Personal bills

43.3The standing orders of the two Houses relating to personal bills take account of the practice that such bills originate in the House of Lords (see para 46.41 ). Under Standing Order 3 (HL), when an application is made for leave to bring in a bill relating to ‘the estate, property, status or style, or otherwise relating to the personal affairs, of an individual’, the Chairman of Ways and Means in the House of Commons and the Senior Deputy Speaker in the House of Lords may, on an application being made, certify that the proposed bill conforms to this description and that the standing orders relating to notices, dates of deposit, etc should not apply to it.1 If they make such a certification, the subsequent proceedings in the House of Lords are governed by the provisions of the relevant standing orders of that House (see para 46.41 ). When the bill has been passed by the Lords, it is sent to the House of Commons and, in accordance with Standing Order 74 (HC), read the first time in that House and referred to the Examiners. If the Chairman of Ways and Means reports to the House that the bill as brought from the Lords falls within the above definition and that the standing orders relating to notices, dates of deposit, etc, should not apply to it, the order referring the bill to the Examiners is discharged and the bill is ordered to be read a second time. Subject to some special provisions in the standing orders (see paras 43.18, 44.3, 45.10 ), the bill then proceeds as an ordinary private bill.2 Although Parliament dealt with a large number of personal bills in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the number has decreased significantly in modern times. The last such bills received Royal Assent in 1987.


  1. 1. For private bills which have not been treated as name, estate, or personal bills, but on which it was reported that no standing orders were applicable, see Ascot Authority Bill [Lords], LJ (1913) 154; Rhodes Estate Bill [Lords], LJ (1916) 137; CJ (1916) 114.
  2. 2. In the case of the Valerie Mary Hill and Alan Monk (Marriage Enabling) Bill [Lords] (1984–85), the Speaker directed that the requirement to print the Bill for its progress through the Commons should be dispensed with.