Pre-University (CIE) Comparative Government: Specimen Questions with Answers 4 - 4 of 53

Question number: 4

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Discuss house of law as a court of appeal.

Explanation

  • The House of Lords is not only a law- making body but is also a judicial body. The House of Lords as we have seen, is an unwieldy House consisting of about 746 members but all the members of the house do not take part in its judicial business. The appeal which comes to the House of Lords are heard by Law Lords, namely, the Lord Chancellor and twelve Lords of Appeal in ordinary.

  • Generally three lords constitute a bench though in some cases even five lords may sit as a bench. These law lords need not be hereditary peers. The Lord Chancellor is the presiding officer of the House of Lords and a member of the cabinet. The Law Lords are men of high judicial distinction who are made life peers so that they may exercise judicial functions which belong to the House as a whole.

  • These law lords, it may be noted, constitute for the judicial purpose the whole House of Lords and not just a committee of it. They give judgment in the name of the House of Lords and sit and pronounce judgment at any time, regardless of whether Parliament is in session or not.

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