Select Committee on Privileges First Report


APENDIX 4(8)

Standing Order of the House of Lords relating to public business (1958) No 21

Leave of Absence

  21.(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 aply 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 either for a session or the remainder of the session in which the application is made or for the remainder of the Parliament.

  (3)  On the issue of Writs for the calling of a new Parliament the Lord Chancellor shall in writing request every Lord to whom he issues a Writ to answer whether he wishes to apply for leave of absence or no. The terms of the letter which he has written shall be reported to the House.

  The Lord Chancellor shall, before the beginning of any session of a Parliament other than the first, in writing request—

    (a)  every Lord who has been granted leave of absence ending with the preceding session; and

    (b)  every Lord who though not granted leave of absence, did not during the preceding session attend any sitting of the House (other than for the purpose of taking the Oath of Allegiance)

to answer whether he wishes to apply for leave of absence or no.

  A Lord who fails to answer within twenty-eight days of being requested to do so may be granted leave of absence for the remainder of the 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 his notice, or sooner if the House so direct, the leave shall end.


 
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