Nomination of Members

41.4Generally, each House appoints the same number of Members to a joint committee, but on occasions the membership has been unequal.1 The House responding to the initiative of the other House has appointed a larger committee than that appointed by the first House, and has asked the first House to increase the size of its committee in response.2 One House has added Members to its committee, and asked the other House to make a corresponding increase in its membership.3

Each House determines its own procedure for appointing Members to a joint committee and discharging them from it.4 The names of the Members nominated or discharged are not communicated to the other House.

Where a Lords committee member ceased temporarily to be a Member of that House, a committee chose to appoint him as a specialist adviser to the committee until such time as the Lords might reappoint him to the committee.5


  1. 1. House of Lords Reform, when the Lords appointed a committee of 12 members and the Commons 11, CJ (1961–62) 209, 212; ibid (1962–63) 17, 18; Parliamentary Privilege, when the Commons appointed a committee of seven Members and the Lords six, LJ (1997–98) 221–22 and CJ (1997–98) 157; National Security Strategy of 2010, 2015 and 2017, where the Commons have appointed 12 members and the Lords 10: CJ (2009–10) 133, LJ (2009–10) 178; Votes and Proceedings, 30 November 2015, LJ (2015–16) 525–26; Votes and Proceedings, 30 October 2017, House of Lords Minutes of Proceedings, 6 November 2017. The proposal put forward by the Commons to appoint a joint committee entitled the Special Commission on Oil Sanctions provided for five Members of the Commons and a motion to appoint a committee of four Members of the Lords was negatived, CJ (1978–79) 138; LJ (1978–79) 199.
  2. 2. CJ (1893–94) 581, 593, 597; ibid (1908) 261, 280, 293; ibid (1918) 169, 179, 197; ibid (1922) 246, 265, 271; ibid (1928) 203, 208, 231.
  3. 3. For example, LJ (1964–65) 324, CJ (1964–65) 314.
  4. 4. Each House provided for the attendance and participation of the Law Officers in the proceedings of the 1997–98 Joint Committee on Parliamentary Privilege, though without the right to vote, make motions or move amendments, or be counted in the quorum, and communicated the decision to the other House, HL Deb (1997–98) 582, c 313 and CJ (1997–98) 105, 128; LJ (1997–98) 156, 171.
  5. 5. Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards, Formal Minutes, Session 2012–13, 28 January 2013 (the Bishop of Durham, a member of the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards, ceased to be a Member of the House of Lords on his election as Archbishop of Canterbury on 4 February; he was reappointed by the Lords to the committee on 26 February, LJ (2012–13) 797). In his appointment as a specialist adviser he was also given the power to question witnesses, which the Banking Commission uniquely was empowered to do.