In recent decades, the House of Lords has become a more specialised body, making far greater use of committees. Much of my time is taken up with commiteee work, which absorbs more of my energy on a regular basis than the chamber.
This week I had committee meetings on three succeeding days. On Monday, there was the first substantive meeting of the Joint Committee on the Draft House of Lords Reform Bill. We had an informal seminar with four academics on the history of Lords’ reform. On Tuesday, there was a meeting of the Merits of Statutory Instruments Committee. As we had not met since July, the number of statutory instruments we had to consider was substantial. The paperwork was about a foot high and had to be carried with two hands. On Wednesday, we had a meeting of the Constitution Committee, at which we had to consider various Bills that are coming before the House. When the House resumes in October, we will be continuing with our inquiry into judicial appointments.
Though I was also in the chamber for various items of business, not least on Wednesday, my working week is becoming very much a committee-oriented one. The pattern of this week will be the norm for the foreseeable future.