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Lords in United Kingdom

Parliament Lords

Introduction to Lords

Members of the House of Lords are known as peers. The House of Lords is made up of the lords spiritual (senior bishops of the Church of England) and lords temporal (lay peers). Lords temporal include law lords (senior judges). There are two types of lords temporal: life peers and hereditary peers. The Peerage Act of 1963 made it possible for hereditary peers to resign their peerages and obtain the status and rights of commoners. The House of Lords Act of 1999 reduced the number of hereditary peers from more than 750 to about 90. Members of the House of Lords are not directly elected. They may retain their seats for life, with the exception of lords spiritual, who must resign from the House of Lords when they retire from their church positions. Life peers are appointed by the monarch.

The Lords’ power, once equal to that of the Commons, was limited by the Parliament Act of 1911, which ended the Lords’ right to reject legislation and instead gave it the power to delay legislation. The House of Lords can delay financial bills for only 30 days and all other bills for no more than one year. The Lords, with less formal procedures than Commons, can provide additional study and reflection and thus improve the quality of legislation through amendments. Bills may be introduced into either the House of Commons or the House of Lords, except for financial bills, which may be introduced only in the House of Commons. The House of Lords does not have the power to amend legislation on taxation, which is considered solely the responsibility of the House of Commons. When sitting as the highest court of appeal, the Lords’ deliberations are limited to those peers with judicial experience, including the law lords, who are life peers appointed (since 1876) to enhance the Lords’ judicial ability.” (1)


Notes and References

  • Information about Lords in the Encarta Online Encyclopedia
  • Guide to Lords

    Lords Spiritual and Temporal Meaning, as used in the UK Parliament

    The Lords Spiritual are made up of the Archbishops of Canterbury and of York, the Bishops of London, Durham and Winchester as well as specific bishops of the Church of England.

    The Lords Temporal are made up of Life Peers, the Earl Marshal, Lord Great Chamberlain, Hereditary Peers elected under the Standing Orders.

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    Schema Summary

    • Article Name: Lords
    • Author: Danny W.
    • Description: Parliament Lords Introduction to Lords Members of the House of Lords are known as peers. The House of Lords is made up of [...]

    This entry was last updated: March 12, 2016


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