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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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A Brief Introduction to the Contemporary House of Lords

A Brief Introduction to the Contemporary House of Lords

(p.67) 4 A Brief Introduction to the Contemporary House of Lords
The Contemporary House of Lords

Meg Russell

Oxford University Press

This chapter summarises the membership, functions, powers and organisation of the contemporary House of Lords. It considers who sits in the chamber, and how they get there, looking at peerage creations under Blair, Brown and Cameron, and the growing size of the Lords. It briefly discusses different types of member - life peers, hereditary peers and bishops - and the House of Lords Appointments Commission’s role. It also considers the age, gender, ethnic and professional backgrounds of peers. It then describes the chamber’s key functions, and its powers as set down in the Parliament Acts and established conventions. It also looks at the organisation of the chamber, and the key tradition of ’self-regulation’, and briefly considers the Lords’ image and outreach. It concludes that the post-1999 Lords is very different to its predecessor, but still anachronistic in some senses due to prime ministerial patronage and presence of hereditary peers.

Keywords:   House of Lords, membership, size, functions, powers, peerage creations, appointments, House of Lords Appointments Commission, self-regulation, conventions

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