Two ballots are held on the Wednesday of the previous week for each type of debate; MPs may enter into both ballots but can only be successful in one.
Each government department responds to the debates every other week according to a rota.
The Chair is taken by a member of the Panel of Chairs, with the same duties and powers conferred on Deputy Speakers.
Westminster Hall debates: 23 November 2011
Five debates were held in Westminster Hall. Watch and read the views expressed by MPs during the debates via the links to Parliament TV and Commons Hansard. Also, find more information about current parliamentary material in the Topics section on the Parliament website.
9.30-11.00am Disability hate crime
Kate Green, Labour MP for Stretford and Urmston, moved a debate on disability hate crime which received an answer from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Maria Miller.
11.00-11.30am Public Service Broadcasting in the North East
Chi Onwurah, Labour MP for Newcastle upon Tyne Central, moved a debate on public service broadcasting in the North East which received an answer from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, Edward Vaizey.
2.30-4.00pm Credit Unions
Damian Hinds, Conservative MP for East Hampshire, moved a debate on credit unions and financial inclusion which received an answer from the Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions, Chris Grayling.
Andrew Murrison, Conservative MP for South West Wiltshire, moved a debate on Government policy on Morocco which received an answer from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Henry Bellingham.
4.30-5.00pm Freeview channels
George Howarth, Labour MP for Knowsley, moved a debate on allocation of freeview channels which received an answer from the Minister for Sport and the Olympics, Hugh Robertson.
Westminster Hall debates
Westminster Hall adjournment debates allow MPs to discuss issues of local or personal interest which rarely have time to be debated in the main Chamber of the House of Commons. MPs can discuss a variety of issues and receive a response from a government Minister.