First update to the 25th edition of Erskine May

About updates

Following the publication online of the 25th Edition of Erskine May, updates will be made to the text up to twice per year. It is not intended for these updates between hard copy editions to include minor corrections or updates relating to events which do not significantly change our understanding of practice or procedure. Entire paragraphs within numbered sections will be replaced when:

  • they contain a significant error
  • significant procedural event or development has occurred, or
  • changes such as new provisions or Standing Orders have been introduced.

Where significant events or changes have occurred (such as temporary hybrid pandemic procedures and EU scrutiny changes following Brexit) an overview of the situation will be inserted, and the text updated where most relevant. Substantial revision of the text may in some cases be made at a later update or next hard copy edition.

The version of Erskine May on the UK Parliament website allows you to highlight sub-paragraphs within numbered paragraphs which have been substantively changed since the publication of the 2019 edition. A schedule of updated numbered paragraphs will be published for each update alongside a summary of key changes (as below).

The numbering of paragraphs will be maintained. Where paragraphs are deleted the redundant paragraph number will be combined with the previous paragraph number (e.g. [5.42-5.43]). New paragraphs which are not at the end of a chapter will repeat the previous paragraph number followed by ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’ etc. Where a footnote is updated, only the sub-paragraph containing the footnote reference will be highlighted.

Update 1: April 2020

This is the first of the updates that Parliament will be making once or twice per year to the online version of the 25th edition of Erskine May. The updates reflect developments since the 25th edition was published in May 2019 and before the end of March 2020. The key changes include:

  • The Early General Election Act 2019 and the effects on the December 2019 General Election timetable [Para 8.2];
  • Recent use of House of Commons Standing Order No. 24 motions for debates ‘for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration’ [Para 18.38];
  • The Speaker’s ruling of 19 December 2019 in relation to waiving the requirement for notice of a substantive motion in exceptional circumstances [Para 20.7];
  • The Deputy Speaker’s statement on the certification of Bills under the Standing Orders relating to English votes for English laws (EVEL) [Paras 17.20 and 27.16];
  • The creation of a Conduct Committee in Lords in place of the former Conduct and Privileges Committee and updates to the Lords Code of Conduct [Para 5.28];
  • Reversion of the House of Commons Selection Committee to the Committee of Selection [Para 38.81];
  • Proceedings on certain bills including the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill programme motion, NHS Funding Bill money resolution and the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Bill [Paras 28.58, 35.5 and 26.14]; and
  • The introduction of a system for recording disagreement of the Clerk of the House with the Speaker on a matter of procedure [Paras 4.25 and 6.7].

Schedule of updates

The table shows paragraphs in which substantive updates and/or corrections have been made to the online version of Erskine May. The table does not include paragraphs where the only change was to update the names of committees which have been replaced since the publication of the 25th edition when referring to current practice. It also excludes paragraphs where only a minor correction has been made.

Update one: made April 2020 and published July 2021
Part Chapter Paragraph
1 4 4.25, 4.50
5 5.27, 5.28, 5.39, 5.40, 5.41, 5.42, 5.43, 5.44
6 6.7
8 8.2, 8.8
3 17 17.20, 18.2, 18.38
19 19.9, 19.20, 19.22, 19.33
20 20.7, 20.18, 20.99
4 26 26.14, 26.16
27 27.16, 27.18, 27.19
28 28.58
30 30.45
5 35 35.5, 35.28
6 38 38.5, 38.27, 38.63, 38.81
39 39.3, 39.25
40 40.9, 40.36, 40.59
7 43 43.11
45 45.1