Page last updated at 13:39 GMT, Thursday, 16 October 2008 14:39 UK
Parliamentary year

The parliamentary year, or session, normally runs from mid-November until late July.

There is usually a two to three week spillover period in October when the House completes any unfinished business before the next parliamentary year begins.

All legislation must pass through both Houses within a single parliamentary year.

Historically, the length of sessions has waxed and waned. In the 1850s the parliamentary year tended to run from February to late August.

Both Houses of Parliament adjourn several times during the parliamentary year. These holiday periods are known as recesses and they usually occur at Christmas, Easter and Whitsun. The summer recess is the longest and normally lasts from late July to mid-October.

More from BBC Democracy Live
Compare who does what across the UK and Europe
Our A-Z of words used in the business of politics
Discover what BBC Democracy Live has to offer you


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2016 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific