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By Andrew Mitchell

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MPs may also use such Bills to push an issue of particular concern to their constituents: for example, Stephen Pound MP brought a Private Member’s Bill to the House of Commons on the issue of neighbour disputes arising from trees and hedges on property boundaries. The need for a legal response to changing circumstances Sometimes law-making is required quickly because of changing circumstances. Here, secondary, delegated legislation is used at times because it is more flexible than primary legislation.

The following sources are also very relevant. Public opinion At times, the public can demand new laws, usually encouraged by media campaigns. Public concern about dangerous dogs led, for example, to swiftly made—and now often criticised—legislation (the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991). The murder of a child, Sarah Payne, by a paedophile led to public calls for a ‘Sarah’s Law’ to give the public access to information about sex offenders in the local area. The problems presented by such legislation, however, have meant that this has yet to be implemented by the Government.

Government Bills are brought forward by Ministers: for example, the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry will be responsible for Bills relating to consumer protection and fair trading. Government Bills are likely to succeed in becoming Acts of Parliament because the Government has a majority of seats in the House of Commons; and the House of Lords, even if opposed to the Bill, can only delay the process of implementation. The Government can try to ensure that it gets all its members voting in favour of a Bill it has put forward by using a Whip system, which requires MPs to vote with their party.

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