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
(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
(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
Claims of Irish Peerages in abeyance. 2 April
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.