Parliamentary procedure

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on Parliamentary procedure. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Standard Notes

27.01.2015House of Commons : hours sat and late sittings since 1979
House of Commons late sittings have been reduced by successive changes in the last 20 years. In 2013-14, just 22% of its sittings were after 10pm, compared to over 70% 20 years ago.
16.12.2014Progress of the Recall of MPs Bill 2014-15
The Recall of MPs Bill 2014-15 was introduced on 11 September 2014 and had its second reading on 21 October 2014. The committee stage of the Bill took place on the floor of the House of Commons over two days; the first committee stage debate was on 27 October 2014 and the second was on 3 November 2014. The Bill completed its passage in the Commons on 24 November 2014 and is expected to be debated on second reading in the Lords on 17 December 2014.
03.12.2014Emergency Debates since 1979
This Note lists successful applications for emergency debates and provides a link to the debate in Hansard
18.11.2014The English Question
This Note explores the technical issues involved in identifying 'England-only' legislation and gives some analysis of bills and divisions in the current session. It also gives a brief account of proposals for further devolution in England.
10.11.2014Petitions in the House of Commons since 1987-88
Number of petitions presented to the House of Commons since 1987-88

Research Papers

22.04.2014High Speed Rail (London-West Midlands) Bill 2013-14
This paper has been prepared for the House of Commons Second Reading stage of the High Speed Rail (London-West Midlands) Bill, scheduled for 28 April.
11.02.2011Wash-up 2010
The wash-up period at the end of a Parliament allows a Government to get onto the statute book essential or non-controversial legislation that would not otherwise complete its passage through Parliament because of Dissolution. This paper describes the wash-up process; reviews the proceedings on wash-up in 2010; and provides details of Bills that received Royal Assent in each of the last six wash-up periods.
06.02.2006Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (Bill 111 2005-06)
The Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (Bill 111 of 2005-06). House of Commons Library Research Paper 06/06
08.08.2005Armed Forces (Parliamentary Approval for Participation in Armed Conflict) Bill: Bill 16 of 2005-06
10.05.2002Departmental select committees
Departmental select committees. House of Commons Library Research Paper 02/35. This paper has been superseded by Research Paper 09/55

Select Committee Reports

08.02.20122010 elections for positions in the House.
Government response. Procedure Select Committee report [Commons]
30.01.2012Grand Committees; Questions for Written Answer.
Procedure Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]
11.01.2012Debates on government e-petitions.
Procedure Select Committee report [Commons]
05.12.2011Questions for short debate; Standing Order 37.
Procedure Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]
24.11.2011Debates on motions in Grand Committee.
Procedure Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]

Early Day Motions

That this House notes the Answer of 11 October 2011, Official Report, column 319W, on sitting days, which states that to avoid an accumulation of a backlog of works, further September ...
That this House believes that constituents have the right to know how hon. Members vote; recognises the important work of the Public Whip website over the past eight years in explaining ...
That this House notes that the success of any non-Government or Opposition amendment to proposed legislation, if pressed to a vote, is regarded as a likely occasion for lamentation, ...
That this House notes paragraphs 287 and 288 of the report of the Speaker's Conference on Parliamentary Representation about the challenges faced by hon. Members who are parents of ...
That this House believes that the provisions of the Representation of the People Act 1983 relating to the removal of democratically-elected Members of Parliament should be repealed; ...

Lords Library Notes

07.10.2013Maiden Speeches
This House of Lords Library Note provides the text of selected recent maiden speeches to illustrate the range of styles and subjects covered by new Members in their first contribution in the Chamber.
11.10.2012House of Lords: Reform of Working Practices, 2000-2012
This Library Note summarises significant proposals to change working practices and procedures in the House of Lords.
10.04.2012Delegated Legislation in the House of Lords since 2000
This Library Note provides information on the powers, conventions and practice of the House of Lords in dealing with delegated legislation.
21.07.2011House of Lords Reform: Chronology 1900-2010
This Library Note provides a chronology of key developments in the reform of the House of Lords since 1900.
11.02.2011Wash-up 2010
This Library Note describes the wash-up process; reviews the proceedings on wash-up in 2010; and provides details of bills that received Royal Assent in each of the last six wash-up periods.
17.01.2011Debate on 20 January: Constitutional and Parliamentary Effect of Coalition Government
This Library Note aims to provide background reading for the debate on 20 January 2011: "To call attention to the constitutional and parliamentary effect of Coalition Government".


  • Research Papers (RP) - briefings produced by the House of Commons Library on Bills, topical issues and regular statistics
  • Standard Notes (SN) - shorter, topical briefings from the Commons Library
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POST Notes - short briefing notes produced by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - papers compiled by the House of Lords Library on Bills and for debates in the Lords
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses