Essay on Parliament 's Power Over Government Decisions
Although some claim that Parliament rarely influences policy and seldom defeats government legislation , it would seem unfair to altogether dismiss the increased forcefulness and resistance within the two houses. However, whilst Parliament has become increasingly assertive in terms of its scrutiny of government and legislation, in many ways this is not yet sufficient. I will seek to further explore this theory by considering the means in which Parliament has shown an increase in power and investigating whether these are sufficient in order to fulfil their role in scrutinising government.
One area in which Parliament has seen advancement is that of prerogative powers. Such powers historically existed outside the ambit of Parliament’s domain, being ones that “the King enjoys alone without any parliamentary consultation” . However, recent years have seen changes to the exclusivity of prerogative powers. The government defeat over the use of military action in Syria allowed Parliament to illustrate it’s increased power over government decisions. This was key to highlighting the advancements in Parliament’s assertiveness. It created an entirely new authority for Parliament and in doing so meant that they could influence an important factor of foreign affairs.
Gavin Phillipson argues that events such as this have created a constitutional convention: requiring the consent of the House of Commons prior to the deployment of armed forces . If this were the…