What is second reading?
Second reading is the first opportunity for members of the Lords to debate the key principles and main purpose of a bill and to flag up any concerns or specific areas where they think amendments (changes) are needed.
Before second reading takes place
Before a second reading debate takes place, members who would like to speak add their name to a list - the 'speakers list'.
What happens at second reading?
The government minister, spokesperson or a member of the Lords responsible for the bill opens the second reading debate.
Any member can speak during second reading - this stage can indicate those members particularly interested in a bill, or a specific aspect of it, and those who are most likely to be involved in suggesting changes at later stages.
Second reading debates usually last for a few hours but can sometimes stretch over a couple of days.
What happens after second reading?
After second reading the bill goes to committee stage - where detailed line by line examination and discussion of amendments takes place.