Third 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 paragraphs within numbered sections 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.

Update 3: July 2022

The third update covers the period up to March 2022 and was published in July 2022. It reflects developments since the previous set of updates, published in December 2021.

The key changes in this update include:

  • Removal of references throughout to English Votes for English Laws in relation to current practice following rescinding of the Standing Orders in July 2021 [Paras 27.1, 31.23ff]
  • Changes to legislation on constituencies since 2018 [Paras 1.8, 2.3]
  • Membership of the Speaker’s Committee on the Electoral Commission [Para 2.26]
  • Changes to the Speaker’s personal staffing arrangements [Para 6.20]
  • Update on Restoration and Renewal (R&R) since 2019 including the sponsorship function and mandate for the works up to March 2022, but not including developments thereafter [Para 6.49]
  • Initial revisions consequent on the repeal in March 2022 of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 [Paras 2.7, 8.2, 8.3, 8.4, 8.12, 18.2 and 18.44]
  • Discussion of recent judgments considering the use of Parliamentary proceedings in court [Para 16.22]
  • Clarification that the Speaker may decide the time for the House to sit when it is recalled under Standing Order No 13 and is not required to apply Monday timings [Para 17.2]
  • Current practice on the use of formal silences in the House of Commons Chamber to mark events [Para 19.2]
  • Update motions for return of papers and changes in frequency of their use since 2018 [Para 7.31]
  • An indication by the Government that it no longer committed to respond via a ministerial statement to Opposition Resolutions approved by the House [Para 20.96]
  • Changes in relation to European Union scrutiny and Brexit, including:
    • Removal of redundant information on membership of the European Parliament [Para 3.32[Deleted]]
    • The creation of the Parliamentary Partnership Assembly of the European Union and the United Kingdom [Paras 10.1, 10.8A[New]]
    • Reference to the European Union (Future Relations) Act 2020 in relation to scrutiny of delegated legislation under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 [Para 32.3]
    • European Statutory Instruments Committee [Para 38.71]
    • European Scrutiny Committee [Para 38.72].
  • Changes to procedure and practice resulting from the pandemic including:
    • Temporary seating changes in the House of Commons Chamber in relation to the pandemic during session 2020-21 [Para 6.50]
    • Current practice in relation to the timing of the introduction of new MPs in the House of Commons [Para 19.20]
    • Permission is not required for ministerial statements given after Questions and before public business [Para 19.21]
    • Introduction of electronic passreader voting in the House of Commons Chamber [Para 20.62]
    • Virtual participation by disabled members of the House of Lords following changes to practice during the pandemic [Para 25.60A].
  • Updates in relation to the standards system including:
    • Updates relating to the interaction between Independent Expert Panel (IEP) sub-panel sanction determinations under the Independent Complaints and Grievances Scheme (ICGS) and the Recall of Parliament Act 2015 set out in ST No 150E [Paras 5.23, 11.31]
    • Appending of a lay member opinion to a Committee of Standards report in Session 2022-23 [Para 5.4]
    • Rescission of a decision of the House in relation to a recommendation of the Committee on Standards and subsequent review of the fairness of the House’s standards system [Paras 5.26, 20.102]
    • The extension of voting rights to lay members of the Committee on Standards and the responsibilities of the Committee in cases where an IEP sub-panel determines sanctions which would otherwise engage the provisions of the Recall of MPs Act 2015[Para 38.76]
    • New 2021 edition of the Code of Conduct for Members of the House of Lords, Guide to the Code of Conduct, and Code of Conduct for House of Lords Members’ Staff [Paras 5.27, 5.28ff].
  • Updates relating to legislation including:
    • Clarification that messages not causing a bill to be printed can be sent when the receiving House only is sitting [Para 9.17]
    • Requirement under S 20 Environment Act 2021 for a minister to make a statement in relation to Environmental law before Second Reading [Para 26.14]
    • Instructions may be given to committees on bills after they begin consideration of a bill, but before any relevant provision in question have been considered [Para 28.69]
    • Clarification on how the Lords Legislation Office may determine the order of tabling of amendments in the House of Lords [Para 29.29]
    • Grouping of amendments in the House of Lords [Para 29.33].
  • Unusual or irregular occurrences including:
    • Cancelation of a deferred division when the Regulations relating to the motion in question were withdrawn before the scheduled time for the division [Para 20.95]
    • Members of a body to which Questions may be addressed have been allowed to answer in the absence of the spokesperson nominated to answer on behalf of that body, including ministers and members of the Opposition front bench [Para 22.10].
  • Updates relating to House of Commons select committees including:
    • The roles of select committees regularly appointed [Paras 38.62 and 38.63]
    • Changes following the creation of the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and merging of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Department for International Development to form the Foreign, commonwealth and Development Office in 2020 [Para 38.63]
    • The core tasks of select committees [Para 38.64]
    • Changes to the Environmental Audit Committee [Para 38.67] and Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee [38.68].
  • Updates relating to House of Lords select committees [Para 40.2] including:
    • ‘Ad hoc committees’ changing to ‘special inquiry committees’ [40.3ff]
    • Various reports of the Procedure and Privileges Committee [Para 40.2ff]
    • Changes to the rotation rule [Para 40.10]
    • Changes following the pandemic meaning members of the House of Lords, as well as members of joint committees, can participate virtually in committee proceedings [Para 40.24] and those doing so count towards quorum [Para 40.25]
    • Changes to debates in the House of Lords Chamber on reports in relation to the European Union Committee following Brexit [40.45]
    • Changes to House of Lords investigative committees [para 40.45] including the European Affairs Committee replacing the European Union Committee [Para 40.51].
  • Updates reflecting changes agreed by the House of Lords in relation to recommendations of the Lords Procedure and Privileges Committee including in relation to manuscript amendments at third reading [Para 29.2]
    • Procedure for the Private Members’ Bill ballot in the House of Lords [Para 29.6]
    • Referral of bills to Grand Committee before Second Reading in the House of Lords [para 29.15]
    • Members of the House of Lords may add an explanatory memorandum at committee, report and third reading stages to amendments or notices of intention to oppose a clause stand part [Para 29.26].
  • Updates to references to House of Lords Standing Orders, made throughout.

Schedule of updates

The table shows paragraphs in which updates and/or corrections have been made to the online version of Erskine May. The table excludes paragraphs where only a minor correction has been made.

Update three: covering the period up to March 2022 and published July 2022
Part Chapter Paragraph
1 1 1.8
2 2.3, 2.7, 2.26
3 3.32[Deleted]
5 5.3, 5.4, 5.23, 5.26, 5.27, 5.28, 5.29, 5.30, 5.31, 5.32, 5.33, 5.34, 5.35, 5.36, 5.37, 5.38, 5.39, 5.40, 5.41, 5.42, 5.43, 5.44, 5.45, 5.46
6 6.20, 6.49, 6.50
7 7.31
8 8.2, 8.3, 8.4, 8.12
9 9.17
10 10.1, 10.5, 10.8[Deleted], 10.8A[New]
2 11 11.31
16 16.22
3 17 17.2
18 18.2, 18.44
19 19.2, 19.20, 19.21
20 20.62, 20.95, 20.96, 20.102
22 22.10
25 25.46, 25.60A[New]
4 26 26.14
27 27.1, 27.6, 27.7, 27.8, 27.9, 27.10, 27.11, 27.12, 27.13, 27.14, 27.15, 27.16[Deleted], 27.17, 27.18, 27.19, 27.20, 27.21, 27.22[Deleted], 27.23[Deleted], 27.24, 27.25, 27.26, 27.27[Deleted], 27.28[Deleted], 27.28A[New], 27.29[Deleted]
28 28.17, 28.69
29 29.2, 29.6, 29.8, 29.15, 29.26, 29.27, 29.29, 29.32, 29.33, 29.48, 29.62, 29.67
30 30.16, 30.27
31 31.17, 31.19, 31.23[Deleted], 31.24[Deleted], 31.25[Deleted]
32 32.3, 32.7, 32.9, 32.10, 32.11[Deleted], 32.16
5 34 34.8, 34.30
6 38 38.1, 38.3, 38.5, 38.6, 38.9, 38.27, 38.62, 38.63, 38.64, 38.67, 38.68, 38.71, 38.72, 38.76
40.2, 40.3, 40.4, 40.5, 40.10, 40.15, 40.20, 40.21, 40.24, 40.25, 40.30, 40.38, 40.39, 40.41, 40.42, 40.45, 40.46, 40.47, 40.49, 40.50, 40.51, 40.53, 50.54, 40.56, 40.56A[New], 40.56B[New], 40.56C[New], 40.56D[New], 40.56E[New], 40.56F[New], 40.61