11.10 Appeal and Appellate Committees have no
power to determine the matters referred to them, but must report
their conclusions to the House. The agreement of the House to
Appeal Committee reports is usually signified by silent Minute
entry. The reports of Appellate Committees however are considered
and agreed to at judicial sittings of the House. Such sittings
generally take place at 9.45 a.m. on Wednesdays. Proceedings are
brief: the House agrees to consider the report of the committee
on a particular cause; each Lord of Appeal then indicates his
Opinion on the appeal by reference to his written speech (made
available free of charge to those present); the House then agrees
to the report and a final, detailed question disposes of the substantive
issues raised by the appeal. In urgent cases, the Lords of Appeal
can ask the House to dispose of an appeal before their written
Opinions have been prepared.
11.11 By convention, members of the House who
are not Lords of Appeal take no part in judicial proceedings.
Recesses, prorogation and dissolution
11.12 Judicial business may be carried on when
the House is otherwise in recess. The Senior Lord of Appeal in
Ordinary may recall the House during a recess to give judgment,
by giving notice to such members of the House as he thinks fit.
Judicial sittings may take place during a prorogation.
Lords of Appeal may be introduced or take the oath at such a sitting.
Appellate Committees may meet during prorogation,
but Appeal Committees may not. During a dissolution, provision
may be made by a Writing under the Queen's Sign Manual for the
Lords of Appeal to act in the name of the House to hear appeals
and to give judgment.
482 Appellate Jurisdiction Act 1876. Back
The statutory retirement age is set by the Judicial Pensions and
Retirement Act 1993, which came into force on 31 March 1995. All
judges appointed to full-time judicial office after the Act came
into force must retire from office at the age of 70. Those judges
appointed to full-time judicial office before the Act came into
force must retire from office at the age of 75. A Law Lord over
the statutory retirement age of 75 remains a Lord of Appeal, e.g.
for the purpose of proceedings of the Committee for Privileges
on peerage claims, but may not take part in judicial business.
Statement by the Lords of Appeal in Ordinary: HL Deb. 22 June
2000 col. 419. Back
Maximum Number of Judges Order 1994. Back
SO 87. Back
They may attend in the Chamber while judicial sittings are taking
place but attendance solely at a judicial sitting does not count
as attendance for the purpose of Lords' expenses. Back
SO 17(3). Back
Appellate Jurisdiction Act 1876 s. 8. Back
Appellate Jurisdiction (Amendment) Act 1887 s. 1. Back
SO 87(5). Back
Appellate Jurisdiction Act 1876 s. 9. Back