Prorogation and adjournment

8.5The prorogation of Parliament is a prerogative act of the Crown. Just as Parliament can commence its deliberations only at the time appointed by the Queen, so it cannot continue them any longer than she pleases. But each House exercises its right to adjourn itself independently of the Crown and of the other House.1 In the Commons, the duration of a periodic adjournment, as opposed to the adjournments which occur each day, is determined by Resolution. The Question on the Resolution is put forthwith (Standing Order No 25). In the Lords there is no special procedure for determining the periodic adjournment (see para 25.45 ).


  1. See also paras 8.11 and fn 1 and 8.13, fn 1, regarding the effect on adjournments of the Meeting of Parliament Act 1799 as amended by the Meeting of Parliament Act 1870. In the past, the Crown (in person or by message, commission or proclamation) has signified its desire that both Houses should adjourn. For examples, see Erskine May (24th edn, 2011), p 144, fn 6.