The Differences between House of Lords
Although legislation and Government policies must be presented to the Lords it does not act on behalf of the people and so is only given the powers to suggest amendments to Bills (with the exception of money bills of which they have no powers to scrutinise) or to delay legislation for up to a year. Indeed legislation has a very important part in both Houses of Parliament. 21st September 2005 Distinguish between the different functions of the House of Lords and House of Commons Both the House of Lords and House of Commons carry out many functions in Parliament.
Each function plays a vital role, which all interconnect with each other. These differences help parliament in a chain of events. Only the House of Commons is allowed to make bills, these don’t have to be made by the government. Bills are introduced by an individual MP, known as a Private Members’ Bill, also, the House of Commons takes a free vote on a particular issue. It is not expected that the Commons should defeat or challenge legislation proposed by the Government, especially if the Government has a mandate. However the Government can be warned that proposed laws may be unpopular.
The Commons may also amend legislation according to errors or discrimination against minorities. Amendments to legislation are also common in the House of Lords as this is their primary power against any laws that they might disagree with. Nevertheless this may only be done with the approval of the Commons and so still remains limited. In both houses a private member’s bill is a common way of suggesting a new law that does not relate to the mandate of the Government. In both houses these laws are possible but rare due to large opposition and a perceived view of unimportance.
Although scrutiny is a very important part of the House of Lords, it is more formal in the House of Commons in the form of question time, select and standing committees. The use of these is an essential way of checking how the Government is operating according to the public’s interest. However scrutiny in the Lords is very limited. As there are any legal minds in the House of Lords this makes the task of amending bills easier. In some cases, the House of Lords give suggestions of how to amend the law but the House of Commons doesn’t have to listen to them.