Homework Chapter 9
12h April 2013
1. What are the differences between unitary and federal states?
The difference between a unitary and a federal state is not that one is more decentralized than the other, but that the former is decentralized through legislation whereas the latter is decentralized by constitution. In a federation, certain matters are thus constitutionally devolved to local units, and the central government cannot unilaterally revoke this decentralization, as it can in a unitary state. In a unitary system, the central government has all the power. In a federal system, some powers are given to the central government and other powers are given to the ...view middle of the document...
Congress is the Legislative Branch passes legislation and the Executive Branch (consisting of the President and the Departments) will oversee its implementation. In the UK, the Departments are under direct control of the MPs (Members of Parliament). The difference is that the Head of State is the figurehead of the country while the Head of Government is in charge of most of the day-to-day running. In the UK, the Monarchy and the Prime Minister represent these respectively. These days the Monarchy has little power in governing the country, but the Prime Minister is a figurehead himself and has more power over the UK government than the President has over the US government. The US describes itself as a federation of states, each with their own government and a Federal government to rule them all. This is the only real practical way to run such as large and spread-out country. The UK is small, densely populated and very centralized. The US has an elected Senate while the UK has the House of Lords. Originally this was made up entirely of Peers (Lords with titles) and Bishops, but these days most are appointed. Because of this, their power is limited and they cannot block legislation like the Senate, they can only delay it. There are now proposals from all three main parties for a fully elected Senate, but this will take many years to implement. The House of Lords used to be in charge of the Judicial Branch, but now the UK has its very own Supreme Court. The US President is elected, whereas the person who becomes the UK Prime Minister is the leader of the winning party (like the Speaker of the House). The US has a constitution that was written when the country was founded, whereas the UK has an unwritten constitution, making it slightly more flexible (hence the new Supreme Court).
4. What is parlimentary sovereignty and how does it effect countries decisions in judicial review?
Parliament is the only body which can make laws in the UK, and is therefore sovereign. No other authority can overrule or change the laws which parliament has...