What individual Lords do

The Lords work in Parliament's second Chamber - the House of Lords - and complement and operate alongside the business of the House of Commons. It is one of the busiest second chambers in the world. The expertise of its Members and flexibility to scrutinise an issue in depth means the Lords makes a significant contribution to Parliament's work. The UK public does not elect Members of the Lords.

Making laws

Making laws takes up the bulk of the House of Lords time, and Members are involved throughout the process of proposing, revising and amending legislation. Some Bills introduced by the Government begin in the Lords to spread the workload between the two Houses.

Checking the work of Government

Lords check the work of the Government by questioning and debating decisions made by Ministers and Government Departments.

Specialist committees

There are permanent committees investigating work relating to Europe, science and technology, economics, communications and the constitution. Occasionally one-off committees are set up to deal with issues outside these areas.

Related information

Addressing a Lord

Want to write to a Lord but not sure what to call them? Read our guide.

UK Supreme Court - 2009

From 1 October 2009, the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom assumes jurisdiction on points of law for all civil law cases in the UK and all criminal cases in England and Wales and Northern Ireland.

What Lords don't do:

  • represent constituencies
  • get involved in taxation
  • draw a salary (except for some office holders)