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Author Topic: Hereditary Peerage question  (Read 3660 times)
Kalwejt
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« on: March 13, 2012, 08:10:34 pm »
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Can a British hereditary peer, that was denied sitting in the House of Lords (as number of sitting hereditary peers in the Lords was greatly limited), be elected to the House of Commons and serve there instead?
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« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2012, 09:51:56 pm »
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I believe he can.
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« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2012, 11:56:04 pm »
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Can and several do.
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« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2012, 12:09:05 am »

There was also a provision in effect from 1963 to 1999 for a lord to disclaim his peerage in order to be eligible for the Commons.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peerage_Act_1963#List_of_disclaimed_peerages
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« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2012, 11:05:22 am »
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From the House of Lords Bill (1999)

Clause 2: Removal of disqualifications in relation to the House of Commons
12.     Under common law (see in particular the case of Re Parliamentary Election for Bristol South East [1964] 2QB 257), peers are prevented from voting in elections to the House of Commons and from standing as a candidate for or being a member of the House of Commons. Clause 2 abolishes these disqualifications.
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There is very little hope that the United States or anyone else can do much to stabilize Iraq, Libya, Syria or Egypt. Stabilizing Iran, and bringing it back into the family of nations, is much more possible. That would be a 'win' for both sides.

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« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2012, 03:53:13 pm »
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From the House of Lords Bill (1999)

Clause 2: Removal of disqualifications in relation to the House of Commons
12.     Under common law (see in particular the case of Re Parliamentary Election for Bristol South East [1964] 2QB 257), peers are prevented from voting in elections to the House of Commons and from standing as a candidate for or being a member of the House of Commons. Clause 2 abolishes these disqualifications.


Wow... peers were forbidden from not only sitting in Commons (which is understandable), but also from voting in the election?
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« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2012, 04:34:47 pm »
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The traditional idea was that the two houses each represented a different estate (or caste if you will). The House of Commons represented the commoners and The House of Lords represented the lords. No point in letting the lords elect members of HoC which wasn't their representatives.  The two groups also had different legal standing. Until 1963 if a peer committed a crime, he could only be judged by his peers in The House of Lords, not the ordinary courts.
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There is very little hope that the United States or anyone else can do much to stabilize Iraq, Libya, Syria or Egypt. Stabilizing Iran, and bringing it back into the family of nations, is much more possible. That would be a 'win' for both sides.

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« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2012, 06:00:55 pm »
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The traditional idea was that the two houses each represented a different estate (or caste if you will). The House of Commons represented the commoners and The House of Lords represented the lords. No point in letting the lords elect members of HoC which wasn't their representatives.  The two groups also had different legal standing. Until 1963 if a peer committed a crime, he could only be judged by his peers in The House of Lords, not the ordinary courts.

I think it was 1948 for a trial, but even in the early 20th Century, there were several notable trials of peers by peers.  Earl Russell for bigamy.  Baron de Clifford for vehicular homicide.
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« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2012, 06:50:55 pm »
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I think it was 1948 for a trial

1948 is correct. Remembered it as part of the Peerage Act of 1963. Should have checked it.

but even in the early 20th Century, there were several notable trials of peers by peers.  Earl Russell for bigamy.  Baron de Clifford for vehicular homicide.

Yes, trial by their peers. Just like I said. You can find cases before 1900 as well.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2012, 04:41:20 pm by politicus »Logged



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« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2012, 07:00:37 pm »
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My personal favorite is the trial of the first Duke of Clarence in 1478, after which he was drowned in a butt of malmsey wine.
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« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2012, 12:56:28 am »
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Yes, trial by their peers. Just like I said. You can find cases before 1900 as well.

Oh, yes.

Since elections were mentioned, the Queen cannot vote.  I'm wondering if non-peer members of the Royal Family can vote (the Princess Royal, for example).
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« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2012, 04:14:02 am »
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Yes, trial by their peers. Just like I said. You can find cases before 1900 as well.

Oh, yes.

Since elections were mentioned, the Queen cannot vote.  I'm wondering if non-peer members of the Royal Family can vote (the Princess Royal, for example).

I'm fairly sure they can, they just don't. In fact, IIRC the Queen could, in theory, vote, but clearly she doesn't.
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Kalwejt
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« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2012, 10:59:55 am »
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Yes, trial by their peers. Just like I said. You can find cases before 1900 as well.

Oh, yes.

Since elections were mentioned, the Queen cannot vote.  I'm wondering if non-peer members of the Royal Family can vote (the Princess Royal, for example).

I'm fairly sure they can, they just don't. In fact, IIRC the Queen could, in theory, vote, but clearly she doesn't.

Indeed, she's eligible to vote since she's a British citizen. However, as I read on the Monarchy's official website, neither Queen nor high-ranking members of the Royal Family (which certainly includes Princess Royal) does vote, as they believe it would be inappropriate for people supposed to be above any political issues.

IMO they are taking it too far. Naturally, it would be highly inappropriate for any member of the Royal Family to not only make political statements, but to give a slightest indication of their preferences, but casting a secret ballot and not telling anyone how they did vote won't be a problem, as far as I'm concerned.

There was also a provision in effect from 1963 to 1999 for a lord to disclaim his peerage in order to be eligible for the Commons.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peerage_Act_1963#List_of_disclaimed_peerages

Can a life peer disclaim her/his peerage too? Or once named a life peer, one stucks with the Lords forever?
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« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2012, 10:31:20 pm »
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Indeed, she's eligible to vote since she's a British citizen. However, as I read on the Monarchy's official website, neither Queen nor high-ranking members of the Royal Family (which certainly includes Princess Royal) does vote, as they believe it would be inappropriate for people supposed to be above any political issues.

She technically is not a British citizen, uniquely.  Others, such as Charles, William and Andrew, do have substantive peerages and a technical seat in the Lords, which precludes them from voting.  The Earl of Snowden was granted one.

Anne, however, never had a substantive peerage.  Possibly excepting Wales, Prince/ess, or Princess Royal are not peerages.

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Can a life peer disclaim her/his peerage too? Or once named a life peer, one stucks with the Lords forever?

I don't think so.  One had to disclaim the peerage almost as soon as assenting to it.  People, most notably Winston Churchill, do decline peerages.
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« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2012, 10:34:40 pm »
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Indeed, she's eligible to vote since she's a British citizen. However, as I read on the Monarchy's official website, neither Queen nor high-ranking members of the Royal Family (which certainly includes Princess Royal) does vote, as they believe it would be inappropriate for people supposed to be above any political issues.

She technically is not a British citizen, uniquely.  Others, such as Charles, William and Andrew, do have substantive peerages and a technical seat in the Lords, which precludes them from voting.  The Earl of Snowden was granted one.

Anne, however, never had a substantive peerage.  Possibly excepting Wales, Prince/ess, or Princess Royal are not peerages.

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Can a life peer disclaim her/his peerage too? Or once named a life peer, one stucks with the Lords forever?

I don't think so.  One had to disclaim the peerage almost as soon as assenting to it.  People, most notably Winston Churchill, do decline peerages.

I'll take that back; the Queen can vote:  http://www.parliament.uk/about/faqs/house-of-commons-faqs/elections-faq-page/
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« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2012, 10:41:18 pm »

There was also a provision in effect from 1963 to 1999 for a lord to disclaim his peerage in order to be eligible for the Commons.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peerage_Act_1963#List_of_disclaimed_peerages

Can a life peer disclaim her/his peerage too? Or once named a life peer, one stucks with the Lords forever?

You're stuck.  Disclaiming was established to allow hereditary peers to have the choice of choosing to remain eligible to be in the Commons.  You have to disclaim within twelve months of inheriting your title (or within twelve months of the passage of the act).  Life peers have chosen to accept their title, so there is no reason to allow them to disclaim it.

Checking the text of the act, newly created hereditary peers are also stuck, altho I think it is unlikely anymore hereditary peers that are not in the royal family are likely to be created these days.
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« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2012, 10:49:21 pm »
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Checking the text of the act, newly created hereditary peers are also stuck, altho I think it is unlikely anymore hereditary peers that are not in the royal family are likely to be created these days.

You can decline a hereditary or life peerage when offered. Sir John Major declined one.
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« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2012, 11:25:35 pm »

Checking the text of the act, newly created hereditary peers are also stuck, altho I think it is unlikely anymore hereditary peers that are not in the royal family are likely to be created these days.

You can decline a hereditary or life peerage when offered. Sir John Major declined one.

I mentioned already that you have to accept a life peerage, and only come the deluge would it be likely that a hereditary peerage could be forced upon someone.  Even if for some bizarre reason one could not refuse a hereditary peerage, I doubt it was a hereditary peerage Major was offered.  The last former PM to be granted a hereditary peerage was Harold Macmillan, 1st Earl of Stockton.  Wilson, Callaghan, and Thatcher were created as life peers.  Heath was in advanced old age when he left the Commons and would not have been able to serve in the Lords.  Blair one-uped Major by not only declining a peerage, but also a knighthood. Brown is still in Commons.
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« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2012, 11:52:37 pm »
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Checking the text of the act, newly created hereditary peers are also stuck, altho I think it is unlikely anymore hereditary peers that are not in the royal family are likely to be created these days.

You can decline a hereditary or life peerage when offered. Sir John Major declined one.

I mentioned already that you have to accept a life peerage, and only come the deluge would it be likely that a hereditary peerage could be forced upon someone.  Even if for some bizarre reason one could not refuse a hereditary peerage, I doubt it was a hereditary peerage Major was offered.  The last former PM to be granted a hereditary peerage was Harold Macmillan, 1st Earl of Stockton.  Wilson, Callaghan, and Thatcher were created as life peers.  Heath was in advanced old age when he left the Commons and would not have been able to serve in the Lords.  Blair one-uped Major by not only declining a peerage, but also a knighthood. Brown is still in Commons.

As I mentioned earlier, Churchill declined a hereditary peerage, a dukedom, and died a commoner.

We might start seeing hereditary peerages being offered as a means of honoring someone, without giving them membership in the Lords
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« Reply #19 on: March 16, 2012, 09:46:00 am »

We might start seeing hereditary peerages being offered as a means of honoring someone, without giving them membership in the Lords

And we could see a repeal of the 17th Amendment in this country.  While technically possible, politically it just is not going to happen.  The whole concept of an inheritable honor is not palatable in British politics these days.
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« Reply #20 on: March 16, 2012, 02:16:27 pm »
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Checking the text of the act, newly created hereditary peers are also stuck, altho I think it is unlikely anymore hereditary peers that are not in the royal family are likely to be created these days.

You can decline a hereditary or life peerage when offered. Sir John Major declined one.

I mentioned already that you have to accept a life peerage, and only come the deluge would it be likely that a hereditary peerage could be forced upon someone.  Even if for some bizarre reason one could not refuse a hereditary peerage, I doubt it was a hereditary peerage Major was offered.  The last former PM to be granted a hereditary peerage was Harold Macmillan, 1st Earl of Stockton.  Wilson, Callaghan, and Thatcher were created as life peers.  Heath was in advanced old age when he left the Commons and would not have been able to serve in the Lords.  Blair one-uped Major by not only declining a peerage, but also a knighthood. Brown is still in Commons.

Macmillan was not only the last PM created a hereditary peer, but also the last person created a hereditary peer in general (excluding certain members of the royal family). And the most recent non-royal to receive a hereditary title was Denis Thatcher in 1991 (Baronetage is, of course, below peerage).

So yes, other than for Royals, that won't participate in politics anyway, the United Kingdom does not award any new hereditary titles.
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« Reply #21 on: March 17, 2012, 08:47:22 am »
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By the way, the future king Edward VII did broke a precedent by voting for the 1884 Representation of the People Bill in the House of Lords.
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« Reply #22 on: March 17, 2012, 09:47:38 am »
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So yes, other than for Royals, that won't participate in politics anyway, the United Kingdom does not award any new hereditary titles.

That might change with the removal of any hereditary basis for selection in the upper house.

Right now, there are a few hereditary peers elected by their fellow hereditary peers in the house (I think 92).  In the 1999 reform, the idea was that this would be transitional and that they would be eliminated.  If that happens, hereditary peers will have no involvement in the membership in the House of Lords.  At that point, you might start seeing hereditary peerages being granted. 

Here are few examples:

1.  The country wishes to honor an individual, but doesn't want the person to vote in the Lords.  The person is created a viscount (or even a hereditary baron), but not granted a life peerage or with it a seat in the Lords.  (Someone such as John Cleese or Stephen Hawkins might fall into that category.)

2.  The country wants to honor an active politician in the Commons.  He is created an earl, but not given a life peerage; he continues to serve in the Commons.  (Heath or Churchill)

3.  A politician wants to retire from politics and doesn't want a seat in the Lords.  She is granted a hereditary peerage, made a viscountess, but without a seat in the Lords. (Major)

4.  Someone with a hereditary peerage might be upgraded for services.  An hereditary viscount might be created an earl for services.  (Marquess of Lothian)

A hereditary peerage may become purely honorary, while a life peerage becomes a purely political appointment.
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« Reply #23 on: March 17, 2012, 10:12:53 pm »

Let me debunk your examples for you.

So yes, other than for Royals, that won't participate in politics anyway, the United Kingdom does not award any new hereditary titles.

That might change with the removal of any hereditary basis for selection in the upper house.

Right now, there are a few hereditary peers elected by their fellow hereditary peers in the house (I think 92).  In the 1999 reform, the idea was that this would be transitional and that they would be eliminated.  If that happens, hereditary peers will have no involvement in the membership in the House of Lords.  At that point, you might start seeing hereditary peerages being granted. 

Here are few examples:

1.  The country wishes to honor an individual, but doesn't want the person to vote in the Lords.  The person is created a viscount (or even a hereditary baron), but not granted a life peerage or with it a seat in the Lords.  (Someone such as John Cleese or Stephen Hawkins might fall into that category.)

John Cleese turned down a CBE,  Stephen Hawkins has an OAM in addition to his 1992 Olympic Gold Medal in Double Sculls for Australia , and the Stephen Hawking you likely meant has a CH and CBE in addition be a member of the Royal Society


Quote
2.  The country wants to honor an active politician in the Commons.  He is created an earl, but not given a life peerage; he continues to serve in the Commons.  (Heath or Churchill)

As for The Right Honourable Sir Winston Churchill KG, OM, CH, TD, PC, DL, FRS, Hon. RA and The Right Honourable Sir Edward Heath KG MBE, you can see they too had their fair share of honors attached to their name.

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3.  A politician wants to retire from politics and doesn't want a seat in the Lords.  She is granted a hereditary peerage, made a viscountess, but without a seat in the Lords. (Major)
You mean The Rt Hon Sir John Major, KG, CH

Quote
4.  Someone with a hereditary peerage might be upgraded for services.  An hereditary viscount might be created an earl for services.  (Marquess of Lothian)

The Marquess of Lothian was created in 1701, so I have no idea how you think that has any relevancy to today.  The commander British land forces in the the Falklands War, Sir John Jeremy Moore KCB, OBE, MC, gives a far more likely idea of what sorts of honors are likely to be given for military success today.

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A hereditary peerage may become purely honorary, while a life peerage becomes a purely political appointment.

There are already a plethora of honors the British crown can award without granting a life peerage.  Even the granting of hereditary baronetages that are not in the peerage has fallen out of favor.  The last one was to Sir Denis Thatcher, 1st Baronet, of Scotney in the County of Kent in 1990, and last before that had been several granted in the 1960s.

There is zero evidence that there is any call for the granting of new hereditary titles in Britain, and ample ways for the Crown to honor any of its worthy subjects without resuming the practice.  I'd have thought a member of Mensa would be able to grasp the obvious, but obviously I was wrong about that given the deluge of ill-founded reasons you have given for why the granting of hereditary titles could resume in Britain.
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« Reply #24 on: March 18, 2012, 12:19:46 am »
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John Cleese turned down a CBE,  Stephen Hawkins has an OAM in addition to his 1992 Olympic Gold Medal in Double Sculls for Australia , and the Stephen Hawking you likely meant has a CH and CBE in addition be a member of the Royal Society.


Cleese turned his down because he thought it was political.  A hereditary peerage may not be regarded as one.  Hawking likewise might receive an additional hone.

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Quote
2.  The country wants to honor an active politician in the Commons.  He is created an earl, but not given a life peerage; he continues to serve in the Commons.  (Heath or Churchill)

As for The Right Honourable Sir Winston Churchill KG, OM, CH, TD, PC, DL, FRS, Hon. RA and The Right Honourable Sir Edward Heath KG MBE, you can see they too had their fair share of honors attached to their name.

Churchill, and possibly Heath, turned it down because they wish to remain in the Commons; Churchill's some also wanted to pursue an career in the commons.  They could, today, with a hereditary peerage.


Quote
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3.  A politician wants to retire from politics and doesn't want a seat in the Lords.  She is granted a hereditary peerage, made a viscountess, but without a seat in the Lords. (Major)
You mean The Rt Hon Sir John Major, KG, CH

He turned the peerage because he thought a seat in the Lords was inconsistent with retiring from politics.  A heredity peerage carries no seat in the Lords

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4.  Someone with a hereditary peerage might be upgraded for services.  An hereditary viscount might be created an earl for services.  (Marquess of Lothian)

The Marquess of Lothian was created in 1701, so I have no idea how you think that has any relevancy to today.  The commander British land forces in the the Falklands War, Sir John Jeremy Moore KCB, OBE, MC, gives a far more likely idea of what sorts of honors are likely to be given for military success today.

The Marquess of Lothian was chair of the Conservative Party.

Sir Mike's immediate predecessor was General Michael John Dawson Walker, Baron Walker of Aldringham, GCB, CMG, CBE, ADC, DL

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A hereditary peerage may become purely honorary, while a life peerage becomes a purely political appointment.



And, even today, a peerage does confer a political right, a right to run for and vote in elections for, some seats in the Lords.  The "next phase" was to remove them, which has yet to happen.  I'd expect all hereditary peers to be removed, but, if so, I'd expect hereditary peerages to make a reappearance as an honorary title.

Simply put, if a future government wants to reward someone for exceptional service, but to grant that person any power, they may create the person an hereditary peerage, that carries no political rights.

I would add another possibility, judges. 
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"Wa sala, wa lala."

(Zulu for, "You snooze, you lose.")
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