Arrangement of the Order Paper

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25.7Standing Order No 37 provides that the House shall proceed with the notices and orders of the day in the order in which they stand on the Order Paper. The day's Order Paper is based on House of Lords Business, in which the business for named future days is set out. Notices are entered in House of Lords Business in the order in which they are received, subject to the following main conditions set out in Standing Order No 38:

  1. oral questions are entered first;
  2. private business is, subject to the Senior Deputy Speaker's discretion, placed before public business;
  3. business of the House motions and the Senior Deputy Speaker's business (for example, consideration of reports from domestic committees) are entered before other public business;
  4. on all sitting days except Thursdays, public bills, measures, affirmative instruments and select committee reports have precedence over other business.1 On Thursdays motions have precedence over public bills, measures and delegated legislation;2
  5. any motion relating to a report from the Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee on a draft order laid under the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006, or a subordinate provisions order made or proposed to be made under the Regulatory Reform Act 2001 is placed before a motion to approve the draft order;
  6. any motion relating to a report from the Joint Committee on Human Rights on a remedial order or draft remedial order laid under the Human Rights Act 1998, sch 2 is placed before a motion to approve that order or draft order;
  7. questions for short debate are entered last3, even when it is known that they will be taken in the lunch or dinner break.4

No distinction is made on the Order Paper between government business and other business.


  1. 1. Prayers to annul, or motions relating to, negative instruments (see para 31.30 ) and Special Procedure Orders do not have precedence over other business. See Erskine May (21st edn, 1989), pp 956–62.
  2. 2. SO No 38(4) and (5).
  3. 3. Except for balloted topical Questions for Short Debate on Thursdays which are entered after the first motion for general debate.
  4. 4. SO No 38(9).