House of Lords (Cessation of Membership) Bill (HL Bill 21)

A

BILL

TO

Make provision for peers to cease to be members of the House of Lords by
way of retirement or in the event of non-attendance or criminal conviction.

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and
consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present
Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1 Retirement

(1) A peer may retire as a member of the House of Lords by giving notice in
writing to the Clerk of the Parliaments.

(2) The notice must specify a date from which the retirement is to take effect.

(3) 5At the beginning of that date the peer ceases to be a member of the House of
Lords.

(4) Retirement may not be rescinded.

2 Non-attendance

(1) A peer who does not attend the House of Lords during a Session ceases to be a
10member of the House at the end of the Session (subject to subsections (2) and
(3)).

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply—

(a) to a peer who has leave of absence in respect of the Session, in
accordance with Standing Orders of the House, or

(b) 15in respect of a Session that is less than six months long.

(3) Subsection (1) is to be taken to apply to a peer in respect of a Session if, and only
if, the Lord Speaker certifies that the peer—

(a) did not attend at any time during the Session, having regard to
attendance records kept by officials of the House, and

(b) 20did not have leave of absence in respect of the Session.

House of Lords (Cessation of Membership) BillPage 2

(4) In this section a reference to attendance is a reference to attending the
proceedings of the House (including proceedings in a Committee of the House
or a Joint Committee of the two Houses).

(5) This section applies in respect of the first Session beginning after Royal Assent,
5and later Sessions.

3 Conviction of serious offence

(1) A peer who is convicted of a serious offence ceases to be a member of the
House of Lords (subject to subsections (2) to (5)).

(2) A peer is to be treated as having been convicted of a serious offence if, and only
10if, the Lord Speaker certifies that the peer has been—

(a) convicted of a criminal offence by a court in the United Kingdom or
elsewhere, and

(b) sentenced or ordered to be imprisoned or detained indefinitely or for
more than one year.

(3) 15A certificate takes effect on the day on which it is issued.

(4) If the Lord Speaker decides that subsection (2)(a) and (b) no longer apply to a
peer by reason of a successful appeal against or challenge to conviction or
sentence—

(a) the Lord Speaker must issue a further certificate to that effect, and

(b) 20the original certificate under subsection (2) shall be treated for the
purposes of this Act as never having had effect.

(5) The Lord Speaker shall not issue a certificate under subsection (2) in respect of
a conviction outside the United Kingdom if the House of Lords resolves that
subsection (1) should not apply to the conviction by reason of special
25circumstances.

4 Effect of ceasing to be a member

(1) This section applies where a peer (whether life or hereditary) ceases to be a
member of the House of Lords in accordance with this Act.

(2) The peer becomes disqualified from attending the House of Lords (which
30includes sitting and voting in the House, and attending proceedings in any
Committee of the House or Joint Committee of the two Houses).

(3) Accordingly, the peer shall not receive a writ to attend the House (whether
under section 1 of the Life Peerages Act 1958 or by virtue of a hereditary
peerage; and a hereditary peer ceases to be excepted from exclusion under
35section 2 of the House of Lords Act 1999); and the peer may not attend the
House in pursuance of a writ already received.

(4) The peer is not, by virtue of being a peer, disqualified for—

(a) voting at elections to the House of Commons, or

(b) being, or being elected as, a member of that House.

5 40Certificate of Lord Speaker

(1) A certificate of the Lord Speaker under this Act shall be conclusive for all
purposes, and shall not be questioned in a court of law.

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(2) A certificate may be issued on the Lord Speaker’s own initiative.

6 Commencement

This Act comes into force on Royal Assent.

7 Extent

5This Act extends to the United Kingdom.

8 Short title

This Act may be cited as the House of Lords (Cessation of Membership) Act
2012.