• Research Briefing

    Proposals for an e-petitions system for the House of Commons

    In April 2008 the House of Commons Procedure Committee published a report on e-Petitions. This note looks at the benefits and risks that the Procedure Committee identified in their report, and sets out some information about e-petitions systems in Queensland, Australia, the Scottish Parliament and the National Assembly for Wales. It also includes information about the No. 10 Downing Street e-petitions system, introduced in November 2006.

  • Research Briefing

    House of Lords reform: proposals to end the by-elections for the hereditary peers

    The Constitutional Reform and Governance Bill 2008-09 introduced in July 2009 included a clause which would end the process of by-elections to fill the vacancies for hereditary peers. This would allow the number of hereditary peers in the Lords to reduce over time to zero. This note sets out the Government's proposals and some background information on the House of Lords Act 1999.

  • Research Briefing

    Members 1979-2010

    This paper provides a complete list of all Members who have served in the House of Commons from the General Election of 1979 to the dissolution of Parliament on 12 April 2010. It also provides basic biographical and parliamentary data. The paper is based on data collated from published sources by the House of Commons Library and Information Office. It replaces an earlier version, Research Paper 09/31.

  • Research Briefing

    Pre-legislative scrutiny

    Note: Appendix 2 was last updated on 9 February 2011 This note provides a brief background to the introduction of pre-legislative scrutiny and the establishment of the Committee Office Scrutiny Unit. It then sets out the procedures followed in allocating draft bills to committees and by the committees in examining draft bills. Details of draft bills announced since the 2010 general election can be found in the Library Standard Note SN/PC/5859, Pre-legislative scrutiny under the Coalition Government.

  • Research Briefing

    Regulation of standards of conduct in the House of Lords

    This Note sets out the new procedures to be used in the House of Lords to investigate allegations of misconduct against peers, which replace the system in operation since 2002. The changes are based on the report of the (Eames) Leader's Group which recommended reforms to the Code of Conduct and the appointment of an independent House of Lords Commissioner for Standards.

  • Research Briefing

    Wash-up

    This note provides a brief outline of the procedures followed at the end of Parliament to ensure the enactment of some of the legislation that has not completed its passage through Parliament when a general election is called. The note also gives details of the time available for wash-up following the announcement of general elections since 1983.

  • Research Briefing

    Proposals for a Petitions Committee for the House of Commons

    This note outlines the current petitions process in the House of Commons. It then sets out the findings of the Procedure Committee's reports on petitions and the recommendations of the Committee on Reform of the House of Commons. Lastly it considers the operation of petitions committees in the Scottish Parliament and the House of Representatives in Australia.

  • Research Briefing

    Northern Ireland Assembly Members Bill [HL] [Bill 75 of 2009-10]

    The Bill would allow the Northern Ireland Assembly to delegate the authority for determining Assembly Members' salaries and allowances either to an independent body or to the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission. The Bill specifies that an independent body would have to be established by Act of the Assembly, whereas authority could be delegated to the Commission by resolution of the Assembly. The Bill includes provisions to prevent Assembly Members who also sit in the House of Commons or the European Parliament from drawing their Assembly salaries. They would still be entitled to full allowances in connection with each mandate they hold.

  • Research Briefing

    Reform of the House of Commons: Decisions taken on 22 February and 4 March 2010

    On 22 February 2010 the House of Commons held a general debate on the report of the Select Committee on Reform of the House of Commons, Rebuilding the House. This Note outlines the motions, that were based on recommendations in the Committee's report, that the House agreed to on 22 February and also on 4 March 2010, when those motions objected to on 22 February were put to the House again with selected amendments.

  • Research Briefing

    Constitutional Reform and Governance Bill: Committee stage report

    There were some significant amendments during the Committee Stage of this Bill. The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority was given control over setting Members' pay and pensions by amendments to the Parliamentary Standard Act 2009. There is to be a new Compliance Officer to investigate alleged misuse of Members' allowances; amendments would ensure that all MPs and peers would be liable to UK taxes; there would be a referendum on whether to adopt the Alternative Vote by 31 October 2011; and a new requirement on Returning Officers to begin election counts four hours after a general election poll closes.