By Chris Taylor
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Extra info for Constitutional & Administrative Law (Law Express)
QXP 1/10/07 14:37 Page 48 4 INSTITUTIONS OF STATE 1 Ministers Each department has a minister who takes responsibility for the way in which the department functions and the extent to which it achieves its objectives. Ministerial responsibility Ministers are bound by two constitutional conventions which fall under the heading ‘ministerial responsibility’. Problem area Examples of ministerial responsibility Because ministerial responsibility is a constitutional convention, it is a ‘non-legal’ rule and so not enforced by the courts.
Dissolution of Parliament The monarch retains the power to summon and to dissolve Parliament. Royal assent The monarch has the power to give royal assent to an Act of Parliament and must do so before it can come into force. Who exercises the power? It is also possible to make a distinction between powers which are exercised by the monarch personally and those which are exercised by the government in the name of the Crown. In this way, the Queen retains the power to appoint the Prime Minister and to prorogue and dissolve Parliament, whereas the government exercises prerogative powers such as the making of international treaties and the granting of passports.
Answer guidelines See the essay question at the start of the chapter. Points to remember when answering this question Use a clear introduction to make, briefly, the distinction between a written and an unwritten constitution. Emphasise the absence of a central document in the UK constitution and the overlapping nature of the various sources of constitutional law. Address the various sources in turn, making the distinction between ‘ordinary’ and ‘special’ sources. Begin with statute and common law, which apply to this area in the same way as other areas of law.
Constitutional & Administrative Law (Law Express) by Chris Taylor