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2006-05-16 15:36  自考365社区 【 】【我要纠错

    Chapter 7


    Government and Administration


    The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy, the head of state is a king or a queen. The United Kingdom is governed, in the name of the Sovereign by His or Her Majesty‘s Government. The System of parliamentary government is not based on a written constitution, the British constitution is not set out in any single document. It is made up of statute law, common law and conventions. The Judiciary determines common law and interprets statutes.


    I.The Monarchy


    1.Elizabeth II, her title in the United Kingdom is “Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Her Other Realms and Territories, Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith.


    2.The Queen is the symbol of the whole nation. In law, She is head of the executive, an integral part of the legislature, head of the judiciary, the commander-in-chief of all the armed forces and the “supreme governor” of the Church of England. She gives Royal Assent to Bills passed by parliament.


    3.The monarch actually has no real power. The monarch‘s power are limited by law and Parliament. Constitutional monarchy began after the Glorious Revolution in 1688.




    1.The United Kingdom is a unitary, not a federal, state. Parliament consists of the Sovereign, the House of Lords and the House of Commons.


    2.The main functions of Parliament are: (1) to pass laws; (2) to provide, by voting for taxation, the means of carrying on the work of government; (3) to examine government Policy and administrations, including proposal for expenditure; and (4) to debate the major issues of the day.


    3.The House of Lords is made up of the Lords Spiritual and the Lords Temporal. The main function of the House of Lords is to bring the wide experience of its members into the process of lawmaking. In other words, the non-elected House is to act as a chamber of revision, complementing but not rivaling the elect House.


    4.The House of Common is elected by universal adult suffrage and consists of 651 Members of Parliament (MPs)。 It is in the House of Commons that the ultimate authority.


    5.Britain is divided 651 constituencies. Each of the constituencies returns one member to the House of Commons. A general Election must be held every five years and is often held at more frequent intervals.


    6.Britain has a number of parties, but there are only two major parties. These two parties are the Conservative Party and the Labour Party. Since 1945, either the Conservative Party or the Labour Party has held power. The party which wins sufficient seats at a General Election to command a majority of Government. The leader of the majority party is appointed Prime Minister. The party which wins the second largest number of seats becomes the Official Opposition, with its own leader and “shadow cabinet ”。 The rule of Opposition is to help the formulation of policy. Criticizes the Government and debate with the Government.


    III.The Cabinet and Ministry


    1. The Prime Minister presides over the Cabinet, is responsible for the allocation of functions among ministers and informs the Queen at regular meetings of general business of the Government. Cabinet members hold meetings under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister for a few hours each week to decide Government policy on major issues.

    首相主持内阁,负责分配大臣们的职能,在定期会见女王时向女王报告政府事务。内阁在 首相的主持下,每周开会几小时,以决定在重大问题上政府的政策。

    2. Ministers are responsible collectively to Parliament for all Cabinet decisions; individual Ministers are responsible to Parliament for the work of their department.


    IV.The Privy Council


    1. The Privy Council was formerly the chief source of executive power in the state and give private advice to the King. So the Privy Council was also called the King‘s Council in history. Today its role is largely formal, advising the sovereign to approve certain government decrees.


    2. Its membership is about 400, and includes all Cabinet ministers, the speaker of the House of Common and senior British and Commonwealth statement.


    V.Government Department and the Civil Service


    1. The principal Government department main includes: the Treasury, the House of office, the Foreign and Commonwealth office, the Ministry of Defense…


    2. Members of the Civil Service are called Civil Services. They staff government departments. Civil Servants are recruited mainly by competitive examination. Civil servants do not belong to any political party. Changes of Government do not involve changes in departmental staff, There are about 541800 civil servants in Britain now.


    VI.Local Government


    1. There are two main tiers of local authority throughout England and Wales: counties and the smaller districts. Now, England and Wales are divided into 53 counties which are sub-divided into 369 districts.


    2. Greater London is divided into 32 boroughs.



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