Companion to the Standing Orders and guide to the Proceedings of the House of Lords


This is the 21st edition of the Companion to the Standing Orders of the House of Lords since Sir John Shaw-Lefevre, then Clerk of the Parliaments, compiled his first edition for private circulation in 1862. It is issued with the authority of the Procedure Committee.

The House and its procedures have changed much in recent years, and continue to do so. This edition of the Companion reflects two particularly significant changes. First, on 4 July 2006 for the first time the House elected a Lord Speaker. Secondly, the Minutes of Proceedings have been replaced by the new publication House of Lords Business from the start of session 2006-07.

The Companion is the authoritative guide to procedure, but it is by no means the only source of information for members. Others are the Handbook on facilities and services, booklets on participation in legislative business (from the Public Bill Office) and the General Guide to the Members' Reimbursement Allowance Scheme (from the Finance Department). All such guidance is available on line. The Table Clerks and procedural offices are always available to advise members.

Clerk of the Parliaments

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