House of Lords

(redirected from The House of Lords)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.

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 ?
Coun Mitchell added: "The Bill is currently under consideration by the House of Lords and I hope that the cross-party inquiry that we have carried out in Cardiff may help to address some of the shortcomings in the proposed legislation.
Lord Whitby said while his council career is drawing to a close, he will continue to battle for Birmingham in the House of Lords.
We don''t need the House of Lords, or one that is filled up with professional party politicians, to do this.
If the members of the House of Lords are to be elected, they can claim equal status to members of the Commons.
After failing to win Cheltenham for the Tories in 1992 he was appointed to the House of Lords by John Major as Baron Taylor of Warwick.
He said: "The expenses scheme in the House of Lords was based on trust.
I hope this means the North East region's strength is increased in the House of Lords.
Their lordships, most of them elderly and male, are used to the jokes - like the one about the House of Lords being proof of life after death.
The House of Lords is a bastion of unaccountability, a privileged club aloof from control by voters who can boot out MPs at elections but exercise no power over peers appointed for life in Parliament's gilded chamber.
LOWER Fifth Formers and A level Politics students at Solihull School have boosted their inside knowledge of the House of Lords after a visit by a prominent local peer.
That's a question many people will be asking after Ronnie Campbell joined forces with almost 100 Conservative dinosaurs to vote in favour of keeping the House of Lords the way it is.
MUCH has been said about the reform of the House of Lords.