Submitted By robdebank
How (most) laws are made
Most new laws passed by Parliament result from proposals made by the government.
Proposals aim to shape society or address particular problems.
Normally, they are created over a period of time.
An issue or problem emerges on the government's agenda
Initially, a government's agenda is informed by the general election. Political parties compete for support from British voters by campaigning on their vision for the country and how they would change things. The political party that wins then forms the government, and bases its legislative agenda on its election manifesto. However, where no single political party decisively wins the election - as happened in 2010 - two or more parties may form a coalition government. They may have to negotiate a joint vision and agree on which new laws to champion in the upcoming parliament.
Once in government, other events and influences also compete for ministers' attention. Unexpected crises, such as an act of terrorism or a natural disaster, may require an urgent response. The UK's European Union commitments can lead to new legislation. Campaigning by special interest groups, private citizens or other politicians - often through the media - may raise the profile of particular causes or problems. More widely, the media's reporting on issues, government and Parliament all inform and influence Britain's political agenda.
Ideas for addressing an issue are considered
Identifying an issue is one thing. Deciding what to do about it is another. Proposals for addressing particular goals or problems may come from a variety of sources. The political party is one. Governing and opposition parties are expected to have policies on a range of issues, such as taxation, health and education. Recommendations for new laws may also come from public inquiries, civil servants or lobbyist and campaign groups. No...