House of Lords

The House of Lords has existed since the middle ages but its composition and powers have gradually evolved


The Life Peerages Act 1958

2008 marked the 50th anniversary of the admission of life peers to the House of Lords, including women for the first time, under the 1958 Life Peerages Act. Explore the background to women in Parliament and trace the passage of the Act

Judicial role

Up until 2009 the House of Lords was the supreme court of appeal on points of law for the whole of the UK in civil cases and for England, Wales and Northern Ireland in criminal cases

The Parliament Acts and the role of the Lords

The Parliament Act 1911 was the first attempt to reform the House of Lords, after which the powers and composition of the House were gradually transformed

Related information

Read about the current role and daily business of the House of Lords