Successive stages of a bill to be taken on different days

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29.2No two stages of a bill may be taken on one day. Standing Order No 44 provides that:

‘No Bill shall be read twice the same day; no Committee of the whole House shall proceed on any Bill the same day as the Bill has been read the Second time; no report shall be received from any Committee of the whole House the same day such Committee goes through the Bill, when any amendments are made to such Bill; and no Bill shall be read the Third time the same day that the Bill is reported from the Committee, or the order of commitment is discharged.’

Consequently, if it is intended to take more than one stage of a bill on one day, other than the report stage of a bill which has not been amended in committee, this Standing Order must be suspended and notice of the proposed suspension must be given (Standing Order No 84). In practice, Standing Order No 44 is often suspended for certain categories of bill which the Lords pass without amendment, for bills whose passage is urgent, or towards the end of a session or close to a recess when there is pressure on the time of the House.1 If Standing Order No 44 is set aside, then manuscript amendments are permitted at third reading despite Standing Order No 47, unless the House provides otherwise.2


  1. 1. For example, LJ (2004–05) 384 and ibid (2009–10) 445. The motion to suspend SO No 44 may be opposed, and amendments (of which notice is not required) tabled to restrict its application: Crime (Sentences) Bill, HL Deb (1996–97) 579, cc 768–88. On 7 April 2010 two amendments were moved to the original motion: the first would also have suspended SO No 47, so allowing amendments to be moved on third reading without notice; the second would have excluded the Constitutional Reform and Governance Bill 2010 from the original motion. The first amendment was defeated on division; the second was withdrawn.
  2. 2. Procedure and Privileges Committee, Fourth Report of Session 2019–21, Leave of absence, Committee rotations, Changes to procedure relating to legislation, Deletion of Standing Order 76, Wording in the Companion relating to ‘the closure’, Wording in the Companion relating to ‘that the noble Lord be no longer heard’, Changes to Standing Order 64, Legislative consent, HL 140, agreed by the Lords 2 October 2020, HL Deb (2019–21) 806, cc 1642–44. Business of the House motions not only to dispense with what is now Standing Order No 44 but to timetable proceedings on a bill were tabled in September 2019. See HL Deb (4 September 2019) 799, c 1011 and ibid (5 September 2019) 799, c 1148.