The History of England

from Celts through 20th century

The Chamber of the House of Commons

Category: Politics

During the session the House of Lords meets on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 2.30 p.m. and on Thursdays at 3 p.m. Monday sittings at 2.30 and Friday sittings at 11 a.m. take place as business demands. Not all peers with a right to sit in the House of Lords attend the sittings. Average daily attendance is about 290, but more may attend when some matter in which they have a special interest is under discussion.

The majority of ministers are members of the House of Commons. The House of Lords usually includes about 15 office-holders, among whom are the Government Whips who act as spokesmen for the Government in debate. The number of Cabinet ministers in the House of Lords varies, usually between two and four out of a total of about 20.

In addition lo its parliamentary work, the House of Lords has important legal functions, being the final court of appeal for civil cases in the whole of Britain, and for criminal cases in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Theoretically, all Lords are entitled to attend the House when it is sitting as a court of appeal, but in practice and by established tradition, judicial business is conducted by the Lords of Appeal.

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