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


7.182  Letters Patent are issued from time to time to signify the Royal Assent to bills and Measures passed by both Houses of Parliament.

7.183  Royal Assent is usually notified to each House sitting separately in accordance with the provisions of the Royal Assent Act 1967. Once Royal Assent has been notified to both Houses, the bills become Acts of Parliament. If notification is given on different days to each House, the date of Royal Assent is the date of notification in the second House.

7.184  Notification is frequently given before oral questions, but it may take place at any break between two items of business, or at the end of business, if necessary after an adjournment. The order in which notification is given is as follows: supply bills, other public bills, provisional order confirmation bills, private bills, personal bills, Measures.

7.185  Royal Assent may also be signified by Commission, as described in appendix H (page 223).


7.186  The power to refuse Royal Assent was last exercised in 1708, when Queen Anne refused Her Assent to a bill for settling the Militia in Scotland.[307]

Record copies of Acts

7.187  Two record copies of each Act are printed, Public Acts on vellum and Private Acts on durable paper. One copy is signed by the Clerk of the Parliaments, who endorses it with the appropriate Norman-French formula.[308] This copy is preserved in the Parliamentary Archives, the other in the National Archives.

307   LJ (1705-09) 506. Back

308   See appendix H, page 223. Back

previous page contents next page

House of Lords home page Parliament home page House of Commons home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2007