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Expedited legislation: Public bills receiving their Second and Third Reading on the same day in the House of Commons

Published Friday, December 14, 2018

This briefing notes public bills that have received their Second and Third Reading on the same day.

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Not all bills expedited in the House of Commons were similarly fast-tracked through the House of Lords.

In the case of the Dangerous Dogs Bill 1990–91, the Government wanted the bill on the statute book before the long parliamentary recess. An expedited passage through the Commons allowed time for a normal passage through the Lords with Royal Assent being granted before the House rose for the summer recess.

These and other issues are examined in a report from the House of Lords Select Committee on the Constitution – Fast-track legislation: constitutional implications and safeguards [HL 116 2008–09]. The report sets out the following justifications which have been used for fast-tracking legislation: 

  • Northern Ireland peace process and devolution settlement (the single largest category in terms of numbers of Bills)
  • To remedy an anomaly, oversight, error or uncertainty that has come to light in legislation
  • To respond to the effects of a court judgement
  • To ensure that legislation is in force in time for a forthcoming event
  • To deal with economic crisis
  • To change a public authority’s borrowing or lending limit or other funding issues
  • To deal with a crisis in prisons as a result of industrial action
  • To respond to international agreements
  • To implement Treasury announcement in the Budget or autumn statement
  • To respond to public concerns
  • Counter-terrorism related

Appendix 5 of the report lists all expedited bills 1979–2009 with a brief summary of the justification given.

Parliament: facts and figures

This series of publications contains data on various subjects relating to Parliament and Government. Topics include legislation, MPs, select committees, debates, divisions and Parliamentary procedure.


Please send any comments or corrections to the Parliament & Constitution Centre. Suggestions for new lists welcomed.

Commons Briefing papers SN04974

Author: Sarah Priddy

Topics: Legislative process, Parliamentary procedure

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