|Structure of parliament
||House of Lords
|Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments)
House of Commons
|Nature of the mandate
||· Free representation
|Start of the mandate
||· When the Letters Patent creating the peerage are sealed by the Lord Chancellor, or, in the cases of hereditary peers, when those have established their claim to the title to the Lord Chancellor. Further procedure.
|Validation of mandates
||· Validation by the Lord Chancellor only for hereditary peerages
· Procedure: the Lord Chancellor determines whether an applicant should receive a Writ of Summons. If he declines to issue a Writ, an applicant may petition the crown and the matter may be referred to the House of Lords Committee for Privileges.
|End of the mandate
||· By death, except for bishops who retire from both their sees and the House when they reach the age of 70
|Can MPs resign?
||· No, except for hereditary peers
· Procedure: hereditary peers can disclaim their peerage for life, within (at most) one year of succeeding to the title, by delivering to the Lord Chancellor an instrument of disclaimer.
· Authority competent to accept the disclaimer: the disclaimer does not have to be accepted
|Can MPs lose their mandate?
||Definitive exclusion from Parliament by the latter:
- Disqualification (aliens, persons under twenty-one, bankruptcy, treason)
|STATUS OF MEMBERS
|Rank in hierarchy
||· Within Parliament:
1. The Lord Chancellor, the Leader of the House (House's representative in Cabinet), and the Chairmen of committees
2. The other MPs (equal in rank)
· Outside Parliament: the official order of precedence ranks the Lord Chancellor in the 6th position. It does not accord a rank to the other MPs.
|Indemnities, facilities and services
||· No diplomatic or official passport
· Basic salary: reimbursement of expenses
+ Additional allowance for office-holders: in accordance with office
+ Supplementary London Allowance (office-holders): £ 1,406/per annum
· Total exemption from tax
· No special pension scheme
· Other facilities:
(a) Secretarial assistance: £ 33.50/day (+ £ 10.05/day for non-sitting periods) ; £ 4,119/per annum for office-holders
(b) Telephone services: free intra-UK telephone services
(c) Travel and transport: When House sitting, claim travel to and from House and on Parliamentary business in UK and/or Motor mileage allowance
|Obligation to declare personal assets
|Parliamentary immunity - parliamentary non-accountability
||· The concept does exist (called "parliamentary privilege"; Art. IX of the Bill of Rights of 1689).
· Parliamentary non-accountability is limited to words spoken or written by MPs and votes cast within Parliament.
· Derogations: slander, libel and defamation when immunity has been waived (Defamation Act 1996); offence or insult (SO 30 of the House of Lords Relating to Public Business; see Discipline)
· Non-accountability takes effect on the day when the mandate begins
|Parliamentary immunity - parliamentary inviolability
||· The concept does exist (in form of the "parliamentary privilege"; Standing Order (SO) 79 of the House of Lords Relating to Public Business, or for peers also in form of the "privilege of peerage").
· It applies only to civil proceedings, covers all offences, but protects MPs only from arrest and imprisonment.
· Derogations: refusal to give security for the peace, criminal contempt of court, detention under the Mental Health Act 1983 ("parliamentary privilege")
· Parliamentary inviolability does prevent MPs from being called as witnesses before a judge or tribunal.
· Protection is provided from 40 days before the session starts until 40 days after the House has been prorogued or dissolved ("parliamentary privilege"). The privilege of peerage is forever. Since parliamentary inviolability does not cover judicial proceedings in general, it does not cover judicial proceedings instituted against MPs before they become Lords.
· Parliamentary immunity (inviolability) can be lifted (Defamation Act 1996):
- Competent authority: the Lord
- Procedure: Lords may waive their immunity in cases of slander, libel and defamation.
· Parliament cannot subject the prosecution and/or detention to certain conditions.
· Parliament cannot suspend the prosecution and/or detention of one of its members.
· In the event of preventive custody or imprisonment, the MPs concerned cannot be authorised to attend sittings of Parliament
|EXERCISE OF THE MANDATE
||· There is a training/initiation process on parliamentary practices and procedures for MPs.
· It is provided by Parliamentary authorities and political parties.
· Handbooks of parliamentary procedure:
- Companion to the Standing Orders and Guide to the Proceedings of the House of Lords (1994 + amendments)
|Participation in the work of the Parliament
||· It is not compulsory for MPs to be present at plenary sittings or committee meetings (see SO 20 of the House of Lords Relating to Public Business)
||· The rules governing discipline within Parliament are contained in SO 30 of the House of Lords Relating to Public Business and in customary law.
· Disciplinary measures foreseen :
- Prohibition of speech
- Reading out of the SO on Asperity of Speech (SO 30 of the House of Lords Relating to Public Business)
· Specific cases:
- Offence or insult (SO 30 of the House of Lords Relating to Public Business): censure of the offender, reparation and satisfaction for the party offended
- Contempt of Parliament in cases of disobedience to rules or orders of the House (see Chapters 8 and 9 of Erskine May, Parliamentary Practice, 21st ed., London, Butterworths, 1989): committal, reprimand or admonition, suspension, expulsion (penal jurisdiction)
· Competent body to judge such cases/to impose penalties: the House of Lords
- Prohibition of speech
- Reading out of the SO on Asperity of Speech
- Offence or insult (SO 30 of the House of Lords Relating to Public Business)
- Contempt of Parliament in cases of disobedience to rules or orders of the House (see Chapters 8 and 9 of Erskine May, Parliamentary Practice, 21st ed.)
|Code (rules) of conduct
||· This concept does exist in the country's juridical system (2 Resolutions of 07.11.1995).
· Penalties foreseen for violation of the code of conduct (contempt of Parliament in cases of misconduct of Members; see Chapters 8 and 9 of Erskine May, Parliamentary Practice, 21st ed.): penal juridiction:
- Reprimand or admonition
- Suspension from the House
- Expulsion from the House
· Competent body to judge such cases/to impose penalties/procedure: the House of Lords (see also Procedure for declaration of interests.
|Relations between MPs and pressure group
||· There are no legal provisions in this field, but see Code of conduct.