A similar provision was enacted when Ireland merged with Great Britain in to form the United Kingdom ; the Irish peers were allowed to elect 28 representatives, who were to retain office for life.
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Elections for Irish representatives ended in , when most of Ireland became an independent state; elections for Scottish representatives ended with the passage of the Peerage Act , under which all Scottish peers obtained seats in the Upper House. In , the Labour government brought forward the House of Lords Act removing the right of several hundred hereditary peers to sit in the House.
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The Act provided, as a measure intended to be temporary, that 92 people would continue to sit in the Lords by virtue of hereditary peerages, and this is still in effect. Of the 92, two remain in the House of Lords because they hold royal offices connected with Parliament: the Earl Marshal and the Lord Great Chamberlain. Of the remaining ninety peers sitting in the Lords by virtue of a hereditary peerage , 15 are elected by the whole House and 75 are chosen by fellow hereditary peers in the House of Lords, grouped by party. If a hereditary peerage holder is given a life peerage, he or she becomes a member of the House of Lords without a need for a by-election.
The number of hereditary peers to be chosen by a political group reflects the proportion of hereditary peers that belonged to that group see current composition below in When an elected hereditary peer dies, a by-election is held, with a variant of the Alternative Vote system being used. If the recently deceased hereditary peer had been elected by the whole House, then so is his or her replacement; a hereditary peer elected by a specific political group including the non-aligned crossbenchers is replaced by a vote of the hereditary peers already elected to the Lords belonging to that political group whether elected by that group or by the whole house.
Until , the Lords Temporal also included the Lords of Appeal in Ordinary , more commonly known as Law Lords, a group of individuals appointed to the House of Lords so that they could exercise its judicial functions. They were selected by the Prime Minister of the day, but were formally appointed by the Sovereign.
A Lord of Appeal in Ordinary had to retire at the age of 70, or, if his or her term was extended by the government, at the age of 75; after reaching such an age, the Law Lord could not hear any further cases in the House of Lords. The number of Lords of Appeal in Ordinary excluding those who were no longer able to hear cases because of age restrictions was limited to twelve, but could be changed by statutory instrument.
By a convention of the House, Lords of Appeal in Ordinary did not take part in debates on new legislation, so as to maintain judicial independence. Lords of Appeal in Ordinary held their seats in the House of Lords for life, remaining as members even after reaching the judicial retirement age of 70 or Former Lord Chancellors and holders of other high judicial office could also sit as Law Lords under the Appellate Jurisdiction Act, although in practice this right was only rarely exercised.
Under the Constitutional Reform Act , the Lords of Appeal in Ordinary when the Act came into effect in became judges of the new Supreme Court of the United Kingdom and were then barred from sitting or voting in the House of Lords until they had retired as judges. One of the main justifications for the new Supreme Court was to establish a separation of powers between the judiciary and the legislature.
The largest group of Lords Temporal, and indeed of the whole House, are life peers. As of June there are life peers.
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Like all other peers, life peers are created by the Sovereign, who acts on the advice of the Prime Minister or the House of Lords Appointments Commission. By convention, however, the Prime Minister allows leaders of other parties to nominate some life peers, so as to maintain a political balance in the House of Lords. Moreover, some non-party life peers the number being determined by the Prime Minister are nominated by the independent House of Lords Appointments Commission. In , the government announced it would set up an Independent Appointments Commission, under Lord Stevenson of Coddenham , to select fifteen so-called " people's peers " for life peerages.
However, when the choices were announced in April , from a list of 3, applicants, the choices were treated with criticism in the media, as all were distinguished in their field, and none were "ordinary people" as some had originally hoped. Several different qualifications apply for membership of the House of Lords. No person may sit in the House of Lords if under the age of Additionally, some bankruptcy-related restrictions apply to members of the Upper House. A person may not sit in the House of Lords if he or she is the subject of a Bankruptcy Restrictions Order applicable in England and Wales only , or if he or she is adjudged bankrupt in Northern Ireland , or if his or her estate is sequestered in Scotland.
A final restriction bars an individual convicted of high treason from sitting in the House of Lords until completing his or her full term of imprisonment. An exception applies, however, if the individual convicted of high treason receives a full pardon.
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Note that an individual serving a prison sentence for an offence other than high treason is not automatically disqualified. Women were excluded from the House of Lords until the Life Peerages Act ,  passed to address the declining number of active members, made possible the creation of peerages for life. Women were immediately eligible and four were among the first life peers appointed. However, hereditary peeresses continued to be excluded until the passage of the Peerage Act The Honours Prevention of Abuses Act  made it illegal for a peerage, or other honour, to be bought or sold.
Nonetheless, there have been repeated allegations that life peerages and thus membership of the House of Lords have been made available to major political donors in exchange for donations. The most prominent case, the Cash for Honours scandal, saw a police investigation, with no charges being brought. A study found that of people nominated for peerages in the period —14, a total of were former senior figures within politics including former MPs , or were non-political appointments.
Of the remaining 92 political appointments from outside public life, 27 had made significant donations to political parties. The authors concluded firstly that nominees from outside public life were much more likely to have made large gifts than peers nominated after prior political or public service. They also found that significant donors to parties were far more likely to be nominated for peerages than other party members. Traditionally there was no mechanism by which members could resign or be removed from the House of Lords compare the situation as regards resignation from the House of Commons.
The Peerage Act permitted a person to disclaim their newly inherited peerage within certain time limits ; this meant that such a person could effectively renounce their membership of the Lords.
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This might be done in order to remain or become qualified to sit in the House of Commons, as in the case of Tony Benn formerly the second Viscount Stansgate , who had campaigned for such a change. The House of Lords Reform Act  made provision for members' resignation from the House, removal for non-attendance, and automatic expulsion upon conviction for a serious criminal offence if resulting in a jail sentence of at least one year. In June , under the House of Lords Expulsion and Suspension Act ,  the House's Standing Orders may provide for the expulsion or suspension of a member upon a resolution of the House.
Traditionally the House of Lords did not elect its own speaker, unlike the House of Commons; rather, the ex officio presiding officer was the Lord Chancellor. With the passage of the Constitutional Reform Act , the post of Lord Speaker was created, a position to which a peer is elected by the House and subsequently appointed by the Crown. As the Speaker is expected to be an impartial presiding officer, Hayman resigned from the Labour Party. This reform of the post of Lord Chancellor was made due to the perceived constitutional anomalies inherent in the role.
The Lord Chancellor was not only the Speaker of the House of Lords, but also a member of the Cabinet; his or her department, formerly the Lord Chancellor's Department, is now called the Ministry of Justice. The Lord Chancellor is no longer the head of the judiciary of England and Wales.
Hitherto, the Lord Chancellor was part of all three branches of government: the legislative, the executive, and the judicial. The overlap of the legislative and executive roles is a characteristic of the Westminster system , as the entire cabinet consists of members of the House of Commons or the House of Lords; however, in June , the Blair Government announced its intention to abolish the post of Lord Chancellor because of the office's mixed executive and judicial responsibilities. The abolition of the office was rejected by the House of Lords, and the Constitutional Reform Act was thus amended to preserve the office of Lord Chancellor.
The Act no longer guarantees that the office holder of Lord Chancellor is the presiding officer of the House of Lords, and therefore allows the House of Lords to elect a speaker of their own. The Lord Speaker may be replaced as presiding officer by one of his or her deputies. The Chairman of Committees , the Principal Deputy Chairman of Committees, and several Chairmen are all deputies to the Lord Speaker, and are all appointed by the House of Lords itself at the beginning of each session. Whilst presiding over the House of Lords, the Lord Chancellor traditionally wore ceremonial black and gold robes.
Robes of black and gold are now worn by the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice in the House of Commons, on ceremonial occasions. This is no longer a requirement for the Lord Speaker except for State occasions outside of the chamber. The Speaker or Deputy Speaker sits on the Woolsack , a large red seat stuffed with wool, at the front of the Lords Chamber.
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When the House of Lords resolves itself into committee see below , the Chairman of Committees or a Deputy Chairman of Committees presides, not from the Woolsack, but from a chair at the Table of the House. The presiding officer has little power compared to the Speaker of the House of Commons.
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He or she only acts as the mouthpiece of the House, performing duties such as announcing the results of votes. The Lord Speaker or Deputy Speaker cannot determine which members may speak, or discipline members for violating the rules of the House; these measures may be taken only by the House itself. Unlike the politically neutral Speaker of the House of Commons, the Lord Chancellor and Deputy Speakers originally remained members of their respective parties, and were permitted to participate in debate; however, this is no longer true of the new role of Lord Speaker.
Another officer of the body is the Leader of the House of Lords, a peer selected by the Prime Minister. The Leader of the House is responsible for steering Government bills through the House of Lords, and is a member of the Cabinet. The Leader also advises the House on proper procedure when necessary, but such advice is merely informal, rather than official and binding.
A Deputy Leader is also appointed by the Prime Minister, and takes the place of an absent or unavailable leader. The Clerk of the Parliaments is the chief clerk and officer of the House of Lords but is not a member of the House itself.
The Clerk, who is appointed by the Crown, advises the presiding officer on the rules of the House, signs orders and official communications, endorses bills, and is the keeper of the official records of both Houses of Parliament. Moreover, the Clerk of the Parliaments is responsible for arranging by-elections of hereditary peers when necessary. The Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod is also an officer of the House; he takes his title from the symbol of his office, a black rod. Black Rod as the Gentleman Usher is normally known is responsible for ceremonial arrangements, is in charge of the House's doorkeepers, and may upon the order of the House take action to end disorder or disturbance in the Chamber.
The Lords Chamber is lavishly decorated, in contrast with the more modestly furnished Commons Chamber. Benches in the Lords Chamber are coloured red. The Woolsack is at the front of the Chamber; the Government sit on benches on the right of the Woolsack, while members of the Opposition sit on the left.
Crossbenchers, sit on the benches immediately opposite the Woolsack.
https://liopartlanna.tk The Lords Chamber is the site of many formal ceremonies, the most famous of which is the State Opening of Parliament , held at the beginning of each new parliamentary session. During the State Opening, the Sovereign , seated on the Throne in the Lords Chamber and in the presence of both Houses of Parliament, delivers a speech outlining the Government's agenda for the upcoming parliamentary session.
In the House of Lords, members need not seek the recognition of the presiding officer before speaking, as is done in the House of Commons. If two or more Lords simultaneously rise to speak, the House decides which one is to be heard by acclamation, or, if necessary, by voting on a motion.
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