House of Lords

related topics
{government, party, election}
{law, state, case}
{church, century, christian}
{son, year, death}
{borough, population, unit_pref}
{style, bgcolor, rowspan}
{black, white, people}
{county, mile, population}

The House of Lords (commonly referred to as "the Lords", officially referred to as "the Lords Spiritual and Temporal" in Acts of Parliament, and also known as House of Peers for ceremonial purposes) is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, the United Kingdom's national legislature. Parliament comprises the Sovereign, the House of Commons (which is the lower house of Parliament and referred to as "the Commons"), and the Lords. The House of Lords, like the House of Commons, assembles in the Palace of Westminster.

The House of Lords as an Upper Chamber has the primary purpose of scrutinising Legislation proposed by the Lower House through the form of debate and through proposing amendments to legislation. Governments in recent years have used the Upper House as a variant of the Select Committee process to finalise legislation before presentation for Royal Assent. Bills are able to be introduced into either House for debate and reading but due to the need for the Lower House's consent Bills are almost always introduced in the House of Commons. Peers of the House of Lords may also be in Cabinet but in recent years it is generally rare for high portfolio positions to be granted to members due to the appointment and Hereditary positions of those within the House. The Speech from the Throne is delivered from the House of Lords, a tradition still emulated in other Commonwealth Realms, as a reminder of the constitutional position of the Monarch. The House also has a minor Church of England role in that through the Lords Spiritual Church Measures must be tabled within the House.

Unlike the House of Commons, membership of the House of Lords is not attained by election from the population as a whole, but by inheritance, by appointment, or by virtue of their ecclesiastical role within the established church (Lords Spiritual). The Lords Spiritual are 26 senior bishops of the 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; In these appointments a form of convention has grown to appoint party Working peers and to appoint merit deserving Commonwealth citizens. Membership was once a right of birth to hereditary peers but, following a series of reforms, as of 2010 only 91, elected by the House from the hereditary peers, remain as members, whom are elected from amongst the Peers of the Realm as a whole. The number of members is not fixed; as of 1 December 2010 (2010 -12-01) the House of Lords has 741 members (as well as 39 who are on leave of absence or otherwise disqualified from voting), as against the fixed 650-seat membership of the House of Commons.[1][2]

Full article ▸

related documents
Senate of Canada
Social Democratic Party (UK)
Vice President of the United States
Ronald Reagan
Prime minister
House of Commons of the United Kingdom
Libertarian Party (United States)
Green Party of England and Wales
Brian Mulroney
Republican Party (United States)
Joe Lieberman
Politics of Germany
Politics of Singapore
Green Party (United States)
Jean Chr├ętien
Reform Act 1832
Official Monster Raving Loony Party
United States Congress
Hu Jintao
Dutch Labour Party
Pervez Musharraf
Boris Yeltsin
Westminster system
Jacques Chirac
Politics of Puerto Rico
National Party of Australia
Ian Paisley
Social Democratic Party of Germany
Fourth International
Head of state