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The Contemporary House of LordsWestminster Bicameralism Revived$
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Meg Russell

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199671564

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199671564.001.0001

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The Politics of Lords Reform

The Politics of Lords Reform

(p.258) 10 The Politics of Lords Reform
The Contemporary House of Lords

Meg Russell

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on reform of the House of Lords, looking back at proposals since 1999 for further reform, and forward at possible options. It summarises the many reform packages that have been proposed - including from government, a Royal Commission, and parliamentary committees - setting out what they contained, and also why they failed. It reviews problematic questions in the debate on Lords reform, including the desirability of election, the chamber’s appropriate powers, the presence of experts, and religious representation. It concludes that large-scale reform is difficult to achieve, and considers possible smaller-scale alternatives, such as removing the remaining hereditary peers, limiting prime ministerial patronage, allowing retirements, and capping the size of the chamber.

Keywords:   House of Lords, reform, hereditary peers, powers, composition, election, Royal Commission, patronage

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