Some facts might be out-of-date

* This does not apply to tests. All tests in the practice section are valid and up-to-date.

The information provided in the handbook is based on the outdated, 2013 version. When reading, please make a mental note of important events such as King Charles III being the Monarch and UK’s Brexit vote in 2020.

The new, 2023 version will fix the inaccuracies for the study guide. All tests should be valid and contain the most up-to-date information.

Chapter 5: The UK government, the law and your role

In this chapter you will learn how the UK is governed. You need to understand the Queen’s role in government and her powers. Make sure you understand how people are appointed to the two Houses of Parliament and the specific roles detailed, such as the Speaker and cabinet, and your rights to vote and stand for election. Everyone should understand the workings of the devolved administrations but pay particular attention if you are taking the test in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

The UK’s international role is explained through the Commonwealth, EU and others so focus on the differences between these bodies and their member countries. The chapter then explains common laws, fundamental rights, policing and the courts of the UK. Pay particular attention to this so you know the differences between the various courts and offences they deal with. Finally the chapter deals with taxation, driving and community activity.

  • Britain as a constitutional monarchy
  • How Parliament works
  • Elections, the government and the opposition
  • Devolved administrations of the UK
  • The Commonwealth, EU, UN and NATO
  • British law and justice
  • The courts
  • Fundamental principles and rights
  • Tax
  • Driving
  • Community work and getting involved

The UK is a parliamentary democracy with the monarch as head of state. This section will tell you about the different institutions which make up this democratic system and explain how you can play a part in the democratic process.

❮ Chapter 4: Places of interestChapter 5: The British constitution ❯