Constitutional Reform and Governance Bill second reading - Bankruptcy Restriction Orders can cause pauper peers to be expelled from the House of Lords

27 OCT 2009

Profligate peers in the shape of destitute Dukes, broke Barons, cash strapped Countesses, monetarily challenged Marchionesses, impecunious Earls, valueless Viscounts and a Marquess lacking means, (not forgetting bust Baronets, needy Knights, and debtor Dames) have featured on this blog before, as has the concept of disqualification from Parliament due to bankruptcy. These issues have come up again in light of the second reading of Constitutional Reform and Governance Bill. This has revealed that a peer will be disqualified from the House of Lords if, inter alia, they are subject to a Bankruptcy Restriction Order (BRO). A recent press release on the subject notes:

"Government proposals to end the hereditary principle in the House of Lords will be debated today as the Constitutional Reform and Governance Bill has its second reading...

This is the latest stage of constitutional reform and contains a series of measures aimed at rebalancing the relationship between Parliament, the government and the public.
Lords' provisions contained in the bill will bring to an end the system of by-elections in the second chamber, which allows for the remaining 90 hereditary peers to be replaced by other hereditary peers when they die. They also provide for new powers to:

  • allow members of the House of Lords to resign from the House
  • give the House the power to expel or suspend peers found guilty of misconduct
  • disqualify members of the Lords found guilty of a serious criminal offence, or who are subject to a bankruptcy restriction order."

This is an interesting development which extends s.427 IA86 effects to BROs.

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