GDL Law Notes > Cambridge/Bpp/College Of Law GDL Law Notes > GDL Constitutional and Administrative Law Notes

Responsible Government And Political Responsibility Notes

This is a sample of our (approximately) 9 page long Responsible Government And Political Responsibility notes, which we sell as part of the GDL Constitutional and Administrative Law Notes collection, a Distinction package written at Cambridge/Bpp/College Of Law in 2017 that contains (approximately) 331 pages of notes across 29 different documents.

Learn more about our GDL Constitutional and Administrative Law Notes

The original file is a 'Word (Docx)' whilst this sample is a 'PDF' representation of said file. This means that the formatting here may have errors. The original document you'll receive on purchase should have more polished formatting.

Responsible Government And Political Responsibility Revision

The following is a plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our GDL Constitutional and Administrative Law Notes. This text version has had its formatting removed so pay attention to its contents alone rather than its presentation. The version you download will have its original formatting intact and so will be much prettier to look at.

Con & Ad: Responsible Government - Political Responsibility

- Introduction:
[H Barnett]: principles of constitutionalism. legal limits to exercise of power: accountable to law for ultra vires acts. respect for individual + individual's rights. avoid abuse of power: sufficiently dispersed. government + legislature accountable to electorate.
[J Alder]: accountability of govt: 'necessary and basic characteristic of any democracy'.

Background: Structure of Executive Central Executive: Prime Minister + Cabinet

- Prime Minister: political head of government - resp. for overall organisation of Executive. appointed by Queen: by convention, leader of majority party in Commons. if no majority: incumbent PM has first call on forming govt. (e.g. 1974: Heath resigned after talks to form coalition with Liberals failed, 2010: Brown "caretaker" PM while negotiations ongoing - much more public negotiations.). powers: few strictly legal, but many customary/prerogative. ministerial appointments + dismissals: exercised by Queen on PM's advice. control of Cabinet: size + composition, subject + composition of committees, chooses when meets + agenda  PM takes leading role deciding govt. priorities. limits to power: collective ministerial responsibility: PM + Cabinet + govt. share responsibility to Commons for conduct of national affairs  ' no confidence vote': must resign (e.g. May 1979: Callaghan Labour govt. forced to resign).

- Cabinet: est. by convention: no specific powers in legislation. Cabinet Office Draft Cabinet Manual: recent attempt to set out conventions. composition: at PM's discretion, but always inc. Chancellor of Exchequer, Lord Chancellor + secretaries of state - but: financial limits - max. no. of first-tier salaries can be paid. powers + duties of ministers:

1. granted by Parliament: (1) powers/duties for exercising continuing functions (esp. financial liabilities for >1yr); (2) emergency powers. many granted to 'the Secretary of State': in practice, PM allocates (each usually incorporated as 'corporation sole': separate legal personality).

2. common law: Ram doctrine - may exercise any power of the Crown, subject to statute + funding; powers of individual: e.g. contracts, conveyancing, extra-statutory payments.

3. prerogative executive powers: exercised on Sovereign's behalf by ministers, e.g. foreign affairs, Armed Forces control, mercy. constrained: no new prerogatives + statute: overrules prerogatives. court scrutiny: judicial review - 3 grounds for challenge of exercise of ministerial power:

1. no power to act in such a way (inc. on human rights grounds).

2. unreasonableness.

3. procedurally unfair. exercise of ministerial power: accountable to Parliament for decisions. Carltona principle: junior ministers + civil servants in dept. may exercise power of minister in charge  CoA: constitutionally, treated as decisions of the minister. Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1994, pt. 2: minister can authorise any person to exercise some ministerial functions (only those that could be exercised by civil servant in dept.) ministerial conduct: Ministerial Code - no longer gov. just by convention. 'Nolan Principles' - 7 Principles of Public Life: self lessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty, leadership. restricted for 2 years after office: Advisory Committee on Business Appointments: decisions on appointments/employment; cannot lobby. collective responsibility: all ministers bound by collective decisions of Cabinet (unless specif ically waived)  decision of Cabinet or committee binding on all members of govt. contentious issues require Cabinet committee consideration: e.g. matters affecting >1 dept., or likely to attract public criticism.

****************************End Of Sample*****************************

Buy the full version of these notes or essay plans and more in our GDL Constitutional and Administrative Law Notes.