Joint Committees are committees consisting of MPs and Members of the Lords. They have similar powers to other Select Committees. Some are set up on a permanent basis, like the Joint Committee on Human Rights. Other appointments are for specific purposes, such as examining draft proposals for Bills on subjects ranging from modern slavery to stem cell research.
How Joint Committees work
In Joint Committees, Members from both Houses meet and work as one committee, and appoint a single chairman who can be an MP or a Member of the Lords.
Joint Committees operate like other Select Committees. They may conduct an ongoing examination of a particular area (such as human rights) or of a specific matter, such as draft Bills or House of Lords reform. Reports are available to the public in printed and online formats.
Permanent Joint Committees
Three Joint Committees meet on a regular basis:
There are also two cases in which bills are committed to a Joint Committee:
- consolidation bills (and various related types of bill)
- tax law rewrite bills
Both categories comprise long and potentially complicated bills, which seek not to change the law but to consolidate existing statutes and, in the case of tax law rewrite bills, to simplify the language of the statute book.
Temporary Joint Committees
Joint Committees on specific topics, like those set up to consider draft Bills and other issues, stop meeting once they have fully reported. Recent examples include the Joint Committees on the draft Modern Slavery Bill, Privacy and Injunctions and Prisoner Voting.
Further details about the work of each committee are available online.