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Who polices the rules?
Philip Norton

The courts interpret and apply acts of Parliament, that is, outputs of Parliament. What happens up to the point of enactment is primarily deemed a matter for Parliament. The courts recognise that Parliament, and each House, enjoys exclusive cognisance, that is, the capacity to resolve its own affairs, free from judicial interference. This capacity pre-dates the Bill of Rights 1689 and is not conferred by statute, but derives from the fact that Parliament, as the high court of Parliament, was considered to have its own distinctive law . Though lawyers have

in Governing Britain
Ian W. Archer

Elizabethan chroniclers and parliament Chapter 6 Elizabethan chroniclers and parliament Ian W. Archer C hronicles, annalistic in form and eclectic in content, remained the dominant form of historical writing for much of Elizabeth’s reign, only displaced by the new humanist histories from the 1590s onwards. Through the prolific labours of John Stow chronicles were made available in varying formats and at different prices which broadened their audience. Chroniclers recycled material from each other, albeit with significant differences in selection and emphasis

in Writing the history of parliament in Tudor and early Stuart England
Anthony Musson

T HE emergence of parliament as an important forum for legal and political matters was a significant feature of the period 1215–1381. Parliament provided a focal point where views were expressed on issues of constitutional import connected to the Crown’s jurisdiction and the nature of royal governance, on problems of law and order and on many other issues within a

in Medieval law in context
Strangers, foes or friends?
Philip Norton

Whereas Chapter 2 addressed a hierarchy of principles (parliamentary sovereignty and the rule of law), here we address institutional relationships. The creation of the UK supreme court in 2009, replacing the appellate committee of the House of Lords as the nation’s highest court, raised the issue of the relationship between this new distinct body and the other elements of the constitutional system – the executive and Parliament. How has the relationship of the court to each other element changed in recent years? Three models have been developed that provide a

in Governing Britain
Alexandra Kelso

2 Historical institutionalism and parliament Introduction To understand why parliamentary reform does or does not take place requires a prior understanding of the context in which it does or does not occur. The characteristics of the institution of parliament are a product of its historical development, and that development has fostered the emergence of particular norms and values that continue to shape its functioning and capabilities. Crucially, parliament cannot be understood in isolation from government and, consequently, parliamentary reform cannot be

in Parliamentary reform at Westminster
An alternative model?
David Arter

9 The Nordic parliaments: an alternative model? It is characteristic of this classical agricultural country and of the great importance of the farming community in Danish political affairs that the rear seats in the assembly should be known earthily as the ‘dung channel’ or grebningen – that is, the gutter behind cattle in a cow-shed! (Andersen 1974: 5) Any television producer charged with making a series of half-hour programmes on the Nordic parliaments without inducing a soporific switch-off among the viewing public should have no shortage of material with

in Scandinavian politics today
The evolution of colonial institution

Traditional histories of parliament, whether Irish or otherwise, have generally treated them as political events. This book considers the seventeenth-century Irish Parliament as an ongoing element within the state. It considers the role of parliament within the context of an overall state apparatus of governance and charts its development over time. While parliament developed in conjunction with the Irish state, local politicians, and local institutions, it was also a colonial institution, taking direction from Westminster on how to operate. Whether by design or by chance, it resembles the Westminster model of parliamentary procedure, but it also had specifically Irish traits in how it dispatched its business. This book describes a developing institution chiefly through the work that it undertook. Most will be well aware of parliament’s work on legislation and the creation of law and also representation of communities and locations, but it spent large amounts of time hearing petitions and undertaking judicial work. It undertook these ever-increasing responsibilities with a growing group of parliamentary officers, who had a wide variety of powers and responsibilities. Naturally this led to a sophisticated set of procedures and privileges in undertaking this work in order to increase its efficiency and productivity. This book discusses topics and describes processes that are still very much a cornerstone for today’s parliamentary democracy in Ireland and will resonate in Irish institutional culture and elsewhere in the common law world.

Alexandra Kelso

1 Parliament and parliamentary reform For some time, there has been a sense that something is wrong with politics. Declining electoral turnout across many liberal democracies in recent decades has prompted concerns that the public has become disaffected about, and disengaged from, political processes and political institutions. As Stoker (2006: 7) notes,‘there appears to be a considerable amount of discontent and disenchantment about the operation of democracy both in those countries that have practiced democracy for decades and those that are more recent

in Parliamentary reform at Westminster
Medieval history in parliamentarian polemic, 1641–42
Jason Peacey

Jason Peacey Chapter 9 ‘That memorable parliament’: medieval history in parliamentarian polemic, 1641–42 Jason Peacey I n 1647, Edward Chamberlayne professed that ‘The most probable way to know what will be, is to observe what hath beene’, adding that ‘The historian, by running backe to ages past, and then forward to present Affaires, comparing one with the other, can give a verdict of the State, well neer Prophetick’.1 Such sentiments were unremarkable in an age drawn to politic history, and scholars have done much to analyse the work of poets and writers

in Writing the history of parliament in Tudor and early Stuart England
Fixed or not so fixed?
Philip Norton

When Parliament came into being in the thirteenth century, it was a body that met infrequently and sometimes there were long periods when it was not summoned. Although in the fifteenth century, Henry IV and Henry V generally held annual parliaments, meetings thereafter became rarer. ‘Henry VII held only seven parliaments in a reign of twenty-four years and could claim it as a virtue that he held so few.’ 1 Charles I (1625–49) ruled without a Parliament for eleven years before his need for money became too great. When a Parliament was summoned, formally it

in Governing Britain