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.

Commons Briefing Papers

DateDescription
03.06.2016Carry-over of public bills
The carry-over of public bills from one session to the next was suggested by the Modernisation Committee as a way of reducing the fluctuations in legislative activity caused by Parliamentary sessions. After briefly summarising the Modernisation Committee's views, this House of Commons Library briefing paper describes the different approaches to allowing bills to be carried forward in this way in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The note also reports the use of carry-over motions and provides examples of the form of words used in carry-over motions.
02.06.2016Select Committees: evidence and witnesses
This Commons Library briefing paper reviews the power of select committees 'to send for persons, papers and records', that is to obtain oral and written evidence. The Paper considers arguments that have been made to increase select committees' abilities to enforce these powers without recourse to the House. It reviews the arguments for requiring witnesses to give evidence on oath to select committees.
16.05.2016Ballot Bills in the House of Commons since 1997
Results of the Commons Private Members' Bills Ballot since 1997
19.04.2016MPs who have withdrawn from the House of Commons or who have been suspended
A list of MPs who have left the Chamber voluntarily, been asked to withdraw or who have been suspended.
18.04.2016House of Commons Budget debates and Finance bills since 1968
A list of Budget debates and Finance bills since 1968 showing Chancellors and length of speech
14.04.2016Emergency debates in the House of Commons since 1979
A list of emergency debates held in the House of Commons since 1979
11.04.2016Private Members' Bills
This Commons Library briefing paper provides background information for the Westminster Hall debate on the procedure for debating and voting on private Members' bills, which is scheduled to take place in Westminster Hall on Wednesday 13 April 2016.
29.02.2016The Parliamentary Oath
This House of Commons Briefing Paper looks at the oath of allegiance or affirmation which Members of both Houses of Parliament are required to take before they can take their seat. It focuses primarily on the Parliamentary Oath in the House of Commons, although later sections look at the oath in the House of Lords, the devolved legislatures and in certain Commonwealth countries. It also sets out some of the key stages in the history and development of the Parliamentary Oath.
25.02.2016The Parliament Acts
This House of Commons Library Briefing Paper sets out the procedures governing the use of the Parliament Acts of 1911 and 1949. It notes occasions when they have been used and also reports on challenges to the validity of the Parliament Acts.
04.12.2015Expedited legislation: Government Bills receiving their Second and Third Reading on the same day in the House of Commons
A list of Government Bills since 1979 whose main Commons stages have been passed within one day

Lords Library Notes

DateDescription
24.05.2016Private Member's Bills in the House of Lords
This Lords Library briefing provides information on private member's bills in the House of Lords.
04.03.2016The Sovereign's Ceremonial and Formal Role in Parliament Today
On 9 September 2015, Queen Elizabeth II became the longest reigning sovereign in British history. This House of Lords Library briefing focuses on the Sovereign as part of the constitution of Parliament. It captures key aspects of the role of the Sovereign as it relates, in practice, to Parliament today, with an emphasis on the House of Lords. It does this through addressing a selection of the ceremonial and formal roles of the Sovereign: the State Opening of Parliament and its prorogation and dissolution; the calling of a new Parliament, in light of the Fixed-term Parliament Act 2011; Royal Commissions and royal assent; and Queen's consent. The briefing also addresses a number of aspects of the Sovereign's communications and relationship with Parliament more broadly, through Addresses and messages and the Palace of Westminster itself. It provides facts and figures relating to Queen Elizabeth II including: the number of Acts that have received Royal Assent during her reign, Addresses given by the Queen to both Houses in Westminster Hall, and the wording of Queen Elizabeth II's first message to Parliament on her accession to the throne in 1952.
05.01.2016Delegated Legislation in the House of Lords since 1997
This Lords Library briefing provides an overview of delegated legislation in the House of Lords since 1997.
30.09.2015Select Committees in the House of Lords
This Note considers committees in the House of Lords which deal with public matters.
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.

Select Committee Reports

DateDescription
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

DateDescription
12.10.2011FUTURE COSTS OF SEPTEMBER SITTINGS
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 ...
21.06.2011PUBLIC WHIP WEBSITE
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 ...
11.05.2011TRIBALISM IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
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, ...
28.04.2011REPORT OF THE SPEAKER'S CONFERENCE
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 ...
17.11.2010VOTER RECALL AND THE REMOVAL OF HON. MEMBERS
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; ...

Glossary

  • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POSTnotes (POST PN) - proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses