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Constitution of the United Kingdom. Министерство образования и науки Российской Федерации




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Министерство образования и науки Российской Федерации

Федеральное агентство по образованию

Дальневосточный государственный университет

 

В.П.Кочетков, Ю.А.Миронец, Е.Ш.Надибаидзе

 

Английский язык

 

 

Учебное пособие

 

 

Владивосток

Издательство Дальневосточного университета

 

ББК 21.2

К 55

 

Рецензенты:

Е.Я.Городецкая, проф., директор Гуманитарного

института ДВГТУ,

Т.А.Губайдуллина, доц., зав.кафедрой межкультурных

коммуникаций и переводоведения ВГУЭС

 

Кочетков В.П., Миронец Ю.А., Надибаидзе Е.Ш.

К 55 Английский язык. – Учебное пособие. – Владивосток: Изд-во Дальневост. ун-та, 2006. – 200 с.

 

Работа, выполненная на кафедре английского языка Восточного института ДВГУ, имеет целью познакомить студентов Восточного института с культурными традициями Великобритании – страны изучаемого языка, органично сочетающей конституционные монархические атрибуты власти с демократическими парламентскими формами правления, жесткую мажоритарную систему выборов с относительно легкой сменяемостью правительств, тонкий инструментарий при решении правовых коллизий с одиозными пережитками средневекового прецедентного права. Оригинальные текстовые материалы и комплекс упражнений, представленные в учебном пособии, способствуют более глубокому пониманию страны и системы ее ценностей, формированию у студентов языковой компетенции, повышению уровня коммуникации и социальной перцепции, необходимых для свободного владения английским языком, что имеет принципиальное значение на завершающем этапе обучения.

 

К 4620100000

180(03) – 2006 ББК 81.2 Англ.

 

с Кочетков В.П., Миронец Ю.А.,

Надибаидзе Е.Ш., 2006

 

c Издательство Дальневосточного

университета, 2006

I. Constitutional Monarchy

Constitution of the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy. This means that the official head of the State is the monarch (the Sovereign, i.e. a king or a queen) but his or her powers are limited by the constituion.

However, the United Kingdom constituition is not written in any single document; it is set of rules, many of which are customs and conventions which have become established through the fact of being observed, without ever having been formally enacted (e.g. the office and powers of Prime Minister). Only some of these rules are written down in the form of ordinary laws passed by Parliament Acts of 1911 and 1949, limiting the powers of the House of Lords). The rules of the constitution can be changed at any time by general acceptance of a new convention or by the passing of a new Act of Parliament.



Parliament is the supreme legislative body and the highest authority in the United Kingdom. The executive power is exercised by the Cabinet headed by the Prime Minister. But the functions of these organs of government often intermingle and overlap.

 

 

Queen

According to the Royal Titles Act of 1953 the full title of the

Queen is: Her Most Excellent Majesty Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith).

The Queen is only a formal head of State. According to the constitution doctrine “she reigns but she doesn’t rule”. She is a symbolic head of the nation and of the Commonwealth.



As the symbolic head of the nation she performs a wide range of social and ceremonial functions, e.g. she holds receptions, State banquets, dinner parties, lunches and the like; she visits various parts of Britain and

inaugurates scientific, artistic, industrial and charitable works of national importance. In all these functions she is often assisted by other members of the royal family. She gives audiences to the Prime Minister and other important persons. She pays State visits, often accompanied by other members of the royal family, to foreign governments and undertakes tours in other countries of the Commonwealth. Other members of the royal family pay official and private visits overseas.

The powers of the Queen are nowhere are exactly defined. She is the personification of the State and theoretically every act of State is done in her name1. In law she is the head of the executive, an integral part of the legislature, the head of judiciary, the commander-in-chief of all the armed forces, and the temporal head of the established Church of England. But in reality, the Queen acts only on the advice of her ministers, who are politically responsible for what she does. Thus most of her functions are purely of a symbolic nature.

As the symbolic head of the executive, the Queen: 1.summons, prorogues and dissolves Parliament; 2.appoints all ministers in the Government; 3.appoints the archbishops and bishops of the Church of England; 4.makes appointments to all important State offices; 5.confers peerages, baronetcies, knighthoods and other honours. But the Queen acts only on the advice of the Prime Minister, and this means that all these constitutional functions of the Queen are in reality the functions of the Prime Minister, who is the effective head of the executive.



The Queen is also an integral part of the legislature: Laws passed by Parliament do not become effective until the Queen has given her Assent. But in practice, Royal Assent is also a pure formality. The Sovereign’s power of veto, which is not clearly defined, has not been used for over two hundred years, and so it has become an established tradition that the royal power of veto does not really exist at all.

In appointing the Prime Minister the Queen is bound to appoint the leader of the political party which has a majority in the House of Commons. Only if none of the parties had a clear majority and the leading representatives of each party gave her different advice she might have to make a real choice, but such a situation might lead to a constitutional crisis.

The Constitution requires the Queen to be impartial in politics, which means that her politics are those laid down by the Government. Thus the “Queen’s Speech” (or the ‘address from the throne’) with which the Queen opens each session of Parliament and which contains an outline of the Government’s programme for the session, is prepared by the Government and read by the Queen.

Although in public the Queen must show complete impartiality, it is natural that her sympathies should be with the Right rather than with the Left. The Prime Minister keeps the Queen informed about political events and Cabinet decisions, and there is nothing to stop the Queen trying to influence the Prime Minister because according to the constitutional doctrine, the Sovereign has the right “to be consulted, to encourage and to warn”.

The Queen’s residence in London in Buckingham Palace, in Scotland – Balmoral; her other homes are Windsor and Sandringham. In each of them she spends a part of the year.

The Queen’s husband is H.R.H. Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh3 . The eldest son of the Queen, H.R.H. Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, is the heir to the throne. It is always the eldest son who succeeds to the throne. A daughter succeeds only if there are no sons in the royal family.

Notes

1 The Government is ‘Her Majesty Goverment’ and the Opposition is ‘Her Majesty Opposition’. Every letter sent out by any government is posted in an envelope marked ‘On Her majesty’s Service’. Every ship of the Royal Navy has the letters H.R.S before her name (Her Majesty’s Ship). And inspectors of schools are ‘Her Majesty’s Inspectors’(H.M.I.s).

In fact, every public official is the Queen’s servant.

2 The power to dissolve Parliament includes the power to fix the date for a new general election.

3 H.R.H. stands for His (Her) Royal Highness. It is the title of princesses (or royal dukes).

4 Therefore of the 40 monarchs since the Norman Conquest only 6 have been queens: Mary I, Elizabeth I, Mary II, Anne, Victoria, Elizabeth II.

 


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