Partisan Peers

Lord Tyler

I am really sad to report that the House of Lords seems to be drifting further into the unthinking partisanship that Peers often accuse MPs of habitually exhibiting. Today’s debate on mandatory sentencing for knife crime was characterised by some particularly powerful speeches from all sides of the House.  The clear majority of the contributions…

Constitutional standards

Lord Norton

On Monday, I chaired a meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Constitution.  The speakers were Professor Dawn Oliver, of University College London, and Jack Simson Caird, of Queen Mary College, addressing their report, published by the Constitution Unit, on The Constitutional Standards of the House of Lords Select Committee on the Constitution.  (You…

Partial affections?

Lord Tyler

The House of Lords had the nearest thing it ever has to an almighty row on Wednesday.  Peers on all sides are really angry that the Cabinet game of musical chairs seems to have ended up with no proper seat for the Leader of our House. I know from experience at both ends of the…

Assisted Dying Bill, two days to go.

Baroness Murphy

Regular blog followers will know I am a strong supporter of Lord Falconers’s Bill to enable those who are terminally ill and within 6 months of death, to request assistance to die at a time of their choosing. It makes sense to me as a clinician who has worked all my life with older people…

It’s a Private Affair

Baroness Deech

“Private Members’ Bills are Public Bills introduced by MPs and Lords who are not government ministers. As with other Public Bills their purpose is to change the law as it applies to the general population. A minority of Private Members’ Bills become law but, by creating publicity around an issue, they may affect legislation indirectly.”…

Quiz: the Lords and the law

Lord Norton

The Constitutional Reform Act 2005 excluded peers who were members of the Supreme Court from membership of the House for the period they held judicial office.  It also excluded peers who held other high judicial office.  Upon retirement, they resume their membership.  This quiz covers peers who have held judicial office.  As usual, the first…

Plant Life

Baroness Valentine

Last Bank Holiday weekend we walked down the Wye Valley Way. Many of the fields through which we passed were just wet grass, soaking through our boots. Occasionally, though, we came to a meadow full of wild flowers – buttercups, red clover, daisies, and other species that I could not name, but they all lifted…