Petitions in favour of private bills

44.2Petitions in favour of private bills are not normally referred to the committee as the petitioners are not parties to the bill. On one side are the promoters, and on the other petitioners against the bill. Petitioners in favour of the bill cannot claim a hearing before the committee, except as witnesses called by the promoters. Counsel may allude to the presentation of such petitions in argument, but may not examine witnesses in respect of their contents or signatures. Parties wishing to side with promoters and against petitioners do so by presenting petitions against alterations, though this does not necessarily entitle them to be heard before the committee (see para 45.22 ).