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Peer in United Kingdom

Peer (member of the House of Lords) Meaning, as used in the UK Parliament

A Peer is a member of the House of Lords. Most members are Life Peers although 92 sit by virtue of hereditary title. Life Peers are appointed by the Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister to serve for their life; the title is not transferable.

Meaning of Peer

The following is an old definition of Peer [1]: An equal in rank or condition: as, in ” trial by one’s peers.” In early times the lord was legislator and judge over all his feudatories; and, therefore, the vassals of inferior lords were bound by their fealty to attend their domestic court barons (instituted in every manor for doing speedy and effectual justice to all the tenants) in order to form a jury or homage for the trial of their fellow-tenants; Upon this account they are distinguished as the “peers ” of the court, pares curtis, or pares curiae. In like manner, the barons themselves, or the lords of inferior districts, were denominated -peers” of the king’s court, and bound to attend him upon summons. Compare Suit, 1. By Magna Charta, ch. 29, no freeman shall be affected in his person or property ” nisi per legale judicium parium suorum vel per legem terrae,” except by lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land. ” Judgment of his peers ” means ” trial per pais,” by the country, that is, by a jury. Peerage. See Parliament.

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Notes and References

  1. Concept of Peer provided by the Anderson Dictionary of Law (1889) (Dictionary of Law consisting of Judicial Definitions and Explanations of Words, Phrases and Maxims and an Exposition of the Principles of Law: Comprising a Dictionary and Compendium of American and English Jurisprudence; William C. Anderson; T. H. Flood and Company, Law Publishers, Chicago, United States)


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  • Article Name: Peer
  • Author: David Jane
  • Description: Peer (member of the House of Lords) Meaning, as used in the UK Parliament A Peer is a member of the House of Lords. Most [...]

This entry was last updated: May 4, 2017

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