EPISCOPAL SEATS AND PROPOSALS FOR THE REFORM OF THE HOUSE OF LORDS

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Abstract:

In late 2001 the Government published its long awaited White Paper on House of Lords reform in response to the report of the Royal Commission on the same subject. Yet for those who had sought some meaningful statement on religious representation in general, and, in particular, the continued presence of the Anglican

Bishops in the reformed second chamber, the White Paper might have been considered a disappointment. The sections relating to religious representation were of pronounced brevity and failed to show any appreciable engagement with the relevant issues. The provisions which related specifically to the position of the Church of England were indeed spectacular examples of this economy of words and reasoning, it being almost impossible to find any evidence of the reasoning by which the government's proposals were prompted. In the wake of the White Paper little attention was devoted to the exact proposals put forward for religious representation in the second chamber. This was understandable given the need to resolve crucial questions surrounding the Appointments Commission and direct election of a portion of members. In this commentary, however, some attempt has been made to redress the balance by examining the proposals made with regard to religious representation, examining some of the possible rationales, and highlighting some of the potential ramifications of these proposals.

Keywords: Appointments Commission; House of Lords reform; Religious Representation; Royal Commission; White Paper

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2002

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  • Until 2007 the King's Law Journal was known as the King's College Law Journal. It was established in 1990 as a legal periodical publishing scholarly and authoritative Articles, Notes and Reports on legal issues of current importance to both academic research and legal practice. It has a national and international readership, and publishes refereed contributions from authors across the United Kingdom, from continental Europe and further afield (particularly Commonwealth countries and USA). The journal includes a Reviews section containing critical notices of recently published books.
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