The Lords Temporal is the title given to members of the House of Lords who are neither Lords Spiritual, those who hold an ecclesiastical office, or Law Lords, those who hold senior judicial positions. Lords Temporal are by far the most numerous of those who sit in the House of Lords.
Historically, Lords Temporal included many hereditary peers. In 1999, reform of the House of Lords drastically cut the number of hereditary peers to 92 and future reform may well make the House of Lords a completely elected chamber – so these 92 Lords will also be removed.
The Lords Temporal also includes the Lords of Appeal in Ordinary. These Lords are better known as Law Lords.
The largest group of Lords Temporal are Life Peers. Life Peers are created by the reigning monarch who acts on the advice of the Prime Minister. A political balance is maintained in the Lords by the convention that other political parties other than the government in power have the right to select some of the life peers created by the monarch.
Some life peers not associated with a political party are appointed by the House of Lords Appointment Commission.
To become a Lords Temporal an individual must be aged at least 21.
Restrictions to the Lords include an individual being bankrupt or if their land has been sequestered (Scotland only). A person convicted of high treason cannot sit in the Lords until he/she has served out his/her term in prison or receives a full pardon for the conviction. A prison sentence for any other offence does not automatically exclude an individual from the Lords once he/she is released