Standing Orders Committee (Standing Orders 84–89)

46.6The Standing Orders Committee, appointed at the beginning of every session, consists of the Senior Deputy Speaker, who is always Chairman, and such other Lords Members as are named by the House on the proposal of the Committee of Selection. Three Lords Members, including the chairman, form a quorum in opposed cases,1 while by practice the Senior Deputy Speaker acts alone in unopposed cases.

All Examiner's reports of non-compliance with the standing orders are referred to the Standing Orders Committee (Standing Order 87). The committee is empowered by Standing Order 88 to hear the parties affected by any standing order cited by the Examiner, provided that such parties have duly deposited a statement (strictly confined to the points reported upon by the Examiner) of the facts to be submitted to the committee. The parties or the agents for the parties are invariably heard on their statements by the committee, but under the standing order no party may raise any matter not referred to in their statement. In the case of late bills, the committee decides whether the circumstances are such that the standing orders should be dispensed with and leave given to introduce the bill.2 In the case of petitions for additional provision, the Senior Deputy Speaker has power to sanction their presentation (see para 4.32 ); and when such petitions are referred to the Standing Orders Committee, it normally allows them if unopposed.3

If the Standing Orders Committee in either House refuses to dispense with the standing orders, the promoters cannot proceed any further with their bill (or that part of it which does not comply with standing orders) unless the House takes further action.


  1. 1. For a meeting of the committee in an opposed case, see Avon Light Rail Transit (Bristol City Centre) Bill, LJ (1989–90) 573.
  2. 2. Epping Forest (Waterworks Corner) Bill, LJ (1966–67) 505, 527, 543; Clifton Suspension Bridge Bill, ibid (1985–86) 168, 195, 229; London Local Authorities and Transport for London Bill, ibid (2001–02) 415.
  3. 3. In 1952, a petition for an additional provision in the Kingston-upon-Hull Corporation Bill was opposed and rejected by the Standing Orders Committee, LJ (1951–52) 151.