British Judiciary • Hierarchy of Courts (like the U.S.) • 2009: Supreme Court Created (12 justices) • Prior to 2009: Law Lords were highest authority • 12 members from House of Lords • Prime Minister appoints justices
British Judiciary • No tradition of Judicial Review • Don’t declare Acts of Parliament unconstitutional • Parliamentary Sovereignty • Can only determine if government’s actions are in keeping with common law and previous acts of Parliament. • POSSIBLE CHANGE? • Britain bound by EU laws and treaties. • EU law conflicts with British law?
Supreme Court Overturns Non-EU Spouses Ban • Describe the UK law. • With what international law did it conflict? • What practice did the UK law hope to deter? • Describe Lord Wilson’s justification. • How is this a SOVEREIGNTY ISSUE? • UK: no “Bill of Rights.” • EU: has “Bill of Rights.”
Bureaucracy (Whitehall) • Led by the Cabinet ministers (MPs) • 100,000s of civil servants who administer the laws. • Top level bureaucrats • Experts in their field • Ministers rely on expertise • Bureaucrats have discretionary power • Bureaucrats: bipartisan • Retain jobs through changes in government. • Merit-based hirings. • http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/ Partial List of Cabinet • HM Treasury • Home Office • Defense Ministry • Ministry of Justice • Ministry of Health • Ministry of Education • Ministry of Business • Ministry of Work and Pensions
Linkage Institutions • Groups that connect the citizens to the government. • Political Parties • Interest Groups • Mass Media
Political Parties and Interest Groups Similarities • Represent political POV of members. • Influence Policymaking Differences • Parties: run candidates for office. • Interest Groups: only support/endorse • Parties: broad spectrum of policies. • Interest Groups: support a few related policies.
Special Interest GroupsPluralist v. Corporatist Systems Pluralist • Many rival groups compete for policy influence in a sector. • autonomous of govt. • U.S. system Corporatist • Few groups for each sector. • Officially approved by govt. • Groups involved in policymaking.
Quango • Quasi-Autonomous Non-Governmental Org. • Government funded • Approx 1,000. • Help Govt. craft policy Examples • Forestry Commission • Environment Agency • Nat’l Institute for Clinical Excellence • Which drugs to fund. Because of quangos Britain has a pluralist system with neo-corporatist tendencies.
Britain and Special Interests • Historically, business and trade unions are the most powerful. • Trade Unions Congress (TUC) • Especially powerful during Collectivist Consensus.