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The advantages and disadvantages of different influences on Parliament


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Title: The advantages and disadvantages of different influences on Parliament

The advantages and disadvantages of different
influences on Parliament
Date Wednesday, 23 March 2016
  • Learning Objectives
  • Describe the role the Law Commission, politics,
    the media and pressure group have on influencing
    Parliamentary law making
  • Analyse the advantages and disadvantages of
    these influences on Parliament
  • Specification Link
  • Outline of influences on Parliament role of the
    Law Commission political, media and pressure
    group influences

Starter For each influence, tell your partner
WHAT it is, WHY it has an influence on
Parliamentary law making and How it exercises
this influence
Pressure Groups
Political Parties
The Law Commission
The Media
The Challenge
  • Using your knowledge from last lesson and some
    new information today, you are going to attempt
    your first exam question.
  • You are then going to peer assess using the mark
  • We will choose the highest scoring answer in each
    category to use as a model answer

Eye on the exam
  • Describe any one influence operating on
    Parliament in the law-making process. (10 marks)

(No Transcript)
Law Commission
Means bringing together of all the law on a
particular topic into one Act of Parliament.
Means bringing together of all the statutory
provisions relating to a particular area into one
Act of Parliament.
The idea is to make the law more understandable
and accessible.
Removal of laws that have no further use.
Once passed can generally only be repealed or
altered by another act.
Who can refer?
Autonomous (suggest changes and create new areas)
Others (Academics) Criminal Attempts Act 1981
How does it work?
Working paper
Large amount of research carried out
Possesses a large amount of expertise
Government not obliged to carry out
About a third of recommendations not implemented.
Government does not have to consult when it
implements law
May decide to carry out an investigation itself
Independent (all areas kept under review not just
those the government is interested in)
Investigations too lengthy and takes too long to
come to fruition
Lack of thoroughness as investigates up to 30
issues at a time
Well informed and helps to make good law
Sectional Pressure Groups
Pressure Groups
Keywords Sectional, Promotional (Cause)
Cause Pressure Groups
  • Exist to further interests of a section of
  • Professional bodies are good examples of these
  • Degree of influence relies on governmental
    support for cause
  • Larger groups better supported as represent large
    section of society
  • Large groups are wealthy and can carry electoral
    support at election time
  • May have direct access to ministers and MPs
  • Because of wealth and influence of these groups
    it is rare for government to introduce a law that
    affects these groups without consulting them
  • Promote a particular ideal or belief
  • Greenpeace environment RSPCA animals F4J
    child access
  • Influence much less
  • Less likely to be consulted and less likely to
    have governmental links
  • Well publicised groups can have a big impact
  • RSPCA used many successful methods to be a part
    of the Animal Welfare Act 2006
  • Sometimes one person may campaign
  • Mary Whitehouse had some success Protection of
    Children Act 1978
  • Media is very important to these Cause Pressure
  • For instance Jamie Oliver had some input to the
    The Education (Nutritional Standards for School
    Food) (England) Regulations 2007

  • Raise public awareness
  • Raise awareness and remind parliament about the
    importance of an issue
  • Some have huge membership (bigger than the the
  • Possess considerable expertise
  • Biased in favour of their cause
  • Views held passionately (leads to dodgy tactics)
  • Outsider groups have no contact with Parliament
    therefore have limited say in new laws
  • Opinions held may only be that of a small section
    of society

Media and public opinion
  • Newspaper often campaign to reform the law.
  • Can you think of any recent examples of campaigns
    and the newspapers that started them?
  • There is often pressure to change the law from a
    number of influences working together (e.g.
    pressure groups and the media)
  • Example The Double Jeopardy Rule resulted in
    the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (retrial after
    compelling new evidence)
  • Stephen Lawrence Case acquittal media
    pressure Law Commission
  • Carry out the Snowdrop Case Study

  • Radio and TV required to remain politically
    neutral not the case with newspapers Newspapers
    can become politicised
  • Newspapers out to make money have an agenda to
    sell newspapers Daily Mail and Princess Diana
  • Easily whip up a moral panic in the public News
    of the World Name and Shame Campaign
  • Raise government awareness and inform them of
    concerns held by public Snowdrop is a good
    example of this
  • Media also raises public awareness which helps
    the government convince the public to accept its
    electoral mandate

Political Parties
  • When there is a general election all parties
    publish a list of reforms they want to implement
  • Largest party becomes government
  • Has up to 5 years to enact its manifesto
  • Most reforms will be put before Parliament to
    become an act
  • Government has say on what becomes law and what
    does not

  • Each party has its proposals for reform ready so
    that if they elected they know what they wish to
  • Government has a majority in the House means that
    most laws it proposes will be passed law making
    more efficient
  • If new party elected at next election they can
    repeal the laws their predecessors passed
  • Changes can therefore be costly and open to

Eye on the exam
  • Describe any one influence operating on
    Parliament in the law-making process. (10 marks)

(No Transcript)
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