Parliament of the United Kingdom
The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland known internationally as the UK Parliament, British Parliament, or Westminster Parliament, domestically as Parliament, is the supreme legislative body of the United Kingdom, the Crown dependencies and the British Overseas Territories. It alone possesses legislative supremacy and thereby ultimate power over all other political bodies in the UK and the overseas territories. Parliament is bicameral but has three parts, consisting of the Sovereign, the House of Lords, the House of Commons; the two houses meet in the Palace of Westminster in the City of Westminster, one of the inner boroughs of the capital city, London. The House of Lords includes two different types of members: the Lords Spiritual, consisting of the most senior bishops of the Church of England, the Lords Temporal, consisting of life peers, appointed by the Sovereign on the advice of the Prime Minister, of 92 hereditary peers, sitting either by virtue of holding a royal office, or by being elected by their fellow hereditary peers.
Prior to the opening of the Supreme Court in October 2009, the House of Lords performed a judicial role through the Law Lords. The House of Commons is an elected chamber with elections to 650 single member constituencies held at least every five years under the first-past-the-post system; the two Houses meet in separate chambers in the Palace of Westminster in London. By constitutional convention, all government ministers, including the Prime Minister, are members of the House of Commons or, less the House of Lords and are thereby accountable to the respective branches of the legislature. Most cabinet ministers are from the Commons, whilst junior ministers can be from either House. However, the Leader of the House of Lords must be a peer; the Parliament of Great Britain was formed in 1707 following the ratification of the Treaty of Union by Acts of Union passed by the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland, both Acts of Union stating, "That the United Kingdom of Great Britain be represented by one and the same Parliament to be styled The Parliament of Great Britain".
At the start of the 19th century, Parliament was further enlarged by Acts of Union ratified by the Parliament of Great Britain and the Parliament of Ireland that abolished the latter and added 100 Irish MPs and 32 Lords to the former to create the Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The Royal and Parliamentary Titles Act 1927 formally amended the name to the "Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland", five years after the secession of the Irish Free State in 1922. With the global expansion of the British Empire, the UK Parliament has shaped the political systems of many countries as ex-colonies and so it has been called the "Mother of Parliaments". However, John Bright – who coined the epithet – used it in reference to the political culture of "England" rather than just the parliamentary system. In theory, the UK's supreme legislative power is vested in the Crown-in-Parliament. However, the Crown acts on the advice of the Prime Minister and the powers of the House of Lords are limited to only delaying legislation.
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was created on 1 January 1801, by the merger of the Kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland under the Acts of Union 1800. The principle of ministerial responsibility to the lower House did not develop until the 19th century—the House of Lords was superior to the House of Commons both in theory and in practice. Members of the House of Commons were elected in an antiquated electoral system, under which constituencies of vastly different sizes existed. Thus, the borough of Old Sarum, with seven voters, could elect two members, as could the borough of Dunwich, which had completely disappeared into the sea due to land erosion. Many small constituencies, known as pocket or rotten boroughs, were controlled by members of the House of Lords, who could ensure the election of their relatives or supporters. During the reforms of the 19th century, beginning with the Reform Act 1832, the electoral system for the House of Commons was progressively regularised.
No longer dependent on the Lords for their seats, MPs grew more assertive. The supremacy of the British House of Commons was reaffirmed in the early 20th century. In 1909, the Commons passed the so-called "People's Budget", which made numerous changes to the taxation system which were detrimental to wealthy landowners; the House of Lords, which consisted of powerful landowners, rejected the Budget. On the basis of the Budget's popularity and the Lords' consequent unpopularity, the Liberal Party narrowly won two general elections in 1910. Using the result as a mandate, the Liberal Prime Minister, Herbert Henry Asquith, introduced the Parliament Bill, which sought to restrict the powers of the House of Lords; when the Lords refused to pass the bill, Asquith countered with a promise extracted from the King in secret before the second general election of 1910 and requested the creation of several hundred Liberal peers, so as to erase the Conservative majority in the House of Lords. In the face of such a threat, the House of Lords narrowly passed the bill.
The Parliament Act 1911, as it became, prevented the Lords from blocking a money bill, allowed them to delay any other bill for a maximum of three sessions, after which it could become law over their objections. However, regardless of the Parliament Acts of 1911 and 1949, t
Governor General of Canada
The Governor General of Canada is the federal viceregal representative of the Canadian monarch Queen Elizabeth II. The person of the sovereign is shared both with the 15 other Commonwealth realms and the 10 provinces of Canada, but resides predominantly in her oldest and most populous realm, the United Kingdom; the Queen, on the advice of her Canadian prime minister, appoints a governor general to carry out most of her constitutional and ceremonial duties. The commission is for an unfixed period of time—known as serving at Her Majesty's pleasure—though five years is the normal convention. Beginning in 1959, it has been traditional to rotate between anglophone and francophone officeholders—although many recent governors general have been bilingual. Once in office, the governor general maintains direct contact with the Queen, wherever she may be at the time; the office began in the 16th and 17th centuries with the Crown-appointed governors of the French colony of Canada followed by the British governors of Canada in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Subsequently, the office is, along with the Crown, the oldest continuous institution in Canada. The present incarnation of the office emerged with Canadian Confederation and the passing of the British North America Act, 1867, which defines the role of the governor general as "carrying on the Government of Canada on behalf and in the Name of the Queen, by whatever Title he is designated". Although the post still represented the government of the United Kingdom, the office was Canadianized until, with the passage of the Statute of Westminster in 1931 and the establishment of a separate and uniquely Canadian monarchy, the governor general become the direct personal representative of the independently and uniquely Canadian sovereign, the monarch in his Canadian council. Throughout this process of increasing Canadian independence, the role of governor general took on additional responsibilities. For example, in 1904, the Militia Act granted permission for the governor general to use the title of Commander-in-Chief of the Canadian militia, in the name of the sovereign and actual Commander-in-Chief, in 1927 the first official international visit by a governor general was made.
In 1947, King George VI issued letters patent allowing the viceroy to carry out all of the monarch's powers on his or her behalf. As a result, the day-to-day duties of the monarch are carried out by the governor general, although, as a matter of law, the governor general is not in the same constitutional position as the sovereign. In accordance with the Constitution Act, 1982, any constitutional amendment that affects the Crown, including the office of the Governor General, requires the unanimous consent of each provincial legislature as well as the federal parliament; the current governor general is Julie Payette, who has served since 2 October 2017. The Government of Canada spells the title governor general without a hyphen; the Canadian media still use the governor-general spelling. As governor is the noun in the title, it is pluralized. Moreover, both terms are capitalized; the position of governor general is mandated by both the Constitution Act, 1867 and the letters patent issued in 1947 by King George VI.
As such, on the recommendation of his or her Canadian prime minister, the Canadian monarch appoints the governor general by commission issued under the royal sign-manual and Great Seal of Canada. That individual is, from until being sworn-in, referred to as the governor general-designate. Besides the administration of the oaths of office, there is no set formula for the swearing-in of a governor general-designate. Though there may therefore be variations to the following, the appointee will travel to Ottawa, there receiving an official welcome and taking up residence at 7 Rideau Gate, will begin preparations for their upcoming role, meeting with various high level officials to ensure a smooth transition between governors general; the sovereign will hold an audience with the appointee and will at that time induct both the governor general-designate and his or her spouse into the Order of Canada as Companions, as well as appointing the former as a Commander of both the Order of Military Merit and the Order of Merit of the Police Forces.
The incumbent will serve for at least five years, though this is only a developed convention, the governor general still technically acts at Her Majesty's pleasure. The prime minister may therefore recommend to the Queen that the viceroy remain in her service for a longer period of time, sometimes upwards of more than seven years. A governor general may resign, two have died in office. In such a circumstance, or if the governor general leaves the country for longer than one month, the Chief Justice of Canada serves as Administrator of the Government and exercises all powers of the governor general. In a speech on the subject of confederation, made in 1866 to the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada, John A. Macdonald said of the planned governor: "We place no restriction on Her Majesty's prerogative in the selection of her representative... The sovereign has unrestricted freedom of choice... We leave that to Her Majes
Royal assent is the method by which a monarch formally approves an act of the legislature. In some jurisdictions, royal assent is equivalent to promulgation, while in others, a separate step. Under a modern constitutional monarchy royal assent is considered to be little more than a formality. While the power to veto a law by withholding royal assent was once exercised by European monarchs, such an occurrence has been rare since the eighteenth century. Royal assent is sometimes associated with elaborate ceremonies. In the United Kingdom, for instance, the sovereign may appear in the House of Lords or may appoint Lords Commissioners, who announce that royal assent has been granted at a ceremony held at the Palace of Westminster for this purpose. However, royal assent is granted less ceremonially by letters patent. In other nations, such as Australia, the governor-general signs a bill. In Canada, the governor general may give assent either in person at a ceremony held in the Senate or by a written declaration notifying parliament of their agreement to the bill.
Before the Royal Assent by Commission Act 1541 became law, assent was always required to be given by the sovereign in person before Parliament. The last time royal assent was given by the sovereign in person in Parliament was in the reign of Queen Victoria at a prorogation on 12 August 1854; the Act was repealed and replaced by the Royal Assent Act 1967. However section 1 of that Act does not prevent the sovereign from declaring assent in person if he or she so desires. Royal assent is the final step required for a parliamentary bill to become law. Once a bill is presented to the sovereign or the sovereign's representative, he or she has the following formal options: the sovereign may grant royal assent, thereby making the bill an Act of Parliament; the sovereign may delay the bill's assent through the use of his or her reserve powers, thereby vetoing the bill. The sovereign may refuse royal assent on the advice of her ministers; the last bill, refused assent by the sovereign was the Scottish Militia Bill during Queen Anne's reign in 1708.
Under modern constitutional conventions, the sovereign acts on, in accordance with, the advice of his or her ministers. However, there is some disagreement among scholars as to whether the monarch should withhold royal assent to a bill if advised to do so by her ministers. Since these ministers most enjoy the support of parliament and obtain the passage of bills, it is improbable that they would advise the sovereign to withhold assent. Hence, in modern practice, the issue has never arisen, royal assent has not been withheld; the sovereign is believed not to have the power to withhold assent from a bill against the advice of ministers. Legislative power was exercised by the sovereign acting on the advice of the Curia regis, or Royal Council, in which important magnates and clerics participated and which evolved into parliament. In 1265, the Earl of Leicester irregularly called a full parliament without royal authorisation. Membership of the so-called Model Parliament, established in 1295 under Edward I included bishops, earls, two knights from each shire and two burgesses from each borough.
The body came to be divided into two branches: bishops, abbots and barons formed the House of Lords, while the shire and borough representatives formed the House of Commons. The King would seek the consent of both houses before making any law. During Henry VI's reign, it became regular practice for the two houses to originate legislation in the form of bills, which would not become law unless the sovereign's assent was obtained, as the sovereign was, still remains, the enactor of laws. Hence, all Acts include the clause "Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, by the authority of the same, as follows...". The Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949 provide a second potential preamble if the House of Lords were to be excluded from the process; the power of parliament to pass bills was thwarted by monarchs. Charles I dissolved parliament in 1629, after it passed motions and bills critical of—and seeking to restrict—his arbitrary exercise of power.
During the eleven years of personal rule that followed, Charles performed dubious actions such as raising taxes without Parliament's approval. After the English Civil War, it was accepted that parliament should be summoned to meet but it was still commonplace for monarchs to refuse royal assent to bills. In 1678, Charles II withheld his assent from a bill "for preserving the Peace of the Kingdom by raising the Militia, continuing them in Duty for Two and Forty Days," suggesting that he, not parliament, should control the militia; the last Stuart monarch, Anne withheld on 11 March 1708, on the advice of her ministers, her assent to the Scottish Militia Bill. No monarch has since withheld royal assent on a bill passed by the British parliament. During the rule of the succeeding Hanoverian dynasty, power was exercised more by parliament and the government; the first Hanoverian monarch, George I, relied on his ministers to a greater extent than had previous monarchs. Hanoverian monarchs attempted to restore royal control over legislation: G
The Chagos Archipelago or Chagos Islands are a group of seven atolls comprising more than 60 individual tropical islands in the Indian Ocean about 500 kilometres south of the Maldives archipelago. This chain of islands is the southernmost archipelago of the Chagos-Laccadive Ridge, a long submarine mountain range in the Indian Ocean. A colonized territory by the United Kingdom, as part of its British Indian Ocean Territory, the Chagos were home to the Chagossians, a Bourbonnais Creole-speaking people, for more than a century and a half until the United Kingdom evicted them between 1967 and 1973 to allow the United States to build a military base on Diego Garcia, the largest of the Chagos Islands. Since 1971, only the atoll of Diego Garcia is inhabited, only by military and civilian contracted personnel; the sovereignty of the Chagos Archipelago was disputed between the Mauritius. The United Kingdom excised the archipelago from Mauritian territory in 1965, three years before Mauritius gained independence in 1968.
On 25 February 2019, the International Court of Justice ruled that the United Kingdom should relinquish the archipelago. The British government has stated that it will “look at the detail of carefully.” The archipelago is about 500 kilometres south of the Maldives, 1,880 kilometres east of the Seychelles, 1,680 kilometres north-east of Rodrigues island, 2,700 kilometres west of the Cocos Islands, 3,400 kilometres north of Amsterdam Island. The land area of the islands is 56.13 km2, the largest island, Diego Garcia, having an area of 32.5 km2. The total area, including lagoons within atolls, is more than 15,000 km2, of which 12,642 km2 are accounted by the Great Chagos Bank, the largest acknowledged atoll structure of the world; the shelf area is 20,607 km2, the Exclusive Economic Zone, which borders the corresponding zone of the Maldive Islands in the north, has an area of 639,611 km2. The Chagos group is a combination of different coralline rock structures topping a submarine ridge running southwards across the centre of the Indian Ocean, formed by volcanoes above the Réunion hotspot.
Unlike the Maldives, there is no discernible pattern in the atoll arrangement, which makes the whole archipelago look somewhat chaotic. Most of the coralline structures of the Chagos are submerged reefs; the Chagos contain the world's largest coral atoll, The Great Chagos Bank, which supports half the total area of good quality reefs in the Indian Ocean. As a result, the ecosystems of the Chagos have so far proven resilient to climate change and environmental disruptions; the largest individual islands are Diego Garcia, Eagle, Île Pierre, Eastern Egmont, Île du Coin and Île Boddam. In addition to the seven atolls with dry land reaching at least the high-water mark, there are nine reefs and banks, most of which can be considered permanently submerged atoll structures; the number of atolls in the Chagos Archipelago is given as four or five in most sources, plus two island groups and two single islands because it is not recognised that the Great Chagos Bank is a huge atoll structure, because Blenheim Reef, which has islets or cays above or just reaching the high-water mark, is not included.
Features are listed in the table from north to south: The main natural resources of the area are coconuts and fish. The licensing of commercial fishing used to provide an annual income of about US$2 million for the British Indian Ocean Territory authorities, however licenses have not been given since October 2010. All economic activity is concentrated on the largest island of Diego Garcia, where joint UK–US military facilities are located. Construction projects and various services needed to support the military installations are done by military and contract employees from the UK, the Philippines, the US. There are no industrial or agricultural activities on the islands. All the water and other essentials of daily life are shipped to the island. An independent feasibility study led to the conclusion that resettlement would be "costly and precarious". Another feasibility study, commissioned by organisations supporting resettlement, found that resettlement would be possible at a cost to the British taxpayer of £25 million.
If the Chagossians return, they plan to re-establish copra production and fishing, to begin the commercial development of the islands for tourism. Until October 2010, Skipjack and yellowfin tuna were fished for about two months of the year as their year-long migratory route takes them through Chagos waters. While the remoteness of the Chagos offers some protection from extractive activities and illegal fishing have had an impact. There is considerable poaching of other marine life. Sharks, which play a vital role in balancing the food web of tropical reefs, have suffered sharp declines from illegal fishing for their fins and as bycatch in legal fisheries. Sea cucumbers, which cleanse sand, are poached to feed Asian markets; the Chagos Archipelago has a tropical oceanic climate. Climate is characterised by plenty of sunshine, warm temperatures and light breezes. December through February is considered the rainy season.
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti