Skip to main content

Standing orders

Standing orders are rules agreed by the House that govern the way its business operates in the Chamber and committees. Each rule has a number and is sometimes divided up into paragraphs, which are also numbered. Standing orders are available on Parliament’s website and in hard copy from the Vote Office.

They are 'standing’ in the sense that they do not lapse at the end of each session of Parliament.

Standing orders are not a complete guide to procedure in the House of Commons, because much of the business is determined by custom, precedent, resolutions of the House and Speaker’s rulings.

Standing orders can be set aside if the House agrees a motion to do this. The motion will usually state: “Notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order No. [...]” Such motions can be debated and voted on. The House can also agree new standing orders.

There are separate standing orders for private business. The House of Lords has its own Lords standing orders.

Contact an expert

Contact an expert

Journal Office