Select Committee on Privileges First Report


Standing Orders of the House of Lords relating to public business (1994) (HL Paper 15), Nos 20, 74-78

Leave of absence. 16 June 1958

  20.—(1)  Lords are to attend the sittings of the House or, if they cannot do so, obtain leave of absence, which the House may grant at pleasure; but this Standing Order shall not be understood as requiring a Lord who is unable to attend regularly to apply for leave of absence if he proposes to attend as often as he reasonably can.

    (2)  A Lord may apply for leave of absence at any time during a Parliament for the remainder of that Parliament.

    (3)  On the issue of writs for the calling of a new Parliament the Clerk of the Parliaments shall in writing ask every Lord who was on leave of absence at the end of the preceding Parliament whether he wishes to apply for leave of absence for the new Parliament.

    (4)  A Lord who has been granted leave of absence is expected not to attend the sittings of the House until the period for which the leave was granted has expired or the leave has sooner ended, unless it be to take the Oath of Allegiance.

    (5)  If a Lord, having been granted leave of absence, wishes to attend during the period for which the leave was granted, he is expected to give notice to the House accordingly at least one month before the day on which he wishes to attend; and at the end of the period specified in the notice, or sooner if the House so direct, the leave shall end.

Committee for Privileges. 19 February 1957

  74.  A Committee for Privileges shall be appointed at the beginning of every session; sixteen Lords shall be named of the Committee, together with any four Lords of Appeal; in any claim of Peerage, the Committee shall not sit unless three Lords of Appeal be present.

Claims of Peerage. 24 March 1767

  75.  In claims of Peerage the following directions shall apply in regard to claims by Petition which have been referred to the Committee for Privileges:

    (1)  The Petitioner shall lodge his case, pedigree and proofs with the Clerk of the Parliaments within six weeks from the date of the presentation of his Petition to the House.

    (2)  Records and documents in public custody may be proved before the Committee by copies officially certified as in ordinary legal proceedings. The production of originals of such documents shall not be required except on an order of the Lord Chancellor or Chairman of Committees.

Originals of records and documents in private custody, together with copies thereof, must be produced and proved before the Committee.

    (3)  In unopposed claims the record of the documentary evidence given before the Committee shall be examined by an examiner appointed by the Crown Agent. The Crown Agent may, if he thinks fit, similarly appoint an examiner in opposed claims. The cost of the examination shall be borne by the claimant.

    (4)  The fees to be charged shall be such as shall be authorised from time to time by the House.

Claims of Irish Peerages. 2 April 1802

  76.  A claim to any Peerage of Ireland shall be made by Petition to the House, which Petition shall be referred to the Lord Chancellor to consider and report upon to the House.

Claims of Irish Peerages in abeyance. 2 April 1802

  77.—(1)  In case any Peerage of Ireland now is or hereafter shall be in abeyance, the persons claiming to be co-heirs thereto, or any of them, may, by Petition to the House, state such claim, and pray that the same may be examined by the House.

    (2)  No claim of any Peerage of Ireland alleged to be in abeyance shall be proceeded upon until the same shall have been recommended by Her Majesty to the consideration of the House, or until Her Majesty shall have been informed of such claim by the House.

    (3)  Every such claim shall be referred to the Committee for Privileges to examine the matter and report the same, as it shall appear to them, to the House.

    (4)  In case it shall appear to the House that any such Peerage is in abeyance, the House shall inform Her Majesty that in the opinion of the House such Peerage, though in abeyance, is to be deemed and taken to be an existing Peerage, according to the Fourth Article of Union.

Report of Committee for Privileges if improper arrangement entered into between co-heirs. 1 June 1954

  78.  If in regard to a claim for the determination of an abeyance existing in a Peerage the Committee for Privileges is satisfied that any arrangement entered into between the Petitioner and any co-heir is tainted with any impropriety, the Committee shall make no report to the House except that such arrangement is not shown to have been a proper one.

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