Marshalling

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29.29Subject to the rules listed below, amendments are marshalled in the order of their page, line and word references in the bill, taking account of any instruction which has been tabled. The rules are as follows:

  1. Amendments to the preamble (if any) and the long title, in that order, are put last.
  2. Amendments to leave out words take precedence over amendments to leave out the same words and insert others.
  3. Amendments to leave out a shorter block of text take precedence over amendments to leave out a longer block of text.
  4. Amendments to leave out any block of text other than a complete clause or schedule come before amendments to the text.
  5. Amendments to a clause or schedule are considered before an amendment to leave out a clause or schedule and substitute another.
  6. Because each clause and schedule must be ordered to stand part of the bill in committee, an amendment to leave out a clause or schedule at that stage is not technically an amendment, but a statement of intention to oppose the question that the clause or schedule stand part of the bill. Notice is usually given of such intention by means of an un-numbered italic note at the appropriate place in the marshalled list.1 On report and third reading an intention to leave out a clause or schedule is indicated by tabling an amendment.
  7. The question that the clause or schedule stand part of the bill or (on report or third reading) an amendment to leave out the clause or schedule is considered after all amendments to the clause or schedule (including an amendment to leave out the clause or schedule and substitute another).
  8. At committee stage, amendments to divide a clause are taken after the clause has been stood part of the bill.2
  9. At committee stage, amendments to transpose a clause or clauses, or part of a clause, to another place in the bill are taken after the clause (or the last of the affected clauses)3 has been stood part of the bill.
  10. Amendments to insert a new clause are considered at the place in the bill where it is proposed that the new clause is to be inserted.
  11. Amendments to amendments are considered immediately after the question on the original amendment has been put for the first time, in the order in which they relate to the text of the original amendment, and are disposed of before the question on the original amendment (as amended) is finally put.
  12. Where alternative amendments are tabled to the same place in the bill, they are marshalled in the order in which they are tabled, except that priority is given to an amendment tabled by the Lords Member in charge of the bill. Where it is not possible to determine the order of tabling, the Legislation Office may devise another method, e.g. a ballot, to determine the marshalling order. If a logical order applies, it may be followed, starting with the amendment closest to the existing text. A decision may be taken on each in turn, even if the second amendment is in substitution for the first amendment to which the House or Committee has already agreed.