GENERAL AND SUPPLEMENTAL
Chapter 33: CONSTITUTIONAL RULES
AND PRACTICE OUTSIDE THE JURISDICTION OF THE COURTS
221 Constitutional Conventions
(1) In this Act, where the context permits, a "constitutional
convention" means a principle, rule, procedure or practice
of behaviour or conduct in public affairs that is regarded as
binding upon the person or persons to whom it applies but which
is not enforceable in law.
(2) Any provision in this Act which consolidates
or describes a constitutional convention may not be called into
question in any court of law, and the breach of a convention does
not give rise to any cause of action or remedy in any court of
222 Law and Custom of Parliament
(1) Each House of Parliament has the inherent power
to determine its own internal proceedings, which may not be called
into question in any court of law.
(2) Each House of Parliament has the inherent power
to determine, adjudicate and punish any action which in its opinion
constitutes a breach of its privileges or a contempt of Parliament,
and any such decision by each House may not be called into question
in any court of law.
(3) Each House of Parliament has the inherent power
to send for persons whose conduct has been brought before the
House on a matter or privilege by order for their attendance;
and the House of Lords through the office of Black Rod and the
House of Commons through the office of Sergeant at Arms may enforce
the attendance of and take into custody such persons.
(4) Each House of Parliament has the inherent power
to punish persons found guilty of a breach of parliamentary privilege
or contempt of Parliament by way of reprimand or admonition, and
imprisonment; and in addition the House of Lords has the power
to impose a fine in substitution for or in addition to imprisonment.
(5) In this Act, where the context permits, "the
law and custom of Parliament" means the principles, rules,
procedures and practices governing the internal affairs of each
House of Parliament which are derived from the inherent power
of each House to regulate and enforce its own internal proceedings.
(6) The principles, rules, procedures and practices
forming part of the law and custom of Parliament may not be called
into question in any court of law, and the breach of a law or
custom of Parliament by any person or body does not of itself
give rise to any cause of action or remedy in any court of law.
Chapter 34: CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT
223 Amendment by Act of Parliament
(1) The Parliament of the United Kingdom may amend
or repeal all or any part of this Act.
(2) Amendments to this Act are made through the same
legislative procedures described in Chapters 14 and 15 of Part
Three of this Act, subject to subsections (3) to (6) below.
(3) In the House of Commons, Bills of first class
constitutional importance are normally considered in a committee
of the whole House, but may be remitted to a Public Bill committee
where evidence sessions are required.
(4) The House of Lords is empowered to disapprove
any Bill which would prolong the life of a Parliament beyond 5
(5) The consent of the Monarch to consideration of
a Bill must be sought, granted and communicated to both Houses
of Parliament whenever the substance of the Bill affects the prerogatives
or property of the Crown including the Duchy of Lancaster; and
the consent of the Prince of Wales must be obtained where a Bill
affects the Duchy of Cornwall or matters affecting his titles.
(6) Any alteration in the law touching the succession
to the throne or the royal style and titles shall require the
assent as well of the Parliaments of the Commonwealth realms as
of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.
224 Use of Referendums
(1) The Parliament of the United Kingdom may legislate
to require the holding of a referendum on policies or legislative
proposals of a constitutional nature.
(2) Any such referendum must be conducted in accordance
with the provisions of Part VII of the Political Parties, Elections
and Referendums Act 2000 (c.41).
225 Amendment by the Courts
(1) The courts may interpret the provisions of this
Act in accordance with any rules of statutory interpretation that
are (a) specified in this Constitution, or (b) specified in any
other Acts of Parliament, or (c) that form part of the common
law in the legal systems of England and Wales, Scotland and Northern
(2) The judiciary may develop and reinterpret rules
of the common law which may be of constitutional significance,
subject to subsections (3) to (5).
(3) Any development or reinterpretation of the rules
of the common law must take place consistently with primary legislation
enacted by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, the Scottish
Parliament, the Welsh Assembly, and the Northern Ireland Assembly.
(4) Any development or reinterpretation of the rules
of the common law must be consistent with the doctrine of precedent,
subject to subsection (5) below.
(5) The Supreme Court will normally treat as binding
its former decisions and the decisions of the Judicial Committee
of the House of Lords, but the Supreme Court may depart from a
previous decision when it appears right to do so.
226 Amendments to the Law and Custom of Parliament
The law, privileges, proceedings and usage of Parliament
may be amended by (a) Act of Parliament, or (b) a resolution of
each House of Parliament with respect to the proceedings of the
House concerned but not with the effect of extending its jurisdiction
and powers on matters of parliamentary privilege.
227 Amendment by Constitutional Convention
(1) In this section, the meaning of "constitutional
convention" has the same meaning as that given in section
(1) Constitutional conventions existing at the time
of commencement of this Act may evolve and change from time to
time, and they may be amended by the common agreement of those
persons or institutions that are bound by them.
(2) A new constitutional convention may be created
by the common agreement of those persons or institutions that
are bound by them which are acted upon.
(3) A constitutional convention may be described
in a written statement, declaration
or a code of conduct
without prejudice to its inherent and flexible nature.
Chapter 35: MISCELLANEOUS
228 Financial provision
(1) There is to be paid out of money provided by
(a) any expenditure incurred by a Minister of the
Crown by virtue of this Act, and
(b) any increase attributable to this Act in the
sums payable under any other Act out of money so provided.
(1) This Act comes into force on such day as the
Secretary of State may appoint.
(1) This Act extends to England and Wales, Scotland
and Northern Ireland.
231 Short title
(1) This Act may be cited as the Constitutional Consolidation
812 British Railways Board v Pickin  1
All ER 609. Back
Erksine May's Parliamentary Practice (24th ed., 2011),
Parliament Act 1911 c.13 s2(1) Back
Law and custom of Parliament. Back
Convention; Preamble to the Statute of Westminster 1931 c.4 Back
See for example: section 238 Grounds for Judicial Review Back
Practice Statement (Judicial Precedent)  3 All ER
Examples of such rules in this Constitution may be found in: sections
3(1), 6-9, 16, 17, 18, 19 Back
For example, the 'Sewel Convention', as reflected in FN 532, above Back
For example, The Ministerial Code (2010) and The Cabinet Manual:
A Guide to Laws, Conventions and Rules on the Operation of Government
(2011), both referred to extensively throughout this Constitution Back