Adam’s Constitutional Reform Bill 2012


Well, if Nick Clegg can have a go, why not me? Here is what I think we need. If you have any suggestions on how to improve it, please add a comment!

Draft Constitutional Reform Bill

Presented to Parliament by the Secretary of State of Common Sense by Command of Nobody-in-Particular.

July 2012

A

Bill

to Provide Constitutional Reform to ensure the rights, freedoms and primacy of the Peoples of the United Kingdom over fundamental questions to the Constitution and Laws of the United Kingdom.

Part 1

Constitutional Arrangements

Chapter 1

Definitions

1 A Bill is said to be Constitutional [A Constitutional Bill] in nature if it

(1) alters the voting method in any election in the united kingdom or for any elected post whose geographic coverage is any part of the UK (including european elections)

(2) alters the registration criteria for those standing for election

(3) alters the powers of any elected body in the united kingdom

(4) alters the requirements for passage of a bill with regards to authorisation by the Commons, Lords, Sovereign or People via Referendum

(5) alters the way the winner of an election is determined including the number of votes required to be declared the winner

(6) alters election boundaries

(7) alters number of representatives within an elected body

(8) alters any election law

(9) alters the relationship between the Sovereign and the State

2 A bill is said to Alter Rights [A Rights Bill] if it

(1) modifies the Equality Act 2000 or the Disability Discrimination Act 2002

(2) modifies the Human Rights Act 2000

(3) modifies the implementation of the UN Charter of Human Rights within UK law

(4) aims to amend the functions of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR)

Chapter 2

Make up of the House of Lords

3 Quantity of Lords in the House of Lords [350 total members approx according to below rules]

(1) The three political parties with the most seats in the House of Commons at the last general election may nominate 15 Lords each to sit in the house for the duration of the same Parliament in order to conduct the business of the Government and Opposition in the House of Lords

(2) Other political parties with more than three members in the House of Commons may nominate three Lords to be members for the duration of a Parliament [currently 5 years]

(3) Remaining political parties with MPs may nominate a single Lord to be members for the duration of a Parliament

(4) Each Professional Body may nominate 1 individual from their ranks to represent them in the House of Lords without power of revocation [May be a lot here. There are 108 trades in the Livery Company, 106 chartered and 60 unchartered organisations that are professional associations]

(5) Each Overseas Territory may elect a representative, if they so choose, to fit in the House for the duration of a Parliament [currently 5 years] [should also word to include Isles of Man, Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney

(6) At the start of a new Parliament the House of Commons may select a maximum of 5 new Lords to sit for a period of no more than 10 years [Lords Political! Stops Governments appointing enough Lords to take control of the House]

4 Membership requirements

(1) A ‘Professional Member’ is defined as a person who is selected and is also a member of their professional body

(2) The member must have been part of their professional body for not less than 5 years

(3) Professional bodies include Chartered Institute of IT, Law Society, Royal Aeronautical Society, Royal Society, Royal Geographic Society, Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors, National Association of Head Teachers, National Association of Chief Police Officers, UK Intelligence [Security Service, GCHQ, SIS], … [you get the idea – pretty much all of society from traditional ‘Professional’ organisations to ‘The Professions’ including plumbing, car mechanics, the lot]

5 Terms of Appointment

(1) Each member will sit for a period of a Parliament [currently 5 years]

(2) Professional body members will be selected in a fraction of their numbers by year [1/5 each year, every 5 years] [aims to maintain knowledge of House procedures in collective memory]

(3) Members may choose to resign, in which case their replacements will be elected or appointed as appropriate with terms ending on the same date as those who have just resigned

6 Selection

(1) Professional Bodies may choose to select their representative by election, and if so doing must abide by the requirements of the Electoral Commission

(2) The House of Lords maintains the right to choose to consent to the appointment of each new member, or to hold a confirmation committee interview and report and vote for a new member

7 Political Parties

(1) A political party holds the same definition as that for the House of Commons

(2) Members of the House of Lords may announce on appointment their chosen affiliation, or none, to a political party

(3) All members are required to announce any existing membership of a political party on appointment or on membership changing [for clarity with the public]

8 Appointment to the House of Lords

(1) All Lords Political are subject to confirmation hearings if so voted for by the existing House of Lords

9 Confirmation Hearings

(1) To be conducted through interview by a committee of 5 including one committee chair chosen by the House of Lords in a vote [potentially different chair per confirmation]

(2) Aim of a confirmation hearing is to insure that a new member meets the eligibility requirements of the House of Lords, is expert in their field, and has sufficient time to contribute to the House’s business

(3) Confirmation hearings should not concentrate on assessing political leanings or personal beliefs

Chapter 3

Powers of the House of Lords

10 Veto over constitutional and rights bills

(1) The House of Lords will have a right to Veto any Constitutional or Rights Bill

(2) A Veto must consist of one or more accepted amendments, with specific points, and not general in nature

(3) A Constitutional or Rights Veto is not subject to the Parliament Act 1911 or 1949

(4) Should a Bill be returned to the House of Lords for a second time in the same form then the Lords may elect to Veto and return to the Commons, or send to a Joint Committee stage before being confirmed [in the same 2nd sitting] for consideration by the House of Lords

(5) Should a Bill be returned to the House of Lords for a third time in the same form then a further Veto by the house will automatically require a Referendum by the Peoples of the United Kingdom in the next available national poll [so as not to have effectively the cost of a general election every 3 months]

11 Right to send to a joint committee with reservations

(1) A Joint Committee of the Commons and Lords may meet to attempt to prevent deadlock over the enacting of legislation

(2) A Bill must be sent to a committee with specific reservations and amendments to be dealt with in committee

12 Rules governing referendums of the people

(1) Referendums can only happen on the date or local or national elections [keeps costs and hassle down]

(2) The Question put must be of the form “Do you agree with the passing of the [Insert name] Bill [insert year]?” with two answers “Yes” and “No”

(3) The question will be provided translated in to the applicable locally used, recognised national languages [Welsh, Cornish, Irish, Scots Gaelic]

13 Money bills

(1) A Money Bill is not subject to Veto or sending to a Public Referendum

(2) The Definition of a Money Bill is restricted in the same manner as that within the Parliament Act 1911

14 Prevention of Bias

(1) No undertaking, offer, benefit or promise may be asked for, offered, hinted at or received in order to influence legislation

(2) All meetings of the Lords and Joint Committees are to be noted and made part of Hansard [The Parliamentary record – all bills and debates are posted online these days]

Chapter 4

Amendments to existing legislation

Repealing sections of the parliament act 1911

Repealing sections of the parliament act 1949

Altering sections of the parliament act 1911

Altering sections of the parliament act 1949

Elections act? [representation of the people act]

Chapter 5

Improving evidence giving to committees

Restrictions on the giving of evidence and Parliamentary Privilige

(1) When giving evidence to a committee of the houses of parliament all witnesses are protected by Parliamentary Privilige and no law officer can question this in relation to gagging orders agreed to by any individual or body.