THE STATE SYSTEM OF THE UNITED KINGDOM
The State System of any nation is not an artificial creation of some genius or simply the embodiment of different rational schemes. It is nothing else but a work of many centuries, a product of a national spirit, a political mentality and the consciousness of people.
The United Kingdom is a parliamentary democracy with a constitutional monarch. State organs of the U. K. include the monarchy, the legislative, executive and judicial organs of Government.
The monarchy is the most ancient institution in the United Kingdom, with a continuous history stretching back over a thousand years. The monarchy is hereditary. The throne passes from a king or a queen to his or her eldest son or daughter. The crown symbolizes the British monarch’s supreme power. For hundreds years the monarch held most authority. But as parliament’s power grew, the monarch’s power declined. Today, almost all the powers of the Crown are used by various government officials in the monarch’s name. The British call their government “Her Majesty’s Government” and government officials work “On her Majesty’s Service”.
The monarch formally summons, dismisses and dissolves Parliament, completes the process of passing an act by giving the royal assent. The Lord Chancellor and the Speaker normally announce to Parliament that the monarch has given the royal assent to a bill. By tradition the monarch never acts without the advice of her or his ministers.
Parliament is the supreme legislative organ of the United Kingdom. It comprises the hereditary monarch in the constitutional role, the House of Commons and the House of Lords.
The Commons is an elected and representative body. Members are paid a salary and an allowance. The House of Commons has 651 elected Members of Parliament, known as MPs, each of whom represents a constituency of the United Kingdom. They are elected either
at a general election, or at by-election following the death or retirement of an MP. The Speaker of the House of Commons is elected by the members of the House immediately after each new Parliament is formed.
The centre of parliamentary power is the House of Commons. The leader of the party that obtains a majority of seats in the House of Commons is the Prime Minister. The other party is the Opposition. It has a duty to challenge govern-ment policies and to present an alternative programme. The Prime Minister is appointed directly by the Crown. He consults and advises the Monarch on government business, supervises and coordinates the work of the various ministers and departments in the House of Commons. He also makes recommendations to the King or the Queen on many important public appointments. In fact, the Prime Minister is the virtual ruler of the country.
The House of Lords is still a hereditary body. It has no fixed number of members. But four groups of people are entitled to sit in the House of Lords: two archbishops (of York and Canterbury), and twenty-four most senior bishops of the established Church of England, the law lords, hereditary peers, and life peers. The monarch formally appoints all bishops and also creates peers on the advice of the Prime Minister. The House of Lords is presided over by the Lord Chancellor who is the chairman of the House. He is also a member of the government and head of the judicature (judicial system), presides over the House of Lords both when it sits as a legislative (lawmaking) body and when it sits as a law court.