Guidance on giving evidence to a Select Committee of the House of Lords
This page summarises the main points for giving written evidence to a Lords select committee inquiry.
Submitting written evidence to a Lords select committee inquiry
When a House of Lords Select Committee conducts an inquiry it will often invite written evidence from interested parties. Those wishing to make a submission to a committee should do so through the relevant inquiry page on the committee's website before the deadline detailed.
If you have difficulty making a submission online, wish to submit evidence in an alternative format such as audio file, or would like to make a submission after the formal deadline for evidence, please contact the committee staff on the committee's website.
To be successfully submitted via the online written submission form, documents need to:
- Be less than 25 MB in size
- Be in Microsoft Word or another editable format (e.g. rtf, txt ooxml or odt format, but not PDF or Excel)
- Contain as few logos or embedded pictures as possible
- Contain no macros
- Comprise a single file. If there are any annexes or appendices, these should be included in the same file.
It also assists the Committee if those submitting written evidence adhere to the following guidelines. Submissions should:
- Be dated
- State clearly who the submission is from, i.e. whether you are submitting it in a personal capacity (individually or along with co-authors) or on behalf of an organisation
- Be concise: a submission longer than six printed pages should include a one-page summary.
- Have numbered paragraphs.
Notes on written evidence
Those making a submission to a Committee inquiry should note the following:
- Personal contact details supplied to the Committee will be removed from submissions before publication but will be retained by the Committee staff for specific purposes relating to the Committee’s work, such as seeking additional information.
- Evidence which is accepted by the Committee may be published online at any stage; when it is so published it becomes subject to parliamentary copyright and is protected by parliamentary privilege. Submissions which have been previously published will not be accepted as evidence. Once you have received acknowledgement that the evidence has been accepted you will receive a further email, and at this point you may publicise or publish your evidence yourself. In doing so you must indicate that it was prepared for the Committee, and you should be aware that your publication or re-publication of your evidence may not be protected by parliamentary privilege.
- Persons who submit written evidence, and others, may be invited to give oral evidence. Oral evidence is usually given in public at Westminster and broadcast; transcripts are also taken and published online. Persons invited to give oral evidence will be notified separately of the procedure to be followed and the topics likely to be discussed.
- Substantive communications to the Committee about the inquiry should be addressed to the Clerk of the Committee, whether or not they are intended to constitute formal evidence to the Committee.
- Committees normally publish written evidence on the Internet (where it will be accessible to search engines). If you do not wish your submission to be published, you must clearly explain your reasons for not wishing its disclosure. The Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish. The final decision on whether or not to publish evidence rests with the Committee.
- If you wish to include private or confidential information in your submission to the Committee, please contact the Clerk of the Committee to discuss this before making your submission.
- Material already published elsewhere should not form the basis of a submission, but may be referred to within a submission, in which case it should be clearly referenced, preferably with a hyperlink.