Preservation of order

25.56The House is self-regulating: the Lord Speaker has no power to rule on matters of order. In practice this means that the preservation of order and the maintenance of the rules of debate are the responsibility of the House itself, that is, of all the Members of the Lords who are present, and any Member may draw attention to breaches of order or failures to observe customs.1

Because the Lord Speaker has no powers to rule on matters of procedure,2 the Leader of the House normally advises the House on procedure and order, and has the responsibility of drawing attention to violations or abuse. The Leader also expresses the sense of the House on formal occasions, such as motions of thanks or congratulation. However, like the Lord Speaker, the Leader is endowed with no formal authority. In the Leader's absence the Deputy Leader, Government Chief Whip or other Government whips assume the Leader's duties. The opposition front benches and the Convenor of the Crossbench Peers also have a responsibility to draw attention to transgressions of order.


  1. 1. HL Deb (1987–88) 493, c 937.
  2. 2. LJ (2005–06) 699, 783.