Exercises and Self-test questions
on the
House of Commons


1. How effectively does Parliament scrutinize legislation (other than delegated legislation)?

To determine this, it would be most helpful to look at the Parliamentary history of any recent Act. Read through the debates in the Commons to gain an impression of what happens at each stage. Note in particular:

(a) what amendments were made during passage to the original Bill;
(b) how long was allowed for debates and how long the whole process took; who were the speakers.

Notes for guidance
i) Choose a relatively short Act.
ii) The Bill will have been introduced in the same session as the Act received the Assent
iii) There is an index for each session, which will list all the stages of the bill. Committee stages are contained in separate volumes.
iv) Ignore the separate volumes for the debates in the House of Lords.

Self-test questions

2 By what other methods does the House of Commons control the Executive? How effective are those methods?

3 Constance, who is the manager and owner of Givealot plc, alleges that Grabalot won the franchise to run the lottery through illegal means, including bribes to officials and donations to Simon's political party. She makes these allegations both on television and in a letter to Florence, who is the Shadow (Opposition) spokesperson on National Heritage matters.

Advise Florence as to how she may challenge Simon about these allegations in Parliament and as to how Parliament might investigate the allegations in depth. [Half of an exam question, June 1996]


If you have read these pages thoroughly, have followed the suggested reading and have consulted the suggested web links, then you should feel confident, knowledgeable and empowered. However, if you still feel a bit daunted by the subject, cheer up, things could be worse. You could support my football team.

Return to "The House of Commons within the UK Constitiution"

I can be contacted via email at law6cw@leeds.ac.uk .
© Clive Walker
Last updated, 18 November 2001