Personal Bills

  • General provisions before first reading
  • Proceedings after first reading
  • Personal bills affecting estates
  • Application of private bill standing orders

General provisions before first reading

151  Personal bills defined

(1) All private bills relating to the estate, property, status, or style, or otherwise relating to the personal affairs, of an individual, which have been certified as such under the provisions of Standing Order 3 (Requirements as to proof before Examiner), are in these orders termed personal bills.

(2) The proceedings in this House in respect to personal bills shall be subject to the provisions of the following twenty-one standing orders, and to such general or special directions (if any) as may be given from time to time by the Chairman of Committees.

152  Personal bill to originate on petition

No personal bill shall originate in this House except on petition for leave to bring in such bill, which shall be deposited in the office of the Clerk of the Parliaments; and a copy of the proposed bill shall be annexed to such petition, and shall be deemed to form part thereof.

153  Petition for personal bill to be signed by parties concerned

One or more of the parties principally concerned in the consequences of any personal bill shall sign the petition for leave to bring such bill into this House.

154  Appointment and duties of Personal Bills Committee

(1) At the commencement of every session the Chairman of Committees and six other lords, who shall be named by the House, shall be appointed a committee to be called the Personal Bills Committee.

(2) Every petition for a personal bill shall stand referred to the committee so soon as it has been laid on the table of the House; and in any proceedings on such a petition, three of the lords so appointed shall form a quorum.

(3) The promoters of a personal bill shall be entitled to be heard  before the Personal  Bills Committee by themselves, their counsel or agents, in favour of their petition for the bill.

(4) The committee shall, in the case of every personal bill the petition for which is referred to them by this standing order, report to the House whether the objects of the bill are proper to be enacted by a personal bill, and whether the provisions thereof are proper for carrying its purposes into effect, and what amendments (if any) are required therein.

(5) If the committee approve the proposed bill, the Chairman of Committees shall sign a copy of the same containing the  amendments  (if  any)  recommended  by  the committee.

(6) A copy of the committee’s report and (in any case in which amendments are recommended by the committee) of the bill containing the amendments shall be supplied to the promoters of the bill or their agent.

155  Petitions for personal bills affecting private interests in Scotland to be referred to two judges of the Court of Session

(1) Every petition for a personal bill affecting private interests in Scotland shall be referred, by the Personal Bills Committee, to two judges of the Court of Session in Scotland, who—

      (a) shall forthwith summon all parties before them who may be concerned in the consequences of
           the bill, and

      (b) after hearing all the parties, and perusing the bill, and taking such proof of the allegations therein
           contained, and such consents of the parties interested, and such acceptances of trusts as may
           be tendered to them, shall report to the Personal Bills Committee the state of the case, and their opinion
           thereon, under their hands, and what amendments (if any) are required in the bill, and

      (c) if they approve the proposed bill, shall sign a copy of the same containing the required 
           amendments (if any).

(2) The report of the judges of the Court of Session in Scotland shall be delivered by the party or parties concerned to the Chairman of Committees for submission to the Personal Bills Committee.

(3) The Personal Bills Committee shall not report to the House on a petition for a personal bill, which has been referred under this standing order to two judges of the Court of Session, until the report of the judges thereon has been received and considered by the committee.

156  No personal bill to be read a first time until Personal Bills Committee has reported

No personal bill shall be read a first time until the report of the Personal Bills Committee on the petition has been made to the House.

Proceedings after first reading

157  Personal bills to be delivered to all persons concerned

(1) Subject to any directions given by the Personal Bills Committee a copy of every personal bill introduced into this House shall be delivered before the second reading to every person concerned in the bill.

(2) In case of infancy, the copy shall be delivered to the guardian, or next relation of full age not concerned in the consequences of the bill.

158  Petitions against personal bills

Petitions against personal bills shall be presented at such times as the Chairman of Committees shall in each case, having regard to all the circumstances thereof, direct.

159 Interval between second reading and committee

No committee, other than the Personal Bills Committee, shall sit upon any personal bill until ten days after the second reading.

160 Committees on unopposed personal bills

Every personal bill which is unopposed shall be committed to an unopposed bill committee to be proceeded with in the same manner as an unopposed private bill; but the Chairman of Committees may, if he thinks fit, report to the House that, in his opinion, any unopposed personal bill should be proceeded with as an opposed bill.

161  Committees on opposed personal bills

Every personal bill which is opposed, or as respects which the Chairman of Committees has reported to the House that, in his opinion, it should be proceeded with as an opposed bill—

      (a) 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), and

      (b) shall be proceeded with in the same manner as an opposed private bill.

Personal bills affecting estates

162  Notice to be given to mortgagees

Notice of a personal bill shall be given, before the second reading, to every mortgagee of the estate affected by the bill.

163  [Repealed 14th December 1971]

164  Personal bills for exchanging or selling settled estates to have schedules of estates and their values, etc., annexed

(1) To every personal bill for exchanging an estate in settlement and substituting another estate in lieu thereof there shall be annexed a schedule or schedules of the respective estates, showing the annual rent and the annual value thereof, and also the value of the timber growing thereupon.

(2) To every personal bill for selling a settled estate and purchasing another estate to be settled upon the trusts, there shall be annexed a schedule or schedules of such estates, specifying the annual rent thereof.

(3) Every such schedule shall be signed and proved upon oath, by a surveyor or other competent person, before the committee on the bill.

165  Respecting consents to personal bills where petitioners and consenting parties can bar entail

Where the petitioners for and consenting parties to a personal bill relating to an entailed estate are together competent to bar the entail, the consent of any persons entitled in remainder after the estates of the petitioners and consenting parties shall not be required.

166  In other cases all persons interested to consent

(1) Subject to paragraph (2) and  Standing Order 165 (Respecting consents to personal bills where petitioners and consenting parties can bar entail), the consent of all parties concerned in the consequences of a personal bill shall be proved to the satisfaction of the committee on the bill.

(2) The consent of any such parties shall not be required if the Personal Bills Committee, when considering the petition for the bill, report that their consent  may be dispensed with on account of remoteness of interest, or for any other reason.

167  Appointment of guardian or protector of minor interested in personal bill

(1) In any case in which a person who has not attained the age of eighteen (in this order referred to as a minor) is or may be interested in the consequences of a personal bill, the Chairman of Committees may, if he thinks fit, require that the minor shall be represented in any proceeding in reference to such bill or to the petition therefor by a person to be appointed as, or in the nature of, a guardian or protector of the minor by the Lord
Chancellor or the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal by writing under his hand.

(2) Nothing in this standing order shall prevent the Personal Bills Committee, if they think fit, from requiring that any minors, not protected as mentioned above, shall be represented in like manner.

168  Consent on behalf of a tenant in tail under age when consent of remainderman is withheld

Where—

      (a) a tenant in tail, who has not attained the age of eighteen (“the minor”), is a promoter of a personal
           bill, or a consenting party thereto by his guardian, and

      (b) any person entitled in remainder after such estate tail (“the remainderman”), whose 
           consent is required, withholds his consent to such bill,

the consent of a person appointed as or in the nature of a guardian or protector of the minor and of the settlement or will under which he claims, by the Lord Chancellor or the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal by writing under his hand, for the special purpose of assenting to or dissenting from such bill shall be sufficient, without the consent of  the remainderman.

169  [Repealed 14th December 1971]

170  Consents of persons concerned in consequences of personal bills relative to entailed estates in land or heritable subjects in Scotland

(1) It shall be sufficient to have the consent of the following persons only concerned in the consequences of personal bills regarding entailed estates in land or heritable subjects in Scotland (that is to say):—

      (a) where the deed of entail is dated on or after 1st August 1848 and the heir of entail in possession
           of the entailed estate has attained the age of eighteen and was born before the date of such deed
           of entail, the consent of such heir, and of  the heir next in succession, being heir apparent under the
           entail of the heir in possession, and of the age of twenty-five years complete, and not subject to any
           legal incapacity, and born after the date of such deed of entail;

      (b) where the deed of entail is dated before 1st August 1848 and the heir of entail in possession of 
           the entailed estate has attained the age of eighteen and was born before the said 1st August, the 
           consent of such heir, and of the heir next in succession, being heir apparent under the entail of the
           heir in possession, and born on or after the said 1st August, and of the age of twenty-five years complete,
           and not subject to any legal incapacity;

      (c) where the deed of entail is dated before 1st August 1848 and the heir of entail in possession of the
           entailed estate has attained the age of eighteen, the consent of such heir alone, if he shall be the only
           heir of entail in existence for  the time, and unmarried or—

              (i) failing that, the consent of such heir, and of all the heirs of entail, if there are less than three in being
                  at the date of such consents; or

              (ii) failing that, the consent of such heir, and of the three next heirs who at the date of such consent are
                   for the time entitled to succeed to such estate in their order successively, immediately after such
                   heir in possession; or

              (iii) failing that, the consent of such heir, and of the heir apparent under the entail, and of the heir or
                   heirs in number not less than two, including such heir apparent, who in their order successively
                   would be heir apparent;

      (d) in any case not provided for by the foregoing provisions of this paragraph, whatever be the date
           of the deed of entail, the consent of the heir in possession, and of all the heirs entitled to succeed to the
           entailed estate, if less than three, or if not less than three, then of the three heirs next entitled to succeed
           to the entailed estate.

(2) If, in any of the cases mentioned in paragraph (1)—

      (a) the heir next entitled to succeed to the entailed estate after the heir in possession is under the age
           of twenty-five years, or

      (b) any of the heirs of entail in possession whose consents are required in the several cases aforesaid is under
           the age of eighteen years,

then the consents also of so many heirs next entitled to succeed to such estate, not being descendants of the heir in possession, as are equal to the number of the said heirs of entail respectively under the ages before mentioned, without prejudice nevertheless as heretofore for any person concerned to petition against the bill, and to be heard for his interest therein.

171  Consent to personal bills relative to estates in Scotland

(1) When a petition for a personal bill concerning estates in land or heritable subjects in Scotland has been referred under Standing Order 155 (Petitions for personal bills affecting private interests in Scotland to be referred to two judges of the Court of Session), to two judges in Scotland, any person, resident in Scotland concerned in the consequences of the bill may give his consent thereto before the two judges to whom the bill is referred.

(2) Such judges shall certify— 

      (a) that such person appeared personally before them, and, being aware of his interest in the bill, gave his
           consent for himself, and for those for whom he might be entitled to consent, and

      (b) if any trustee is appointed by the bill, that such trustee appeared personally before them, and
           accepted the trust proposed to be vested in him by the bill, and

      (c) that the person so consenting or accepting the trust in their presence signed a printed copy of  the bill;

and such bill, together with the certificate, shall be produced to the Personal Bills Committee.

172  Such consent to be personal, or disability to attend proved

It shall be a general instruction to the judges who shall meet to take the consent of heirs of entail or other persons concerned in the consequences of any personal bill relating to estates in land or heritable subjects in Scotland, that they take no notice of the consent of any person to such bill unless—

      (a) such person appears before them, or

      (b) proof is given to them by two credible witnesses that such person is not able to attend, and has in the
           presence of the witnesses signed a printed copy of the bill in testimony of consent thereto.

173  Committees on personal bills may admit affidavits as evidence

The committee on any personal bill may admit affidavits in proofs of the allegations made in the preamble of the bill in all cases not otherwise provided for by these standing orders.

Application of private bill standing orders

174  Standing orders affecting private bills to apply, if applicable, to personal bills

Such of the provisions of Standing Orders 1 to 3 and 69 to 150 as relate to private bills shall apply, so far as they are applicable to any personal bill, subject to such directions as the Chairman of Committees may prescribe.

175 [Repealed 9th April 1986]

176 [Repealed 9th April 1986]

177 [Repealed 9th April 1986]