Trade Finance Advice

House of Lords

The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster. Bills can be introduced into either the House of Lords or the House of Commons. Members of the Lords may also take on roles as Government Ministers. The House of Lords has its own support services, separate from the Commons, including the House of Lords Library. Unlike the elected House of Commons, most new members of the House of Lords are appointed. Membership of the House of Lords is made up of Lords Spiritual and Lords Temporal. There are seats for 26 Lords Spiritual who sit in the Lords by virtue of their ecclesiastical role in the established Church of England. The Lords Temporal make up the rest of the membership; of these, the majority are life peers who are appointed by the Monarch on the advice of the Prime Minister, or on the advice of the House of Lords Appointments Commission; the rest are hereditary peers. Membership was once a birthright of all hereditary peers, other than those in the peerage of Ireland. Under the House of Lords Act 1999, the right to membership was restricted to 92 hereditary peers. Since the vast majority of hereditary peerages can only be inherited by males, only two of these 92 are currently women. The number of members is not fixed; the House of Lords has 789 members (not including 56 who are on leave of absence or who are otherwise disqualified from sitting), unlike the House of Commons, which has a 650-seat fixed membership. The House of Lords scrutinises Bills that have been approved by the House of Commons. It regularly reviews and amends Bills from the Commons. While it is unable to prevent Bills passing into law, except in certain limited circumstances, it can delay Bills and force the Commons to reconsider their decisions. In this capacity, the Lords acts as a check on the House of Commons that is independent from the electoral process. In addition to its role as the upper house, until the establishment of the Supreme Court in 2009, the House of Lords, through the Law Lords, acted as the final court of appeal in the British judicial system. The Queen’s Speech is delivered in the House of Lords during the State Opening of Parliament. The House also has a Church of England role, in that Church Measures must be tabled within the House by the Lords Spiritual.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *