A Bill which has been passed by both Branches of Tynwald, signed by a majority of Members in Tynwald Court and received Royal Assent. An Act is primary legislation.


A document making known to the Sovereign or other recipient the desires or opinions of the Legislature or a Branch.


(1) The period from the end of one sitting to the beginning of the next.

(2) Informally, a suspension or break in the proceedings of a Chamber or Committee either to a later time on the same day or to the next day.

(3) A delay in the debate on a particular item of business. If the date is not specified the adjournment is sometimes referred to as sine die.

Appointed Day Order

(An instrument by which the Government brings into force part or the whole of an Act on a particular day. Also known as a Commencement Order.


The line in the chamber which may not be crossed without leave by strangers during a sitting and beyond which a Member may not speak.


A draft Act, divided into clauses. When the Bill becomes an Act, its clauses are referred to as sections.

Bill Committee. A type of Select Committee appointed by either the House of Keys or the Legislative Council to consider a Bill, either in whole or in part.


(1) A component part of Tynwald Court, i.e. either the House of Keys or the Legislative Council.

(2) A component part of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, e.g. the Isle of Man Branch.

Breach of privilege

Disregard of the rights and immunities of Members individually or of Tynwald or the Branches collectively.

Citation clause

A clause enacting the short title of a Bill.


An individual article of a Bill. When the Bill becomes an Act its clauses are known as sections.

Closure of debate

In Tynwald Court and the House of Keys, a procedure under which a Member may propose debate be brought to an end.

Commencement Order

See Appointed Day Order.

Committee of the whole Council

A now obsolete term used in the Standing Orders of the Legislative Council before 2008.


Procedure for resolving differences between the Branches. Each Branch elects a deputation and the two deputations meet in private.


An act or omission which obstructs or tends to obstruct the due proceedings of Tynwald or a Branch by bringing its authority into contempt.

Delegated legislation

See Secondary legislation.


An alternative term for a Deputation.


Similar to a Committee, a group of Members of either the House of Keys or the Legislative Council elected to undertake a particular task. The most common use of the term is when each Branch elects a deputation to participate in a Conference. Each deputation reports to its own Branch. Sometimes referred to alternatively as a Delegation.

Dissolution. The end of the term of the House of Keys. Under the Representation of the People Act 1995, as amended, the House of Keys is dissolved every five years on the Thursday following the third Tuesday in August. The Governor also has powers to dissolve the Keys at other times. Tynwald Court and the Legislative Council are not dissolved.


Voting procedure in which the names of Members for and against the motion are counted and recorded. In Tynwald Court and the House of Keys, divisions are normally carried out using the electronic voting system.

Government Bill

A Bill promoted by the Government, as opposed to a Private Member's Bill.

Functus officio

Having discharged its duty and gone out of existence. A Select Committee enters this state when it makes its final report to the Chamber which appointed it.


See Official Report of Debates

Liber Juramentorum

Book of Oaths. Records are in existence of oaths sworn by Tynwald Members and others since 1649. Today, in addition to the Members of Tynwald it contains entries for every “advocate, Deemster, HM Attorney-General, Bishop, beneficed clergy and Governor”. (Debates of the Legislature, v.122, K123)


An item of legislation concerning the Church of England may be contained in a Measure. After it has been approved by the Diocesan Synod, a Measure is submitted for consideration by the Ecclesiastical Committee of Tynwald. The Measure must then be approved by resolution of Tynwald and receive the Royal Assent before it becomes part of church law. Neither Tynwald nor the Ecclesiastical Committee has power to amend the Measure but may reject it.


A request to be heard, presented in one of the three Chambers by a person who claims an interest distinct from the interests of the general public which is adversely affected by an item of business appearing on the Order Paper.


A proposal made by a Member that a Chamber do something, order something to be done, or express an opinion. It becomes a resolution after it has been carried.


A disciplinary procedure available to the presiding officer in Tynwald Court in the case of disorderly conduct by a Member.

Notice of motion

Formal document submitted by a Member to the Clerk of Tynwald‟s Office for the purposes of ensuring a motion appears on the Order Paper for Tynwald Court or the House of Keys.

Official Report

The official record of debates in Tynwald and the Branches and of public Committee hearings, known colloquially as “Hansard” after its United Kingdom counterpart, and consisting of an essentially verbatim transcription of the proceedings.

Order in Council

A type of UK statutory instrument which can in certain circumstances be used to extend UK legislation to the Isle of Man.


(1) A Petition for Redress of Grievance is a document presented to the Lord of Man or her representative on Tynwald Day. If in order it may be picked up for debate by a Member at any time in the next five years.

(2) A Public Petition is a request by one or more members of the public for something to be done on a matter of a public character, presented to Tynwald Court or one of the Branches by a Member.

(3) A Private Petition is a request by a private individual or group for something to be done on a matter of a private character, presented to Tynwald Court or one of the Branches by an affected person.

(4) A Petition of Doleance is not a Tynwald procedure but is the process for challenging through the courts a decision made by a public body (similar to judicial review in the UK).


(1) The critical element of a petition or memorial, setting out what the petitioner or memorialist wishes Tynwald or the relevant Branch to do.

(2) Words used by the Bishop of Sodor and Man or Chaplain of the House of Keys at the opening of a sitting.


A paragraph giving the background to how a Bill has come to be introduced. Seldom found today other than in Private Bills.

President of the Legislative Council

An office which existed from 1980 to 1990. The President at that time was elected by the Council from among its own Members. He presided over sittings in the Council, but not in Tynwald Court. With the creation of the post of President of Tynwald in 1990, the term became obsolete.

Presiding Officer

In Tynwald Court and the Legislative Council, the President of Tynwald; in the House of Keys, the Speaker.

Primary Legislation

See Act and Secondary Legislation

Private Bill

A Bill of particular interest to, or benefit of, any person or persons whether individual, public company or corporation or a local authority. Not to be confused with a Private Member‟s Bill.


See Breach of Privilege and chapter 6.j.

Private Member’s Bill

A Bill promoted by a Member of Tynwald as a private Member, and not as part of the Government. Unlike a Government Bill, a Private Member‟s Bill requires Leave to Introduce. Not to be confused with a Private Bill.


The process of reading aloud in public the name of an Act of Tynwald together with a brief description of the Act‟s effect. All Acts of Tynwald are by statute required to be promulgated on Tynwald Hill within 18 months of Royal Assent.


Act by which the Governor may bring a session of the Keys to an end. Seldom used.

Public Bill

A Bill affecting the general public, as opposed to a Private Bill.


See chapter 6.k


A formal stage during the passage of a Bill in either the House of Keys or the Legislative Council.


An informal term for an extended period between sittings. The term itself is not used in any of the three sets of Standing Orders. However, the effect of the Standing Orders is that there are recesses at Christmas, Easter, TT (early June) and over the summer (mid-July to mid-October). There is no formal restriction on Committees sitting during these periods.


See Motion.

Secondary legislation

Acts do not always contain all the detailed provisions required to bring the law into effect. Instead the primary legislation directs that the additional information required will be set out in Statutory Documents and Government Circulars. According to the instructions in the primary legislation these may need to undergo a particular Tynwald procedure. Examples of delegated legislation include Appointed Day Orders, Road Closure Orders and Fees Orders.


See Bill.

Select Committee

A temporary Committee established by Tynwald Court, the House of Keys or the Legislative Council to undertake a particular task, often an investigation.


A parliamentary year, generally running from October to July.

Sub Judice

See chapter 6.i


A break in the proceedings of a Chamber or Committee either to a later time on the same day or to the next day. See also Adjournment.

Sine die

“Without day”, a term used for an adjournment to an unspecified time in the future.

Standing Committee

A permanent Committee of Tynwald Court, the House of Keys or the Legislative Council. Its membership and remit are normally to be found in the Standing Orders of the Chamber concerned.

Standing Orders

See chapter 6.a.


A term used in all three sets of Standing Orders to denote persons who are not Members of the Chamber concerned.


See Dissolution.