Houses of Parliament share opinions and
reach their decisions by means of ... . Many hours are spent debating proposed
... . These debates can involve matters of ... and ... importance. Each year
... alone spends over 1,500 hours debating. Debates in the House of Commons are
chaired by the ... . All speeches are addressed to the Chairman, the Speaker.
When a Member finishes speaking, the Speaker decides who should speak next.
Only one Member is allowed to stand and speak at any time. Members normally
speak only once during a debate. There is a time limit on most debates — many
debates have to end at 10.00 p.m. At the end of a debate the House of Commons
decides if the motion should be ... or ... . If the debate were on the ... of a
Bill the Speaker would say "The Question is that now the Bill is read a
second time". He or she then invites the two sides to express their ... by
saying "Yes" or "No". The Speaker listens while the two
sides shout out "Yes" and "No". He or she will decide which
side sounds more numerous and then say "I think the Ayes (or the Noes)
have it". If the other side protests, then there has to be a proper called a Division.
in ... are in many ways similar to those in the Commons. Many debates in the
Lords, like those in the Commons, are concerned with the various stages of ...
. In the first place there is the position of the ... . He is the Speaker of
the House of Lords. From his special seat, known as the ... he presides over
Give Ukrainian equivalents for the following words and expressions.
- to share opinions;
of national and international importance;
- to agree;
express one's opinion;
- a proper vote;
preside over debates. Exercise
Complete the following text by translating
the words and expressions in brackets.
Once both Houses of
Parliament have passed a (законопроект), then it has to go to the (королева) for the (королівська
she had been living 500 years ago, the Queen would have (підписувати) all Bills herself. She would also have gone
in person to the (Палата
announce in Norman French whether she agreed to a Bill or wished (відхиляти) it. No (монархи)
since the sixteenth century
have signed Bills themselves. There are now two ways in which the Queen can
assent to a Bill. Usually she signs what are known as Letters Patent which
allow the two Houses (the Speaker of the House of Commons and (лорд-канцлер) to announce that the Queen has given her (санкція). The other method of giving the Royal Assent occurs about once a year.
The Queen signs a document known as a Commission which commands certain (лорди), known as Royal Commissioners, to go to the House of Lords and let (члени) of both Houses know the Royal Assent has been given. The ceremony for
Royal Assent by Commission is rather like the State Opening ceremony. Once a
Bill has received the Royal Assent it becomes an (закон парламенту). A Bill usually takes several months to
complete all its stages in (парламент).
Work in pairs.
friend is a Member of Parliament. Ask him about law-making process in Great
Britain. Discuss the following questions.
- the functions of the Cabinet,
the House of Commons, the House
- the functions of the Queen.
Use the following
far as I know ...
thing is ...
a matter of fact ...
Answer the following
1. What are the differences between the United
Kingdom law-making process and your own in Ukraine?
2. Are there significant similarities between
the processes in the United Kingdom and in Ukraine?
3. Are there any debates in the Parliament of
your country? How are debates carried out in Ukrainian Parliament?
Read, translate and retell the text.
JEWEL ROBBERY $25,000 stolen
There was a twenty-five thousand dollar jewel
robbery on Elm Street last Tuesday. The thieves threw a rock through the window
of Williston & Company and stole necklaces, rings and watches worth
$25,000. Mr. William Wilston, the owner of the shop, was working in his office
when it happened. The police are looking for three suspects. The thieves drove
away in a stolen Toyota Celica. The police have not found the getaway car yet.
Mr. Williston will give a reward of $1000 to
anyone with information about the thieves. Get in touch with the local police
Tenses and verb forms
In the following newspaper article put the verb in brackets in the
correct tense or verb form. Sometimes you will also have to decide whether the
verb is active or passive.
I asked John to do (do) the shopping
but he hasn't done (not do) it yet..
by Monet, Rembrandt, and Degas
from the Boston Museum.
Yesterday afternoon two
thieves wearing police uniforms arrived at the
museum and asked the guard
(b)_____________ (show) them Monet's
paintings. They said that they
(c)_________ (receive) a telephone call at
the police station that morning telling them that the paintings were in
danger. The guard immediately let them
(d)_________ (see) the paintings.
The thieves told him
(e)_________ (turn off) the alarm system and
suddenly they made him
(f)________ (lie) on the ground and they tied
his arms and legs. They worked very quickly and carefully and when they
the best paintings they
museum quickly and calmly through the front door. The director of the
museum, Karen Haas said:
our best pictures. I
(work) here for 12 years and I can't believe
(happen). How did they manage
(l)____________ (take) them so easily?
them to any
collector in Europe, but this will be difficult because the paintings
so well known. If they
(o)__________ (not be) so well known, it
(q)___________ (sell) them.
We have decided
more guards, and a new alarm system
______ already________ (put) in. I' m sure the police will find the
thieves and our paintings, but they think it
a long time.