Work of the House of Lords 2016-17

The 2016-17 parliamentary session ran from 18 May 2016 to 27 April 2017. During this period, the House of Lords spent 141 days working to check the details in draft laws (bills), question and debate government action and investigate public policy.

Members work on behalf of the UK public

The House of Lords is one of the busiest legislative chambers in the world. Its members use their professional experience and specialist knowledge to ensure workable laws, often persuading the government to make policy changes on a diverse range of issues. In the last session:

  • 698 spoke in debates
  • 549 asked written questions
  • 172 asked oral questions
  • 185 put forward proposed changes to bills
  • 51 proposed a private member’s bill
  • 358 sat on committees

Making effective laws

The Lords checks the detail of a bill, working to address potential problems and close any loopholes. There were 33 bills that became law in 2016-17. Ahead of this, members:

  • examined 84 bills
  • considered 5,185 changes
  • made 2,270 changes

Holding government to account

The Lords challenges government actions and decisions. In 2016-17:

  • members asked the government 7,380 questions
  • the House of Lords held 154 debates on topical issues and public policy
  • the government made 707 statements on important policy initiatives and national and international issues - another chance for members to ask questions and raise concerns.

Investigating public policy

The Lords’ investigative committees examine key public issues. In 2016-17:

  • committees looked at the impact of the EU referendum result and a new permanent committee on international relations was set up
  • the six permanent committees produced 41 reports
  • four one-off committees were set up to look into charities, financial exclusion, the Licensing Act 2003 and the long-term sustainability of the NHS.

Image: UK Parliament/Roger Harris

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