House of Lords

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Related to British House of Lords: Lords Spiritual and Temporal

House of Lords

in the constitutional law of the UK, one of the two chambers of Parliament, the other being the HOUSE OF COMMONS. It is composed of Lords Spiritual, being the Archbishops of Canterbury and York and other senior bishops. Until 1999 the rest of the membership was predominantly made up of hereditary peers of whom there were several hundred but very few of whom actually sat. The majority of the peers in attendance are the life peers and peeresses. There are over three hundred such peers. The Speaker of the House of Lords is the Lord Chancellor. At the end of the 1998-99 session, in accordance with Section 1 of the House of Lords Act 1999, 655 hereditary peers ceased to be members of the House while, under Section 2, 90 hereditary peers, the Earl Marshal and the Lord Great Chamberlain remained as members for their lifetime or until a subsequent Act provides otherwise. This change had the effect of reducing the total membership of the House from 1,330 in October 1999 to 669 in March 2000. A Royal Commission reported in 2000, and further reform to democratize and modernize the House seems inevitable. The House reviews legislation in often impressive debates. It can delay legislation, initiate non-controversial legislation and scrutinizes legislation of the EUROPEAN UNION.

The House of Lords is also the highest court in the land, although not in respect of criminal matters in Scotland where there is no appeal from the HIGH COURT OF JUSTICIARY (although the same individual law lords sitting on the constitutionally different Board of the PRIVY COUNCIL now can reverse the High Court on devolution issues, which may include human rights matters such as that to a fair trial). To make sure that there is an adequate number of sufficiently qualified persons to carry out this task, it has been possible since 1876 to appoint Law Lords.

HOUSE OF LORDS. Eng. law. The English lords, temporal and spiritual, when taken collectively and forming a branch of the parliament, are called the House of Lords.
     2. Its assent is required to all laws. As a court of justice, it tries all impeachments.

References in periodicals archive ?
He is currently Chancellor of Oxford University and a member of the British House of Lords.
A LEADING Cardinal is tipped to become the first Catholic bishop to sit in the British House of Lords for more than 300 years.
But Marland, a member of the British House of Lords, who was also the treasurer of Britain"s main opposition Conservative party from 2003 to 2007, has thrown his hat into the ring.
The president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, made the decision to pardon Gibbons after a meeting Dec 1 morning in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, with two Muslim peers from the British House of Lords, the upper house of Parliament.
The other speaker, not pictured, was Lord Brennan, of the British House of Lords (see p 2).
a 1909 decision, the British House of Lords said damages were not available for "hurt feelings" when a contract was breached.
On the second day of a five-day visit, Patten, a member of the British House of Lords, attended several book-signing events for his book ''Not Quite the Diplomat'' but has declined to directly comment on current political scene in Hong Kong.
The huge concert hall is adorned with the famous Bran- gwyn Panels of Sir Frank Bran- gwyn, commissioned for the British House of Lords following the First World War.
An arrest warrant was issued for the 61-year-old Black, a former Canadian citizen who is now a member of the British House of Lords.
In contrast, the British House of Lords has seen dramatic change focused at trying to make it more representative and legitimate than in the past.
BOB Geldof has said he would consider becoming a member of the British House Of Lords - if it helped his aid work.
A British House of Lords committee investigating reform of the CFP visited key players from Scotland's fishing industry recently to indicate its support for the beleaguered Scottish fishing industry.

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