Entitlement to have petition heard: general principles

44.5The account which follows is confined to issues which have been considered in recent decades or which could reasonably be expected to recur in current circumstances. It does not claim to be a comprehensive review of the case law created by the Court over the years (for which see Erskine May (21st edn, 1989), pp 842–58).

Generally speaking, it may be said that petitioners are not entitled to be heard by the committee on the bill unless it is proved that their property or interests are directly and specially affected by the bill. As a corollary, it has been accepted as an established principle that the owners of land proposed to be compulsorily taken—and also the lessees and occupiers on whom, as on owners, the notices required by the standing orders of both Houses are to be served—should always be heard against both the preamble and the clauses of a bill.1


  1. 1. London and North Western Railway Bill 1868, 1 C & S, App 62, 63 (known as the ‘post’ case); 3 C & R 481. For detailed case law on this point, see Erskine May (21st edn, 1989), pp 845–47.