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House of Lords Reform Act 2014

Overview of the Structure of the Act

5.The Act has seven sections.

6.Section 1 provides that a member of the House of Lords who is a peer may resign as a member of the House by giving notice in writing to the Clerk of the Parliaments.

7.Section 2 provides that a member of the House of Lords who is a peer and does not attend the House during a Session ceases to be a member of the House at the beginning of the following Session. This does not apply if:

  • the peer has taken leave of absence;

  • the peer is disqualified from sitting or voting in the House or suspended for the relevant Session;

  • the House resolves that disqualification should not apply by reason of special circumstances; or

  • the Session in question is less than six months long.

8.Section 3 states that a member of the House of Lords who is convicted of a serious offence ceases to be a member of the House. A person is convicted of a serious offence if they are sentenced to imprisonment for more than twelve months, not suspended. A member will be disqualified on the grounds of a conviction outside the United Kingdom only if the House so resolves.

9.Section 4 sets out the effect of ceasing to be a member of the House of Lords. A departing member will not be entitled to receive a writ to attend. A peer who ceases to be a member of the House of Lords will not be prevented from voting in elections to the House of Commons and standing for election there by reason of their peerage. The section also makes provision for the replacement of hereditary peers by a by-election. It provides that a departing member may not return to be a member of the House.

10.Section 5 states that certificates issued under the Act by the Lord Speaker are to be conclusive.

11.Sections 6 and 7 are final provisions covering interpretation, extent, commencement and the short title of the Act.

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