Unopposed bills committed to unopposed bill committees (Standing Order 121)

46.28Every private bill which has not been petitioned against is committed to an unopposed bill committee. Bills against which petitions were presented but later withdrawn are also so committed. Bills which have become unopposed by reason of the provisions of Standing Order 113 (see para 46.20 ), except bills which the Senior Deputy Speaker has under Standing Order 92 reported to the House should proceed as opposed bills, are also committed to an unopposed bill committee. An unopposed bill committee consists of the Senior Deputy Speaker assisted by Counsel and, if the Senior Deputy Speaker sees fit, other Lords Members selected from the panel of Deputy Chairmen.1 No other Lords Member may take part. In the absence of the Senior Deputy Speaker, one of the Deputy Chairmen acts in their place.2

The promoters of an unopposed private bill are entitled to be heard before the committee by themselves or their agents or, in cases where the unopposed bill committee consists of the Senior Deputy Speaker and any Deputy Chairmen, by counsel (Standing Order 122). Representatives of those Ministers who have sent in reports on the bill, and witnesses of the promoters who can answer any points that have been raised by such reports or by the Senior Deputy Speaker or their Counsel, also attend.

Footnotes

  1. 1. See, for example, the London Local Authorities Bill (Special Report, HL 174 (2001–02)) where two Deputy Chairmen also sat.
  2. 2. For example, the unopposed bill committee on the London Local Authorities Bill [Lords] (HL Minutes of Proceedings, 8 July 2009).