The House of Lords of Great Britain
The House of Lords is the upper house of parliamentGreat Britain - unique for its archaic institution. It consists of secular and spiritual lords, called peers. The size of the chamber is not established by law (in 1994 it included 1259 peers).
Parliament meets in Westminstera palace built especially for these purposes, although officially called royal (at the disposal of the Chambers of Lords and Communities, it is only formally). The decoration of the House of Lords is rather restrained, reminiscent of the carvings of the carved panels of a medieval chapel.
Most of the seats belong to peers on rightsinheritance, they have noble titles no lower than the barons. Hereditary peers have the right to participate in parliamentary sessions after reaching the age of 21.
Some of the lords have the status of lifelongsuch a right under the Act of Life Peers of 1958 (grants such a right to women, among whom the famous Baroness Margaret Thatcher). There are also two categories of lords in posts: 26 spiritual, 12 judicial ("ordinary lords on appeals"), which the Queen appoints to exercise judicial powers of the Chamber.They do not have a noble title and are not peers. The House of Lords does not provide for the inclusion in its membership of foreigners, bankrupt peers, and convicted for state treason.
The Speaker of the House - the Lord Chancellor - is endowed with functionsin the legislative, judicial and executive branches of power. He presides over the debates, is a member of the cabinet of the government and head of the legal service. He is the highest civilian of the country, he has advantages (after the members of the royal family) compared with other subjects, with the exception of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
From the very beginning of its existence, the ChamberLords of Great Britain consisted only of representatives of the landed aristocracy. At present, this situation remains to a greater extent. State employees are the second largest in number. The third group of peers is the heads of companies. The peculiarity of the Chamber is that its composition is unpredictable and uncertain before the voting.
The House of Lords is known for its colorfula sack with a wool. It is a pouf, studded with red cloth, on which the Lord Chancellor sits during meetings. Tradition about six centuries ago was introduced by Edward III with the purpose of reminding all about the important importance for the Kingdom of this commodity.
The House of Lords is small in size, approximately 30x15 meters. To the right and left of the famous "Vulsaka" (bag with wool) are red sofas, rising tiers up.
Until 1911, the Lords had the right to reject anya bill that was adopted by the House of Commons. But now they are reserved only for the right of a suspensive veto - a postponement, the period of which for different projects can vary from a year to a month. The official report on the parliament session is called "Hansard".
The English lords do not receive a salary, forthe exception of judges, the speaker and those who are also members of the Cabinet of Ministers. However, they are entitled to compensation for expenses during the time that they were in meetings. On average, the maintenance of one lord per year costs 149 thousand pounds sterling.