Standing Orders (private business)

43.2Standing Orders 4–59 of both Houses set out the requirements which are to be complied with by the promoters of private bills before a bill is presented. They include:

  1. Notices by advertisement.
  2. Notices to owners, lessees, and occupiers.
  3. Documents required to be deposited and the times and places of deposit.1
  4. Plans,2 books of reference, sections, and cross-sections.

Compliance with these standing orders, so far as applicable, must be proved in respect of every private bill, except a personal bill.

The requirements of the two Houses relating to notices and deposit of documents, plans, etc are now practically identical.

In addition to the standing orders already referred to , there are others (Standing Orders 60–68 of both Houses) with which compliance is proved after the bills have been presented to Parliament (see para 45.3 ).

Compliance with the standing orders must be proved before the Examiners of Petitions for Private Bills. Two Examiners are appointed by the House of Lords and the Speaker, each of whom may sit separately and may act on behalf of either House. Since 2010, it has been the practice to appoint two additional Examiners (Counsel in each House).3 The Examiners conduct, for both Houses, the preliminary investigations required for all petitions for private bills deposited before Parliament, and adjudicate upon all facts relating to the compliance or non-compliance with the standing orders. Where they find that standing orders have not been complied with, the Standing Orders Committee in each House determines, upon the facts as reported by the Examiners, whether these orders should be dispensed with (see paras 43.943.10, 46.6 ).


  1. 1. As to the custody, and as to facilities for the inspection of, documents directed to be locally deposited under the standing orders, cf the Local Government Act 1972 (c 70) (ss 225, 228) and Standing Orders 27 and 27A.
  2. 2. The Allhallows Staining Church Bill [Lords] 2009–10 referred to a plan which was deposited, though not required by standing order. A revised plan was deposited after the committee stage in the Lords.
  3. 3. Local Government Bill [Lords] (CJ (2010–12) 33; LJ (2010–12) 75).