Rotation rule

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40.10In order to secure a regular turnover of membership, a ‘rotation rule’1 operates in the case of most committees, whereby Lords Members who have been appointed (or co-opted) for a given number of successive calendar years (or parts of years) may not be reappointed in the following two calendar years.

Save for the exceptions below, all committees of the House are subject to a three-year rotation rule; the three years may be extended to allow a Lords Member appointed as Chair a three-year term as Chair.

The following committees, which meet only rarely, are exempt from any rotation rule: the Joint Committee on Consolidation etc Bills, the Standing Orders (Private Bills) Committee and the Hybrid Instruments Committee.2

The Lord Speaker, Leaders, Chief Whips, Deputy Chief Whips3, Convenor of the Crossbench Peers, Senior Deputy Speaker and Chair of the European Union Committee, and their substitutes3A, are exempt from the rotation rule.

Lords who leave a committee under the rotation rule are eligible for reappointment after the lapse of two calendar years. Select committees apply the rotation rule to their sub-committees. The rotation rule applies to the Economic Affairs Committee and its sub-committee as a whole.3B

Until 2021 the rotation rule counted sessions rather than calendar years, with the Committee of Selection making ad hoc adjustments if a session lasted significantly longer or shorter than 12 months.4 Transitional arrangements apply until 2023.5

Footnotes

  1. 1. Procedure Committee, First Report of Session 2005–06, HL 26; LJ (2005–06) 187; Procedure Committee, Fifth Report of Session 2013–14, HL 167; LJ (2013–14) 1814; Procedure and Privileges Committee, Fourth Report of Session 2019–21, HL 140.
  2. 2. Procedure Committee, First Report of Session 2005–06, HL 26; LJ (2005–06) 187.
  3. 3. Procedure Committee, First Report of Session 2008–09, HL 39; LJ (2008–09) 285.
  4. 3A. Procedure and Privileges Committee, Fourth Report of Session 2019–21, HL 140.
  5. 3B. Although the Chair of the Economic Affairs Committee may seek from the Committee of Selection an exemption from the rule if not doing so causes particular difficulties (minutes of Procedure Committee, 9 March 2020).
  6. 4. Procedure Committee, Fifth Report of Session 2013–14, HL 167; LJ (2013–14) 1814.
  7. 5. Procedure and Privileges Committee, Fourth Report of Session 2019–21, HL 140.