The Right Honorable the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled. - The full, formal, style and title of the House of Lords (*)
The Honorable the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled.- The full, formal, style and title of the House of Commons (**)
The first Iranian woman takes up a seat on the House of Lords crossbenches as a non-party political peer in recognition of her work.
Professor Haleh Afshar, who is an advisor to the British government on public policy relating to Muslim women and Islamic law and is the founder and chair of the Muslim Women's Network, was chosen as a 'People's Peer', an appointment for people who will bring distinction and expertise to the House of Lords.
“I was really very surprised and honored to be considered a 'People's Peer'. In fact, I was lost for words when I was told. I shall certainly be fighting for equal opportunities for minorities and for women as I have always done,” Professor Afshar said after her appointment.
Born in Iran, Afshar has received her PhD from Cambridge University and currently teaches politics and women's studies at the University of York. She is also visiting professor of Islamic law at the International Faculty of Comparative Law, University of Strasbourg. Professor Afshar is one of the most prolific Muslims in Britain today. She has served on the British Council and the United Nations Association of which she is Honorary President of International Services. She has also been an active defender of the Muslim rights in the UK after the Sep. 11 attacks and a constant critic of the US policies.
In addition to her academic studies, she has written widely as a journalist on Muslim women and the 'War on Terror'. The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy, that is to say it has a monarch (a king or a queen) as its Head of State. Nevertheless, the Monarch has very little power and reigns with the support of Parliament. Parliament consists of two chambers known as the House of Commons and the House of Lords.
BRAVO BARONESS AFSHAR!
Official Website of Professor Haleh Afshar at The University of York
How does Britain’s system of government work?
Britain is a parliamentary democracy with a constitutional monarchy. Parliament is composed of The House of Commons, the House of Lords and the Monarchy. Parliament passes laws, approves taxation and debates on the major issues of the day. The Prime Minister heads the Government and appoints Ministers, who in turn head individual Government departments.
The House of Commons, where Parliamentary power is held, has 659 elected Members of Parliament (MP's), each representing a local constituency.
While represented in Parliament at Westminster, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland also have their own devolved administrations.
The Monarchy today
Today the Monarch does not participate in the British government. The King or Queen has no real political power. Parliament makes all the decisions and the Prime Minister runs the country. The Monarch reigns but does not rule. The monarch symbolizes the unity of the British people. Furthermore, he or she is still the head of the Anglican Church.
appoints the Prime Minister after a general election
appoints Government Ministers
summons, prorogues or dissolves Parliament
gives the speech to open Parliament ( to read the Queen's Speech click here)