Oral questions to Secretaries of State. Committee for Privileges and Standing Order 78. Personal Bills Committee - Procedure of the House Committee Contents


ANNEX: AMENDMENTS TO STANDING ORDERS RELATING TO PRIVATE BUSINESS


We recommend the following amendment to Standing Order 151(2):

151 Personal bills defined

(1) All private bills relating to the estate, property, status, or style, or otherwise relating to the personal affairs, of an individual, which have been certified as such under the provisions of Standing Order 3 (Requirements as to proof before Examiner), are in these orders termed personal bills.

(2) The proceedings in this House in respect to personal bills shall be subject to the provisions of the following twenty-one standing orders Standing Orders 152-174, and to such general or special directions (if any) as may be given from time to time by the Chairman of Committees.

We recommend the deletion of Standing Orders 154, 155 and 156:

154 Appointment and duties of Personal Bills Committee

(1) At the commencement of every session the Chairman of Committees and six other lords, who shall be named by the House, shall be appointed a committee to be called the Personal Bills Committee.

(2) Every petition for a personal bill shall stand referred to the committee so soon as it has been laid on the table of the House; and in any proceedings on such a petition, three of the lords so appointed shall form a quorum.

(3) The promoters of a personal bill shall be entitled to be heard before the Personal Bills Committee by themselves, their counsel or agents, in favour of their petition for the bill.

(4) The committee shall, in the case of every personal bill the petition for which is referred to them by this standing order, report to the House whether the objects of the bill are proper to be enacted by a personal bill, and whether the provisions thereof are proper for carrying its purposes into effect, and what amendments (if any) are required therein.

(5) If the committee approve the proposed bill, the Chairman of Committees shall sign a copy of the same containing the amendments (if any) recommended by the committee.

(6) A copy of the committee's report and (in any case in which amendments are recommended by the committee) of the bill containing the amendments shall be supplied to the promoters of the bill or their agent.

155 Petitions for personal bills affecting private interests in Scotland to be referred to two judges of the Court of Session

(1) Every petition for a personal bill affecting private interests in Scotland shall be referred, by the Personal Bills Committee, to two judges of the Court of Session in Scotland, who—

(a) shall forthwith summon all parties before them who may be concerned in the consequences of the bill, and

(b) after hearing all the parties, and perusing the bill, and taking such proof of the allegations therein contained, and such consents of the parties interested, and such acceptances of trusts as may be tendered to them, shall report to the Personal Bills Committee the state of the case, and their opinion thereon, under their hands, and what amendments (if any) are required in the bill, and

(c) if they approve the proposed bill, shall sign a copy of the same containing the required amendments (if any).

(2) The report of the judges of the Court of Session in Scotland shall be delivered by the party or parties concerned to the Chairman of Committees for submission to the Personal Bills Committee.

(3) The Personal Bills Committee shall not report to the House on a petition for a personal bill, which has been referred under this standing order to two judges of the Court of Session, until the report of the judges thereon has been received and considered by the committee.

156 No personal bill to be read a first time until Personal Bills Committee has reported

No personal bill shall be read a first time until the report of the Personal Bills Committee on the petition has been made to the House.

We recommend the following amendments to Standing Orders 157, 159, 166 and 167:

157 Personal bills to be delivered to all persons concerned

(1) Subject to any directions given by the Personal Bills Committee Chairman of Committees a copy of every personal bill introduced into this House shall be delivered before the second reading to every person concerned in the bill.

(2) In case of infancy, the copy shall be delivered to the guardian, or next relation of full age not concerned in the consequences of the bill.

159 Interval between second reading and committee

No committee, other than the Personal Bills Committee, shall sit upon any personal bill until ten days after the second reading.

166 In other cases all persons interested to consent

(1) Subject to paragraph (2) and Standing Order 165 (Respecting consents to personal bills where petitioners and consenting parties can bar entail), the consent of all parties concerned in the consequences of a personal bill shall be proved to the satisfaction of the committee on the bill.

(2) The consent of any such parties shall not be required if the Personal Bills Committee, when considering the petition for the bill, report committee on the bill consider that their consent may be dispensed with on account of remoteness of interest, or for any other reason.

167 Appointment of guardian or protector of minor interested in personal bill

(1) In any case in which a person who has not attained the age of eighteen (in this order referred to as a minor) is or may be interested in the consequences of a personal bill, the Chairman of Committees may, if he thinks fit, require that the minor shall be represented in any proceeding in reference to such bill or to the petition therefor by a person to be appointed as, or in the nature of, a guardian or protector of the minor by the Lord Chancellor or the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal by writing under his hand.

(2) Nothing in this standing order shall prevent the Personal Bills Committee, if they think fit, from requiring that any minors, not protected as mentioned above, shall be represented in like manner.

We recommend the deletion of Standing Orders 171 and 172:

171 Consent to personal bills relative to estates in Scotland

(1) When a petition for a personal bill concerning estates in land or heritable subjects in Scotland has been referred under Standing Order 155 (Petitions for personal bills affecting private interests in Scotland to be referred to two judges of the Court of Session), to two judges in Scotland, any person, resident in Scotland concerned in the consequences of the bill may give his consent thereto before the two judges to whom the bill is referred.

(2) Such judges shall certify—

(a) that such person appeared personally before them, and, being aware of his interest in the bill, gave his consent for himself, and for those for whom he might be entitled to consent, and

(b) if any trustee is appointed by the bill, that such trustee appeared personally before them, and

accepted the trust proposed to be vested in him by the bill, and

(c) that the person so consenting or accepting the trust in their presence signed a printed copy of the bill;

and such bill, together with the certificate, shall be produced to the Personal Bills Committee.

172 Such consent to be personal, or disability to attend proved

It shall be a general instruction to the judges who shall meet to take the consent of heirs of entail or other persons concerned in the consequences of any personal bill relating to estates in land or heritable subjects in Scotland, that they take no notice of the consent of any person to such bill unless—

(a) such person appears before them, or

(b) proof is given to them by two credible witnesses that such person is not able to attend, and has in the presence of the witnesses signed a printed copy of the bill in testimony of consent thereto.


 
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