On Tuesdays and Wednesdays there are two one and a half hour debates and three half hour debates. The longer debates are intended for broader subjects where a number of MPs will want to speak. The shorter debates may focus on an issue that an MP may want to raise about their constituency.
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: 11 September 2012
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 Rohingya Communities
Jonathan Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, moved a debate on the treatment of Rohingya communities in Burma and Bangladesh which received an answer from the Foreign Office Minister, Hugo Swire.
11.00-12.30pm Domestic Violence
Andrew Stephenson, Conservative MP for Pendle, moved a debate on support for victims of domestic violence which received an answer from the Home Office Minister, Jeremy Browne.
Katy Clark, Labour MP for North Ayrshire and Arran, moved a debate on whistleblowing which received an answer from the Parliamentary Undersecretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Jo Swinson.
1.00-1.30pm Diabetes (Care in Schools)
Pauline Latham, Conservative MP for Mid Derbyshire, moved a debate on care in schools for children with Type 1 Diabetes, which received an answer from the Parliamentary Undersecretary of State for Education, Edward Timpson.
1.30-2.00pm UK and Welsh Governments (Finance)
Hywell Williams, Plaid Cymru MP for Arfon, moved a debate on the progress of bilateral discussions between the UK and Welsh Goverments on financial matters which received an answer from the Parliamentary Undersecretary of State for Wales, Stephen Crabb.
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.