Committees on Opposed Bills

  • Locus standi of petitioners

104  Committees on opposed bills

Every private bill which is opposed shall be committed to a select committee of five lords, who shall be named by the Chairman of Committees in pursuance of Standing Order 95 (Appointment of committees).

105  All members to attend (HC 122(2))

Every member of a select committee shall attend the proceedings of the committee during the whole continuance of those proceedings, and no lord who is not a member of the committee shall take any part in the proceedings.

106  Quorum of committee on opposed bill (HC 121)

(1) If any member of a select committee is prevented from attending, the committee may, with the consent of all parties, sit in the absence of such member, provided that the number of the committee be not less than four, and that the committee report accordingly to the House at its next meeting.

(2) If the consent of any party under the foregoing paragraph is withheld, the committee shall adjourn and shall not resume its sittings in the absence of such member without leave of the House.

107  Order in which bills are to be considered by committee (HC 124)

Every select committee—

      (a) shall take into consideration first the bill or bills which shall have been named by the Chairman of
           Committees, and

      (b) may from time to time appoint the day on which they will enter upon the consideration of each 
           of the remaining bills without reporting to the House any adjournment of the committee caused thereby.

108 Adjournment of committee on opposed bill (HC 125)

Every select committee on an opposed private bill shall report to the House the cause of any adjournment over any day on which the House is to sit.

109 Reference to committee of petitions against bill (HC 126)

There shall stand referred to the select committee on an opposed private bill—

      (a) every petition against the bill which has been deposited in the office of the Clerk of the Parliaments
           within the required time, or which has been otherwise deposited in accordance with the standing
           orders of the House, or in respect of which the standing orders have been dispensed with, and

      (b) every petition which has been deposited in the office of the Clerk of the Parliaments and in which 
           the petitioners complain of any matter which may have arisen during the progress of the bill before
           the committee or of any amendment proposed in the filled-up bill, or which they apprehend may
           be made in the bill, being a petition signed as required by Standing Order 101 (Limit of time for
           presenting petition against bill) in which the petitioners have prayed to be heard by themselves, their
           counsel or agents.

110  Right of audience before committees on opposed bills and printing of minutes of evidence (HC 127, 131A)

(1) The promoters of an opposed private bill shall be entitled to be heard before the select committee on the bill, by themselves, their counsel or agents, in favour of the bill and against any petitions against the bill which stand referred to the committee under Standing Order 109 (Reference to committee of petitions against bill).

(2) Any petitioners whose petitions stand referred as aforesaid shall, subject to the standing orders of the House, and to the prayer of their petition, be entitled to  be heard upon their petition by themselves, their counsel or agents.

(3) Subject to paragraph (4), the minutes of evidence taken before a committee on an opposed private bill shall be reproduced; and the cost of reproduction shall be divided among the several parties in such proportions as may be specified by the Private Bill Office.

(4) The minutes may be printed instead of duplicated if the Chairman of Committees has given authority for printing, on an application made to him by the promoters of the bill not less than six clear days before the first meeting of the committee.

111  Petition against bill must distinctly specify grounds of objection (HC 128)

(1) No petition against a private bill shall be taken into consideration by the select committee on the bill, which does not distinctly specify the ground on which the petitioner objects to any of the provisions thereof.

(2) The petitioner shall be heard only on the grounds so stated and, if it appears to the committee that such grounds are not specified with sufficient accuracy, they may direct that they shall be provided with a more specific statement in writing but limited to such grounds 10 of objection so inaccurately specified.

112  Rights of petitioners in case of bills brought from House of Commons (HC 130)

A petitioner against a bill originating in the House of Commons, who has discussed clauses in that House, shall not on that account be precluded from opposing the preamble of the bill in this House.

113  Treatment of opposed bill as unopposed in certain cases (HC 131)

(1) In the case of any opposed private bill in which—

      (a) no party has appeared on a petition against the bill or on a petition complaining of amendments
           as proposed in the filled-up bill, or

      (b) all parties who have so appeared have withdrawn their opposition before the evidence of the
           promoters has been commenced, or

      (c) the locus standi of all parties who have so appeared and have not withdrawn their opposition
           has been disallowed, the committee to which the bill is committed shall so report to the House,
           and the bill shall thereupon be committed to an unopposed bill committee.

(2) Nothing contained in this order shall prevent a committee from requiring the preamble of a bill to be proved in any case in which an application for costs has been made.

Locus standi of petitioners

114  Committee to decide as to locus standi of petitioners (HC 90)

The select committee shall decide upon all petitions against the private bills referred to them, as to the rights of the petitioners to be heard upon such petitions.

115  Locus standi of members of companies, etc. (HC 93)

(1) Subject to paragraph (2), where a bill is promoted by an incorporated company, society, association or partnership, its members shall not be entitled to be heard before the select committee against the bill, unless their  interests, as affected thereby are distinct from the general interests of the company, society, association or partnership.

(2) Any proprietor or member of any company, society, association, or partnership, who has, by himself or by  any person authorised to act for him in that behalf, dissented—

       (a) at any meeting called in pursuance of any of Standing Orders 62 to 67, or

       (b) at any meeting called in pursuance of any similar standing order of the House of Commons, shall
            be permitted to be heard by the committee on the bill on a petition presented to this House.

116 [Repealed 28th July 1953]

117 Power to allow locus standi to associations, etc. (HC 95)

(1) Where any society or association sufficiently representing any trade, business, or interest in a district to which any bill relates, petition against the bill, alleging that such trade, business, or interest will be injuriously affected by the provisions contained therein, it shall be competent for the select committee to which the bill is committed, if they think fit, to admit the petitioners to be heard on such allegations against the bill or any part thereof.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (1), where any society, association or other body, sufficiently representing amenity, educational, travel or recreational interests, petition against a bill, alleging that the interests they represent will be adversely affected to a material extent by the provisions contained in the bill, it shall be competent to the select committee, if they think fit, to admit the petitioners to be heard on such allegations against the bill or any part thereof.

118  General power to allow locus standi to local authorities or inhabitants (HC 96)

It shall be competent for the select committee to which the bill is committed, if they think fit, to admit the petitioners, being the local authority of any area the whole or any part of which is alleged in the petition to be injuriously affected by a bill or any provisions thereof, or being any of the inhabitants of any such area, to be heard against the bill or any provisions thereof.

119  Locus standi of certain local authorities against lighting and water bills (HC 97)

The council of any district in England, London borough or county or county borough in Wales alleging in their petition that the district, borough or county, as the case may be, may be injuriously affected by the provisions of any bill relating to the lighting or water supply thereof, or the raising of capital or the borrowing of money for any such purpose, shall be entitled to be heard against the bill.

120  Locus standi of county councils against water and tramway bills (HC 98)

(1) The council of any county or (in Wales) any county or county borough alleging in their petition that their administrative area, or any part thereof, may be injuriously affected by the provisions of any bill relating to the water supply of any area, whether situate within or without that area, shall be entitled to be heard against the bill.

(2) The council of any county, metropolitan district, unitary district or London borough or (in Wales) any county or county borough alleging that their administrative area or any part thereof may be injuriously affected by the provisions of any bill proposing to authorise the construction or reconstruction of any tramway along any road to the maintenance and repair of which that council contribute, within their administrative area, shall be
entitled to be heard against the bill.

(3) This order shall apply to Greater London as if it were a county and the Greater London Authority were the council of the county.