Appendix 2 Amendments to Standing Orders
We list below all those Standing Orders which mention
the Lord Chancellor and indicate what amendments, if any, we propose
in implementation of our proposals:
Standing Order 11: Register of hereditary peers
11. Any hereditary peer (not previously in receipt
of a writ of summons) who wishes to be included in the register
maintained by the Clerk of the Parliaments pursuant to Standing
Order 10(5) shall petition the House and any such petition shall
be referred to the Lord Chancellor to consider and report upon
whether such peer has established his right to be included in
We recommend no change. While the Register remains
in existence the Lord Chancellor or his successor, with responsibility
for the Crown Office, remains the appropriate person to consider
Standing Order 17: Recall of the House
17.(1) If, during any adjournment of the House,
the Lord Chancellor is satisfied that the public interest requires
that the House should meet at a time earlier than that appointed,
he may signify that he is so satisfied and notice shall be given
and thereupon the House shall meet at the time stated in the notice,
as if it had been duly adjourned to that time.
(2) If the Lord Chancellor is unable to act for the
purposes of this Standing Order, the Chairman of Committees, after
consultation with Her Majesty's Government, may act in his stead.
(3) Notwithstanding any adjournment of the House,
the House may meet for judicial business at a time earlier than
that appointed if the Lord Chancellor or, in his absence, the
senior Lord of Appeal in Ordinary is satisfied that it should
do so and has signified that he is so satisfied and has given
notice to such Lords as he thinks fit.
In Standing Orders 17(1) and (2), the reference to
the Lord Chancellor should be amended to refer to the Lord Speaker.
Standing Order 17(3) will no longer be needed if and when the
new supreme court is established, and in the meantime no amendment
Speaker of the House
18.(1) It is the duty of the Lord Chancellor
ordinarily to attend the Lords House of Parliament as Speaker
of the House; and in case the Lord Chancellor be absent, his place
on the Woolsack may be taken either by a Deputy Speaker, authorised
under the Great Seal from the Queen to supply that place, or by
a Deputy Chairman, appointed by the House; and if neither a Deputy
Speaker nor a Deputy Chairman be present, the Lords may then choose
their own Speaker during that vacancy.
(2) In order better to discharge his duties as a
Minister of the Crown, the Lord Chancellor may, if he thinks fit,
leave the Woolsack and sit in such other part of the House as
he may find convenient; and in such circumstances his place on
the Woolsack shall be taken by a Deputy Speaker or Deputy Chairman.
In Standing Order 17(1), both references to the Lord
Chancellor should be amended to refer to the Lord Speaker. The
words "or in the Chair" should be inserted after "Woolsack".
Standing Order 17(2) should be repealed.
The Lord Chancellor
19. The Lord Chancellor, when he speaks to the House,
is always to speak uncovered, and is not to adjourn the House,
or do anything else as Mouth of the House, without the consent
of the Lords first had; and any matter on which there is a difference
of opinion among the Lords is to be put to the Question; and if
the Lord Chancellor will speak to any thing particularly, he is
to go to his own place as a Peer or such other part of the House
as he may find convenient.
This Standing Order should be repealed. The new Speaker
will be given no powers to act in the House without consent, and
no Standing Order is needed to curtail powers which will not have
Joint Committee on Consolidation Bills
52. There shall be a Select Committee consisting
of twelve Lords, who shall be appointed on the recommendation
of the Lord Chancellor at the commencement of every session, to
join with a Committee of the House of Commons as the Joint Committee
on Consolidation etc. Bills, to which shall be referred:
The words "on the recommendation of the Lord
Chancellor" should be left out. The effect would be that
the members would be nominated in the usual way by the Committee
Committees of the Whole House
63. To have more freedom of debate, and that arguments
may be used (pro and contra), Committees of the Whole House are
appointed, sometimes for Bills, sometimes to discuss matters of
great moment. Whenever the House resolves itself into a Committee,
the Lord Chancellor leaves the Woolsack and the Lord Chairman
of Committees presides over the Committee; Standing Order No.
31. (No Lord to speak more than once to a Motion) shall not apply
when the House is in Committee.
The words "Whenever the House resolves itself
into a Committee, the Lord Chancellor leaves the Woolsack and
the Lord Chairman of Committees presides over the Committee;"
should be left out.
72. In cases where it has been necessary to bring
a Statutory Instrument into operation before it has been laid
before Parliament, the notification thereof (which is required
by the Statutory Instruments Act 1946 to be sent to the Lord Chancellor)
shall be laid upon the Table of the House.
This Standing Order should be left as it stands while
the Lord Chancellor retains his role under the Statutory Instruments
Proceedings upon opening the Parliament
76.(1) At the beginning of Parliament, after
prayers shall have been said, the Lord Chancellor shall take the
oath appointed to be taken, according to the Act of Parliament
made for that purpose, and then all the Peers and Lords of Parliament
present shall in like manner take and subscribe the said oath.
(2) After Her Majesty's Speech from the Throne, some
Bill (pro formâ) is to be read; which being done, the Lord
Chancellor is to report Her Majesty's Speech, and then the House
shall proceed to nominate the Chairman of Committees.
(3) At the beginning of every other Session during
the same Parliament, after prayers said, some Bill (pro formâ)
is to be read, Her Majesty's Speech reported and the Chairman
of Committees nominated.
Both references to the Lord Chancellor should be
amended to refer to the Lord Speaker.
Claims of Peerage
79. 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
(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 think
fit, similar 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.
The reference to the Lord Chancellor should be amended
to refer to the Lord Speaker.
Claims of Irish Peerages
80. 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.
As in relation to Standing Order 11, we propose no
Appellate and Appeal Committees
87.(1) For the purposes of its appellate jurisdiction,
the House shall have Appellate and Appeal Committees, of which
all Lords qualified under the Appellate Jurisdiction Acts 1876
and 1887 shall be members.
(2) These Committees shall be:
(a) two Appellate Committees, which shall hear any
cause or matter referred to them and shall report thereon to the
(b) two Appeal Committees, which shall consider any
Petition or application for leave to appeal that may be referred
to them and any matter relating thereto, or to causes depending,
or formerly depending, in this House, and shall report thereon
to the House.
(3) In any criminal matter, or in any matter concerning
extradition, an Appeal Committee may take decisions and give directions
on behalf of the House.
(4) In any Appellate or Appeal Committee the Chair
shall be taken by the Lord Chancellor or, in his absence, by the
senior Lord of Appeal in Ordinary present, such seniority being
determined in accordance with the Commission for the time being
appointing Speakers for the purpose of the hearing and determination
(5) For the purposes of section 8 of the Appellate
Jurisdiction Act 1876, any Appellate Committee may sit and act
while Parliament is prorogued.
This Standing Order will no longer be needed if and
when the new supreme court is established, and in the meantime
no amendment is required.