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in the constitutional law of the UK, originally a body summoned to assist the monarch in discussing important matters and dispensing justice and hearing grievances. In modern times it is divided into two houses: the House of Commons, which is democratically elected, and the House of Lords, which is inhabited by hereditary and appointed peers. It sits in Westminster (formerly a royal palace) and is now under the control of the Speaker of the House of Commons. Still known as the High Court of Parliament, its functions are not simply legislative, although that is its most important role today. It is summoned by exercise of the royal prerogative, and this meeting is known as a Parliament that lasts until that Parliament is dissolved. While convened, it divides into sessions, now two a year, each session being terminated by prorogation (again an exercise of the prerogative). The Meeting of Parliament Act 1694 provides (following the Triennial Act 1664) that Parliaments must be called at least once every three years. The convention that requires the important Finance, Army, Air Force and Navy Acts to be re-enacted annually means that Parliament sits at least once a year, although having become the modern government of a modern nation it is in almost constant session.

Its pomp and ceremony are legendary. The Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod leads the members of the House of Commons to the House of Lords on the opening of Parliament. The Queen usually attends the opening of a Parliament, and, indeed, each session, to give the Queen's speech (drafted in fact by the cabinet), setting out the legislative programme. A Bill for the Suppression of Clandestine Outlawries is read at the start of every session except the first to show the world that the Commons can initiate bills not in the Queen's speech. In the Lords, the debate on the Queen's speech takes place after a formal reading of the Select Vestries Bill and in the form of a debate on a loyal address.

The Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949 represent the present state of the long-running struggle between Lords and Commons, and reflects the fact that universal suffrage, which began in 1832 with the great Reform Act, has strengthened the hand of the Commons over the Lords. The thrust of the Acts read together is that the Lords can at best delay a Bill by sending it back to the Commons, who then have only to bide their time to turn it into law. The 1949 Act was actually passed under the provisions of the 1911 Act, and it was this 1949 provision that effectively made the power a delaying one instead of one that might have allowed a longer period and one in which the electorate has a say in an important matter over which the two houses had disagreed. Its constitutionality has been challenged in the courts but unsuccessfully. See also NATIONAL ASSEMBLY FOR WALES, SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT.

PARLIAMENT. This word, derived from the French parlement, in the English law, is used to designate the legislative branch of the government of Great Britain, composed of the house of lords, and the house of commons.
     2. It is an error to regard the king of Great Britain as forming a part of parliament. The connexion between the king and the lords spiritual, the lords temporal, and the commons, which, when assembled in parliament, form the, three states of the realm, is the same as that which subsists between the king and those states -- the people at large -- out of parliament; Colton's Records, 710; the king not being, in either case, a member, branch, or co-estate, but standing solely in the relation of sovereign or head. Rot. Par. vol. iii,. 623 a.; 2 Mann. & Gr. 457 n.

References in periodicals archive ?
Buckley's defense of parliamentary government also has problematic elements.
Responsible parliamentary government was predicated on the executive branch's accountability to parliament and this historically had led to inter-party negotiation in New Zealand when no party had a majority of seats.
It is also necessary to institutionalise partisan action and improve Parliament s performance and working mechanisms, particularly the way in which parliamentary blocs in the House of Representatives function, with the aim of enrooting the parliamentary government approach," the Monarch said.
Amman: King Abdullah II on Sunday told newly elected MPs that he seeks to reach "consensus" with them before naming a prime minister, and hailed the "historic transformation" towards parliamentary government in Jordan.
There are also demands to eliminate corruption, for a "constitutional monarchy" and a parliamentary government, and for preventing the use of influence to circumvent the constitution and the law.
Ensour is forecast to serve for a short period of time, coinciding with the parliamentary elections, after which a parliamentary government would be set up, according to the King address in this regard.
As a form of manifesto, he also argued that Germany would be better off without parliamentary government, which he blamed for the country's problems.
All these steps will bring us closer to the ultimate goal of parliamentary government," he said.
The call for a return to the 1952 constitution has ushered in 28 amendments so far; and according to the press sources, the amendments include a return to the 1952 constitution without any mention of a parliamentary government as many people are demanding, which may cause the popular action to resume even after approving the constitutional amendments.
The leaders, according to the ASEAN sources, reiterated their support ''to the steady progress and political developments in Myanmar following the successful holding of general elections and the formation of a new parliamentary government in accordance with the seven-step roadmap to democracy.
The powerful Islamic Action Front has been calling for a constitutional monarchy and a reformed electoral law, leading to a parliamentary government and elected prime minister.
The Administrative Committee also announced setting up of trade union commissions comprising experts and specialists tasked with preparing proposals on political, economic and social reforms for the establishment of democracy and organisation of transparent elections, ensuring freedom of choice and paving the way for the establishment of a parliamentary government and credible press.

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