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What are the main rights and protections that the English Bill of Rights gives Parliament and the people?

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βˆ™ 2014-12-10 21:10:42

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The English Bill of Rights was introduced in 1688 and became law in 1689. The bill was a reaction to the reign of King James the Second, a self serving monarch who levied unfair taxes on the people, restricted and persecuted protestants and dissolved Parliament in league with various advisers and counselors. James was the last of the monarchs to have full executive powers to rule the country.

The English Bill of Rights introduced several principles into law:

  • The monarch no longer had powers to override, change, enact or suspend laws. The monarch could only do so with the approval of Parliament. Likewise, the king could no longer raise an army without the consent of Parliament.
  • The bill gave protestants protection in several ways, previously, they were dealt with harshly by Roman Catholic institutions.
  • the law requirement for a Parliament that was freely elected, frequently held and provided for free speech within the Parliament.

The last of the major reforms was to prevent the monarchy being linked to the Roman Catholic church.

In total, the bill set up Parliament as a permanent body with powers to create and change law. More importantly, the king or queen of the day could not interfere with Parliament. The monarch therefore lost a significant part of the power previously held and guaranteed that the people would have control over the affairs of the state.

Although the bill of rights falls far short of being a constitution, it did provide at least a framework for governing the country. The rights of parliament and the people put into law in 1689 still remain in place today. The state still has no written constitution. Parliament still operates under the powers given to it by the bill and the legal system also operates under the requirements of this very same bill.

The constitution of the state is complex, bearing in mind it has never been written down. There are experts in constitutional law who can offer far more detailed information on the bill of rights and the laws that followed it.

2014-12-10 21:10:42
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