Standing Orders of the House of Commons - Public Business 2002 Contents


STANDING ORDERS 2002

Standing Committees



  84.—(1) Subject to the provisions of paragraph (1) of Standing Order No. 119 (European Standing Committees), as many standing committees shall be appointed as may be necessary for the consideration of bills or other business committed or referred to a standing committee. Constitution of standing committees.
  
   (2) Subject to the provisions of Standing Order No. 101 (Scottish Standing Committees), the bills committed and instruments (whether or not in draft) referred to a standing committee shall be distributed among the committees by the Speaker.
  
   (3) In all but one of the standing committees to which bills other than bills provided for in Standing Order No. 101 (Scottish Standing Committees) are committed or referred government bills shall have precedence.
  
   (4) Government bills allocated to a particular standing committee shall be considered in whatever order Her Majesty's Ministers may decide.
  
  85.—(1) The chairman or chairmen of each standing committee shall be appointed by the Speaker from the Chairmen's Panel. Chairmen of standing committees.
  
   (2) The Speaker may change the chairmen so appointed from time to time.
  
   (3) When more than one chairman is appointed to a standing committee any of the chairmen so appointed may exercise the powers conferred by paragraph (3) of Standing Order No. 89 (Procedure in standing committees).
  
   (4) The Chairmen's Panel, of which three shall be a quorum, shall have power to consider matters of procedure relating to standing committees and to report its opinion thereupon to the House from time to time.
  
   (5) Any member of a standing committee may, at the request of the chairman of the committee, act as chairman for not more than a quarter of an hour on any one occasion:
  
  Provided that such member shall not exercise the powers conferred on the chairman of a standing committee by paragraph (3) of Standing Order No. 89 (Procedure in standing committees).
  
  86.(1) Save in the case of— Nomination of standing committees.
  
    (a) the Scottish Grand Committee,

    (b) the Welsh Grand Committee,

    (c) a standing committee for the consideration of a bill on report, and

    (d) a European Standing Committee,

  
  the Committee of Selection shall nominate not fewer than sixteen nor more than fifty Members to serve on each standing committee for the consideration of each bill allocated or referred to it, or for the consideration of instruments (whether or not in draft) referred to it.
  
  (2) In nominating such Members the Committee of Selection shall have regard to the qualifications of those Members nominated and to the composition of the House, and shall have power to discharge Members from time to time and appoint others in substitution for those discharged:
  
  Provided that—
  
    (i) for the consideration of any public bill certified by the Speaker as relating exclusively to Scotland or of a public bill (or part of a public bill) ordered to be considered by a Scottish standing committee, the committee shall be so constituted as to include not fewer than sixteen Members representing Scottish constituencies;

    (ii) for the consideration of any public bill relating exclusively to Wales, the committee shall be so constituted as to include all Members sitting for constituencies in Wales.

  
  87.(1) Mr Attorney General, the Advocate General and Mr Solicitor General, or any of them, being Members of the House, though not members of a standing committee, may take part in the deliberations of the committee, but shall not vote or make any motion or move any amendment other than a motion in the Scottish Grand Committee under Standing Order No. 93 (Scottish Grand Committee (composition and business)) or a motion in the Welsh Grand Committee under Standing Order No. 102 (Welsh Grand Committee (composition and business)) or a motion in the Northern Ireland Grand Committee under Standing Order No. 109 (Northern Ireland Grand Committee (composition and business)) or a motion or an amendment in a European Standing Committee under Standing Order No. 119 (European Standing Committees) or be counted in the quorum. Attendance of law officers and ministers in standing committees.
  
   (2) In a standing committee which is to consider a bill brought in upon a ways and means resolution any Minister of the Crown, being a Member of the House, though not a member of the standing committee, may take part in the deliberations of the committee, but shall not vote or make any motion or move any amendment or be counted in the quorum.
  
  88.—(1) A standing committee to which a bill or other business has been or stands committed shall meet to consider such business on the day and at the hour named by the Member appointed chairman of the committee in respect of that business. If the consideration of the business is not completed at that sitting the committee shall meet further to consider the business on such days of the week (being days on which the House sits) as may be appointed by the committee at half­past ten o'clock, unless the committee otherwise determines: Meetings of standing committees.
  
  Provided that no standing committee shall sit between the hours of one o'clock and half­past three o'clock in the afternoon, except as hereinafter provided.
  
   (2) If a standing committee is not previously adjourned, the chairman shall adjourn the committee without putting any question at one o'clock, save as provided in Standing Order No. 100 (Scottish Grand Committee (sittings)), Standing Order No. 108 (Welsh Grand Committee (sittings)) and Standing Order No. 116 (Northern Ireland Grand Committee (sittings));
  
  Provided that—
  
    (i) if, in the opinion of the chairman, the proceedings on a bill or other business could be brought to a final conclusion by a short extension of the sitting, he may defer adjourning the committee until a quarter past one o'clock;

    (ii) if proceedings under Standing Order No. 36 (Closure of debate) be in progress at the time when the chairman is required to adjourn the committee under this paragraph, he shall not adjourn the committee until the question for the closure of debate, the question or questions consequent thereon and on any further motion as provided in that Standing Order, have been decided.

  
  89.(1) Except as provided in Standing Order No. 93 (Scottish Grand Committee (composition and business)), Standing Order No. 102 (Welsh Grand Committee (composition and business)), Standing Order No. 109 (Northern Ireland Grand Committee (composition and business)), Standing Order No. 117 (Standing Committee on Regional Affairs) and Standing Order No. 119 (European Standing Committees) the quorum of a standing committee shall be seventeen or one third of the number of its members excluding the chairman, whichever is the less; and in calculating the quorum fractions shall be counted as one. Procedure in standing committees.
  
   (2) Strangers shall be admitted to a standing committee unless the committee otherwise orders.
  
  (3)(a) Any notice of an amendment to a bill which has been committed or referred to a standing committee, or of a motion relative to a European Union document or documents or an amendment thereto given under Standing Order No. 119 (European Standing Committees) shall stand referred to the committee, and the chairman shall have the like powers as are given to the Speaker, the Chairman of Ways and Means and either Deputy Chairman respectively by Standing Order No. 32 (Selection of amendments).
  
    (b) Standing Orders No. 29 (Powers of chair to propose question), No. 36 (Closure of debate) and No. 37 (Majority for closure or for proposal of question) shall apply to standing committees, except that the number necessary to render the majority effective for the closure or for the proposal of the question shall be the number prescribed as the quorum by paragraph (1) of this order.

    (c) The chairman of a standing committee shall have the like powers as are given to a chairman of a committee of the whole House under the following Standing Orders:

      No. 35 (Dilatory motion in abuse of rules of House),

      No. 42 (Irrelevance or repetition), and

      No. 68 (Debate on clause or schedule standing part).

    (d) The following Standing Orders shall apply to standing committees:

      No. 124 (Quorum of select committee),

      No. 128 (Entry on minutes of proceedings of select committee), and

      No. 129 (Minutes of proceedings to be laid on the Table).

  
  (4) On a division being called in the House or a committee of the whole House the chairman of a standing committee shall suspend the proceedings of the committee for such time as will, in his opinion, enable Members to vote in the division and return to the committee.
  
  (5) All standing committees shall have leave to print and circulate their proceedings with the Vote.
  
  90.—(1) A motion, of which at least ten days' notice has been given, may be made by a Minister of the Crown at the commencement of public business, that a public bill be referred to a second reading committee, and the question thereupon shall be put forthwith; and if, on the question being put, not fewer than twenty Members rise in their places and signify their objection thereto, the Speaker shall declare that the noes have it: Second reading committees.
  
  Provided that no such notice shall be given until the bill has been printed and delivered to the Vote Office.
  
  (2) A motion, of which at least ten days' notice has been given, may with the leave of the House be made by the Member in charge of a private Member's bill at the commencement of public business on any day when private Members' bills have precedence under the provisions of Standing Order No. 14 (Arrangement of public business), that the said bill be referred to a second reading committee, and the question thereupon shall be put forthwith. If such a motion be agreed to, any order that the said bill be read a second time which stands on the paper for that or any subsequent day shall be discharged. No such motion shall be made before the eighth Friday on which private Members' bills have precedence and no such notice shall be given until the bill has been printed and delivered to the Vote Office.
  
  (3) A second reading committee shall be a standing committee.
  
  (4) A second reading committee shall report to the House either that it recommends that the bill ought to be read a second time or that it recommends that the bill ought not to be read a second time, and in the latter case it shall have power to state its reasons for so recommending.
  
  (5) When a second reading committee shall have made a report to the House in respect of a bill referred to it under paragraph (2) above, the bill shall be ordered to be read a second time upon a future day.
  
  (6) Upon a motion being made for the second reading of a bill reported from a second reading committee, the question thereon shall be put forthwith.
  
  91.(1) A special standing committee to which a bill has been committed shall have power, during a period not exceeding 28 days (excluding periods when the House is adjourned for more than two days) from the committal of the bill, to send for persons, papers and records, and, for this purpose, to hold up to four morning sittings of not more than three hours each. At not more than three sittings oral evidence may be given and, unless the committee otherwise orders, all such evidence shall be given in public. Oral evidence shall be printed in the official report of the committee's debates together with such written evidence as the committee may order to be so printed. Special standing committees.
  
  Provided that, in the case of bills certified under paragraph (1) of Standing Order No. 97 (Scottish Grand Committee (bills in relation to their principle)) and committed pursuant to paragraph (5) thereof to a special standing committee, the three sittings at which oral evidence may be given may be held in Scotland, in which case those sittings need not be held in the morning.
  
  (2) For the sittings referred to in paragraph (1) of this order, and notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (1) of Standing Order No. 85 (Chairmen of standing committees), the Speaker may appoint any Member other than a Minister of the Crown as chairman of a special standing committee.
  
  (3) Except as provided in the foregoing paragraphs, the standing orders relating to standing committees and Standing Orders No. 127 (Withdrawal of documents before select committee), No. 131 (Entry of questions asked), No. 135 (Witnesses and evidence (select committees)) and No. 136 (Publication of evidence (select committees)) shall apply to any special standing committee.
  
  (4) The question on any motion made by a Minister of the Crown to extend the period of 28 days mentioned in paragraph (1) of this order may be decided after the expiration of the time for opposed business.
  
  92.(1) A bill which has been considered by a second reading committee or by the Scottish Grand Committee in relation to the principle of the bill may be referred for consideration on report to a standing committee or to the Scottish Grand Committee, as the case may be, upon a motion made after notice by a Minister of the Crown at the commencement of public business, and the question on such motion shall be put forthwith; and if, on the question being put, not fewer than twenty Members rise in their places and signify their objection thereto, the Speaker shall declare that the noes have it. Consideration on report of certain bills by a standing committee.
  
  (2) A standing committee to consider bills on report shall consist of not fewer than twenty nor more than eighty Members, to be nominated by the Committee of Selection to serve on the committee for the consideration of each bill referred to it; and in the nomination of such Members, the Committee of Selection shall have regard to their qualifications and to the composition of the House:
  
  Provided that, for the consideration of all public bills relating exclusively to Wales, the committee shall be so constituted as to include all Members sitting for constituencies in Wales.
  
  (3) Any committee to which a bill is referred under this order shall report to the House that it has considered the bill and has made amendments or has made no amendment thereunto, as the case may be; and the bill so reported shall be ordered to be read the third time upon a future day.
  
  93.(1) There shall be a standing committee called the Scottish Grand Committee, which shall consist of all Members representing Scottish constituencies; and of which (subject to paragraph (6) of Standing Order No. 100 (Scottish Grand Committee (sittings))) the quorum shall be ten. Scottish Grand Committee (composition and business).
  
  (2) The business of the Committee shall include—
  
    (a) questions tabled in accordance with Standing Order No. 94 (Scottish Grand Committee (questions for oral answer));

    (b) short debates held in accordance with Standing Order No. 95 (Scottish Grand Committee (short debates));

    (c) ministerial statements proceeded with in accordance with Standing Order No. 96 (Scottish Grand Committee (ministerial statements));

    (d) bills referred to it for consideration or further consideration in relation to their principle, in accordance with Standing Order No. 97 (Scottish Grand Committee (bills in relation to their principle));

    (e) motions relating to instruments (whether or not in draft) referred to it in accordance with Standing Order No. 98 (Scottish Grand Committee (delegated legislation));

    (f) motions for the adjournment of the committee, notice of which has been given in accordance with Standing Order No. 99 (Scottish Grand Committee (substantive motions for the adjournment)); and

    (g) motions for the adjournment of the committee made under paragraph (6) of Standing Order No. 100 (Scottish Grand Committee (sittings)).

  
  (3) Any Minister of the Crown, being a Member of the House, though not a member of the committee, may take part in the deliberations of the committee and may make a motion, but shall not vote or be counted in the quorum.
  
  94.(1) Notices of questions for oral answer in the Scottish Grand Committee by Scottish Office ministers or Scottish law officers on a day specified in an order made under paragraph (1) of Standing Order No. 100 (Scottish Grand Committee (sittings)), may be given by members of the committee in the Table Office. Scottish Grand Committee (questions for oral answer).
  
  (2) Notices of questions given under this order shall bear an indication that they are for oral answer in the Scottish Grand Committee.
  
  (3) No more than one notice of a question may be given under this order by any member of the committee for each day specified under paragraph (1) of Standing Order No. 100 (Scottish Grand Committee (sittings)) for the taking of questions.
  
  (4) On any day so specified under paragraph (1) of Standing Order No. 100 (Scottish Grand Committee (sittings)), questions shall be taken at the commencement of the sitting; no question shall be taken later than three­quarters of an hour after the commencement of the proceedings thereon; and replies to questions not reached shall be printed with the official report of the committee's debates for that day.
  
  (5) Notices of questions under this order may be given ten sitting days before that on which an answer is desired save where otherwise provided by a memorandum under paragraph (8) of Standing Order No. 22 (Notices of questions, motions and amendments):
  
  Provided that when it is proposed that the House shall adjourn for a period of fewer than four days, any day during that period (other than a Saturday or a Sunday) shall be counted as a sitting day for the purposes of the calculation made under this paragraph.
  
  95.(1) Notices of subjects to be raised in short debates in the Scottish Grand Committee, on a day specified in an order made under paragraph (1) of Standing Order No. 100 (Scottish Grand Committee (sittings)), may be given by members of the committee in the Table Office. Scottish Grand Committee (short debates).
  
  (2) Subjects of which notice is given under paragraph (1) of this order must relate to Scotland.
  
  (3) Not more than one notice of a subject may be given under this order by any member of the committee for each day specified under paragraph (1) of Standing Order No. 100 (Scottish Grand Committee (sittings)) for the holding of short debates.
  
  (4) On any day so specified such debates shall be held at the commencement of the sitting or, if the order under paragraph (1) specifies also the taking of questions on that day, immediately after questions.
  
  (5)(a) No Member except the Minister of the Crown replying to the debate shall be called to speak later than half an hour after the commencement of the first such debate.
  
    (b) The Member who gave notice of the subject and the Minister of the Crown replying to the debate may each speak for five minutes. Other Members may speak for three minutes.

    (c) The chairman may direct any Member who exceeds the limits in sub­paragraph (b) to resume his seat forthwith.

  
  (6) Notices of subjects under this order may be given ten sitting days before that on which they are sought to be raised:
  
  Provided that when it is proposed that the House shall adjourn for a period of fewer than four days, any day during that period (other than a Saturday or a Sunday) shall be counted as a sitting day for the purposes of the calculation made under this paragraph.
  
  96.—(1) The chairman of the Scottish Grand Committee may permit a Minister of the Crown, whether or not a Member of the House, to make a statement, of which prior notice has been given to him, and to answer questions thereon put by members of the committee. Scottish Grand Committee (ministerial statements).
  
  (2) Ministerial statements may be made for the purpose of—
  
    (a) facilitating the questioning by members of the committee of the Minister of the Crown about a matter relating to his official responsibilities so far as they relate to Scotland, which, in the case of a Scottish law officer, shall be as provided in the second column of the relevant sub­paragraph of paragraph (2) of Standing Order No. 152 (Select committees related to government departments), in which case proceedings under this order shall be brought to a conclusion either at an hour appointed by an order of the committee, for which a motion may be made without notice by a member of the government immediately before the commencement of such proceedings, on which motion the question shall be put forthwith, or, if no such motion is made, not later than three­quarters of an hour after their commencement; or

    (b) announcing the policy of the government on a matter relating to Scotland or the response of the government to an event relating to Scotland, in which case proceedings under this order shall be brought to a conclusion at the discretion of the chairman.

  
  (3) Ministerial statements may be made—
  
    (a) at the commencement of a sitting; or

    (b) if questions are taken, immediately after the conclusion of proceedings thereon; or

    (c) if short debates are held, immediately after the conclusion of those proceedings.

  
  (4) A Minister of the Crown making a statement under paragraph (1) of this order, who is not a Member of the House, may not do so from the body of the committee; and shall not vote, make any motion or be counted in the quorum.
  
  97.(1) After any public bill has been first printed, the Speaker shall, if of the opinion that its provisions relate exclusively to Scotland, give a certificate to that effect: Scottish Grand Committee (bills in relation to their principle).
  
  Provided that a certificate shall not be withheld by reason only that the bill—
  
    (a) makes minor consequential amendments of enactments which extend to England and Wales or Northern Ireland; or

    (b) amends Schedule 2 to the Parliamentary Commissioner Act 1967, Schedule 1 to the House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975 or Schedule 1 to the Northern Ireland Assembly Disqualification Act 1975.

  
  (2) On the order being read for the second reading of a bill so certified, a motion may be made by a Minister of the Crown (or in the case of a private Member's bill, by the Member in charge of the bill), 'That the bill be referred to the Scottish Grand Committee'; and the question thereon shall be put forthwith and may be decided at any hour, though opposed:
  
  Provided that such a motion may be made by a private Member only with the leave of the House.
  
  (3) A bill so referred to the Scottish Grand Committee shall be considered on a motion, 'That the Committee has considered the bill in relation to its principle'; and, when the committee has considered that question for a total of two and half hours (whether on one or more than one day), the chairman shall put the question necessary to dispose of the motion, and shall then report accordingly to the House (or shall report that the committee has come to no resolution), without any further question being put thereon:
  
  Provided that a Minister of the Crown may, immediately before the motion 'That the Committee has considered the bill in relation to its principle' is made, make without notice a motion to extend the time­limit specified in this paragraph; and the question on such motion shall be put forthwith.
  
  (4) A bill in respect of which a report has been made under paragraph (3) above shall be ordered to be read a second time on a future day.
  
  (5) On the order being read for the second reading of a bill to which paragraph (4) above applies, a motion may be made by a Minister of the Crown (or, in the case of a private Member's bill, by the Member in charge of the bill), 'That the bill be committed to a Scottish Standing Committee (or to a special standing committee)'; and the question thereon shall be put forthwith and may be decided at any hour, though opposed.
  
  (6) If a motion made under the preceding paragraph be agreed to, the bill shall be deemed to have been read a second time, and shall stand committed to a Scottish Standing Committee (or to a special standing committee).
  
  (7) At the conclusion of proceedings on consideration on report of a bill in respect of which a report has been made under paragraph (3) above, or on the order being read for the third reading of such a bill, a motion may be made by a Minister of the Crown (or in the case of a private Member's bill, by the Member in charge of the bill), 'That the Bill be referred again to the Scottish Grand Committee'; and the question thereon shall be put forthwith and may be decided at any hour, though opposed:
  
  Provided that such a motion may be made by a private Member only with the leave of the House.
  
  (8) A bill so referred again to the Scottish Grand Committee shall be considered on a motion, 'That the Committee has further considered the bill in relation to its principle'; and, when the committee has considered that question for a total of one and a half hours (whether on one or more than one day), the chairman shall put the question necessary to dispose of the motion, and shall then report accordingly to the House (or shall report that the committee has come to no resolution), without any further question being put thereon:
  
  Provided that a Minister of the Crown may, immediately before the motion 'That the Committee has further considered the bill in relation to its principle' is made, make without notice a motion to extend the time­limit specified in this paragraph; and the question on such motion shall be put forthwith.
  
  (9) A bill in respect of which a report has been made under paragraph (8) above shall be ordered to be read the third time on a future day.
  
  (10) When a motion shall have been made for the third reading of a bill to which paragraph (9) above applies, the question thereon shall be put forthwith and may be decided at any hour, though opposed.
  
  98.—(1) Where— Scottish Grand Committee (delegated legislation).
  
    (a) a Member has given notice of a motion for an humble address to Her Majesty praying that a statutory instrument be annulled, or of a motion of a similar character relating to a statutory instrument or to any other instrument (whether or not in draft) which may be subject to proceedings in the House in pursuance of a statute, or of a motion that the House takes note of a statutory instrument, or

    (b) a Minister of the Crown has given notice of a motion to the effect that an instrument (whether or not in draft) upon which proceedings may be taken in pursuance of an Act of Parliament (other than a draft deregulation order or regulatory reform order) be approved,

  
  a motion may be made by a Minister of the Crown, 'That the instrument be referred to the Scottish Grand Committee'; and the question on such motion shall be put forthwith and may be decided at any hour, though opposed.
  
  (2) The committee shall consider each instrument referred to it on a motion, 'That the Committee has considered the instrument'; and the chairman shall put any question necessary to dispose of the proceedings on the motion, if not previously disposed of, not later than one and a half hours after the commencement of proceedings thereon; and shall thereupon report the instrument to the House without any further question being put.
  
  (3) If any motion is made in the House of the kind specified in paragraph (1)(a) or (1)(b) of this order, in relation to any instrument in respect of which a report has been made to the House in accordance with paragraph (2) of this order, the Speaker shall put forthwith the question thereon; which may be decided at any hour, though opposed.
  
  99.—(1) On each of the days specified in an order of the House under paragraph (1) of Standing Order No. 100 (Scottish Grand Committee (sittings)) for the consideration of motions for the adjournment of the Scottish Grand Committee, such motions of which notice has been given in accordance with paragraphs (2) and (3) below shall have precedence. Scottish Grand Committee (substantive motions for the adjournment).
  
  (2) A member of the committee giving notice of a motion for the adjournment of the committee under this order shall—
  
    (a) also give notice of the subject to which he intends to call attention on the motion for the adjournment of the committee, and

    (b) give such notice of motion and of the subject in writing not later than ten sitting days before that on which the motion is to be made:

  
  Provided that the subject to which attention is called must relate to Scotland.
  
  (3) The days specified for the consideration of motions for the adjournment of the committee under this order shall be allocated as follows—
  
    (a) six at the disposal of the government;

    (b) four at the disposal of the Leader of the Opposition;

  
  and, in respect of parties other than that of the Leader of the Opposition,
  
    (c) one at the disposal of the leader of the largest opposition party; and

    (d) one at the disposal of the leader of the next largest opposition party:

  
  Provided that a day specified in an order of the House under paragraph (1) of Standing Order No. 100 (Scottish Grand Committee (sittings)) on which business is to be interrupted at or after half­past three o'clock shall, if no business other than that to which this order applies is set down for consideration on that day, be deemed to be two days for the purposes of this order.
  
  (4) For the purposes of this order, the 'largest' and 'next largest' opposition parties in Scotland shall be those parties, not being represented in Her Majesty's Government and of which the Leader of the Opposition is not a member, which have the largest and next largest number of Members who represent constituencies in Scotland, and of which not fewer than three Members were elected to the House as members of those parties.
  
  



 
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