Government and Parliament

  • Ivor Burton
  • Gavin Drewry


The principal method for making laws in Britain is to lay a bill before parliament and have it pass through both houses so that upon receiving the royal assent it becomes an act of parliament binding upon all citizens. Such acts are called public general acts to distinguish them from private acts which affect only particular individuals or public bodies. The same public acts constitute the authoritative basis for an ever-expanding mass of delegated legislation in the form of statutory instruments which are subject according to type to more or less exiguous processes of parliamentary scrutiny.


Legislative Process Minority Government Policy Bill Government Bill Administration Bill 
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  1. 1.
    S. A. Walkland, The Legislative Process in Great Britain (London: Allen & Unwin, 1968 ) p. 20.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    J. A. G. Griffith, Parliamentary Scrutiny of Government Bills (London: Allen & Unwin, 1974) passim.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    Gavin Drewry, ‘Legislation’, in S. A. Walkland and Michael Ryle (eds), The Commons in the Seventies ( London: Fontana, 1977 ) pp. 74–7.Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    The standard work is Erskine May, Parliamentary Practice 19th edition, edited by Sir David Lidderdale (London: Butterworths, 1976), referred to hereafter as Erskine May.Google Scholar
  5. Useful material can also be found in Eric Taylor, The House of Commons at Work 8th edition (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1971);Google Scholar
  6. Sir Ivor Jennings, Parliament 2nd edition (London: Cambridge University Press, 1957); and Griffith, op. cit., passim.Google Scholar
  7. 6.
    S. A. Walkland, ‘The Politics of Parliamentary Reform’, Parliamentary Affairs, xxix (1976) 190–200.Google Scholar
  8. 7.
    Ivor Burton and Gavin Drewry, ‘Public Legislation: a Survey of the Session 1968/69’, Parliamentary Affairs xxiii (1970) 154–83.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Y. Dror, Public Policy Making Re-examined ( San Francisco: Chandler, 1968 ) P. 14.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Andrew Dunsire, Administration: the Word and the Science ( London: Martin Robertson, 1973 ) pp. 16–17.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Ivor Burton and Gavin Drewry 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ivor Burton
    • 1
  • Gavin Drewry
    • 1
  1. 1.Bedford CollegeUniversity of LondonUK

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