Why has ‘stage two’ of House of Lords Reform not been completed after 17 years?

Why has ‘stage two’ of House of Lords Reform not been completed after 17 years?

By Peter Dorey

House of Lords reform remains unfinished business, and looks likely to remain so for a long time yet. The preamble to the 1911 Parliament Act portentously proclaimed that Lords reform was ‘an ur­gent question which brooks no delay’, yet more than a century later, there have been only sporadic and inchoate reforms. Moreover, these have often been motivated by calculations of partisan advantage, even when depicted as being derived from important political principles. After the 1911 Act, the remainder of the twentieth century witnessed only three further laws pertaining to House of Lords reform: the 1949 Parliament Act, which reduced the Second Chamber’s power of delay (veto) of legislation from two years to one; the 1958 Life Peerages Act, which established a new category of appointed peer to sit alongside the hereditary peers; the 1999 House of Lords Reform Act, which removed most of the hereditary peers, but allowed 92 to remain pending further reform.

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Reforming the Italian Senate

Reforming the Italian Senate

Please note that this post was originally published on the UCL Constitution Unit‘s blog, and is available here.

By Roberta Damiani

The UK is far from the only country with a long-standing controversy over the composition and powers of its second chamber. In this post Roberta Damiani provides an update on the latest attempt to reform the Italian Senate. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is proposing to significantly reduce the Senate’s powers, and to move from direct to indirect elections, but it is far from certain that he will be successful.

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