Proceedings in Grand Committee

29.49A public bill may also be committed to a Grand Committee. As described above this is done on motion moved after second reading. Bills which are unlikely to attract amendments and which would have their committee stage discharged are not committed to Grand Committees.

Any bill may be committed to a Grand Committee1 and any Member may take part. The proceedings and forms of words in Grand Committee are identical to those in a Committee of the whole House save that no votes may take place. Normally, only one bill per day may be considered in Grand Committee. Amendments, which may be tabled and spoken to by any Member, are printed and circulated as for Committee of the whole House.

As divisions are not permitted in Grand Committee, decisions to alter the bill may be made only by unanimity. Thus, when the question is put, a single voice against an amendment causes the amendment to be negatived. If there is opposition to an amendment, it should be withdrawn in Grand Committee, to enable the House to decide the matter on report. For the same reason, the question that a clause or schedule stand part cannot be disagreed to unless there is unanimity. Provided that there is a single voice in favour, the clause or schedule must be agreed to.

In Grand Committee, Members speak standing and, so far as they can, observe the same degree of formality as in the Chamber. The Committee adjourns for ten minutes for a division in the House. Notice of the proceedings is given on the Order Paper; the committee may sit whether the House is sitting or not. The verbatim report of the Grand Committee's proceedings is published in the Official Report, and the minutes are published as an annex to the Minutes of Proceedings and, ultimately, in the Journals.

At the end of the stage, the Lords Member in the Chair simply says, ‘That concludes the Committee's proceedings on the bill’. The Grand Committee reports the bill back to the House by silent minute entry. Unless the House orders otherwise, the next stage of a bill reported from a Grand Committee is report.

Footnotes

  1. 1. Including a Private Member's Bill: Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty Bill [Lords] 1998–99; Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Bill [Lords] 2006–07; House of Lords (Hereditary Peers) (Abolition of By-Elections) Bill [Lords] 2017–19.