House of Lords Library

Life Peerage Creations: Powers of the Crown

Published Friday, December 15, 2017

This House of Lords Library Briefing contains a brief history of life peerages, as well as an exploration of appointing Peers outside of the Life Peerages Act 1958.

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The Lord Speaker's committee on the size of the House’s report, Report of the Lord Speaker’s committee on the Size of the House (31 October 2017), commented on advice it received contending that the Monarch is empowered to appoint life Peers outside of the Life Peerages Act 1958, and that Peers appointed in this way would not be entitled to a seat in the House of Lords. Accordingly, the committee encouraged the Government to pursue this option in tandem with their main proposals. This Briefing further explores this option by considering the background to the appointment of life Peers; the Wensleydale Peerage case which challenged the Crown’s authority to create life Peers; and ways in which the Crown may honour individuals to be addressed as Lord or Lady, without sitting and voting rights in the House of Lords outside of the Life Peerages Act 1958.

Lords Library notes LLN-2017-0100

Author: Amritpal Bachu

Topics: Constitution, House of Lords

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House of Lords Library

The House of Lords Library delivers research and information services to Members and staff of the House in support of parliamentary business.