Publications from the UK parliamentary include Bills, House of Commons and House of Lords Papers, Command Papers and Hansard.
Together, Public Bills, Command Papers and HC and HL Papers are known as “Sessional Papers” – they relate the work of both Houses in each parliamentary session. Public Bills as well as HC and HL Papers are categorised according to the House to which they relate (Commons or Lords).
N.B. References to parliamentary materials can vary. For guidance on how to reference materials in your own work refer to a referencing guide:
A bill is a draft form of an Act. A bill must pass through various parliamentary stages before it is passed, gains Royal Assent, and becomes an act. If a bill falls at any stage it does not become an act.
Child Poverty HC Bill (2009-10) 
|Child Poverty||HC Bill||(2009-10)|||
|Title of bill||House||Session||Bill number|
Command Papers are presented to Parliament, nominally 'by command' of the monarch (in practice often by a Government Minister). They encompass a wide range of publications including policy documents, statistical information, treaties to which the UK is a signatory, and departmental and agency annual reports. They include 'white' and 'green' papers (relating to government policy and proposed legislation) and some reports of the English and Scottish Law Commissions.
Home Office, The Definition of Terrorism (Cm 7052, 2007)
|Home Office,||The Definition of Terrorism||(Cm 7052,||2007)|
|Author (Department, etc)||Title||Series and number||Year|
The abbreviation of 'command' is important in identifying the series of papers:
|-|| - ||1st series 1833 - 1869|
|C||[C 1] - [C 9550]||2nd series 1870 -1899|
|Cd||[Cd 1] - [Cd 9239]||3rd series 1900 -1918|
|Cmd||[Cmd 1] - Cmd 9889||4th series 1919 -1956|
|Cmnd||Cmnd 1 - Cmnd 9927||5th series 1956 -1986|
|Cm||Cm 1 - Cm ----||6th series 1986 - 2018|
|CP||CP 1 -||7th series 2019 -|
House of Commons Papers (HC Papers) and House of Lords Papers (HL Papers) include reports from Select Committees and other publications resulting from the work of Parliament, reports of public inquiries and accounts and reports from certain bodies.
Public Administration Committee, Ethics and Standards: Further Report, (HC 2008-09, 43)
|Public Administration Committee,||Ethics and Standards: Further Report,||(HC||2008-09,||43)|
|Author (e.g. committee)||Title||House||Session||Paper|
Constitution Committee, Analysis of the Government's response to Surveillance: Citizens and the State (HL 2008-09, 114)
|Constitution Committee,||Analysis of the Government's response to Surveillance: Citizens and the State||(HL||2008-09,||114)|
|Author (e.g. committee)||Title||House||Session||Paper|
Hansard contains reports of debates and other parliamentary business. It is comprised of: House of Commons Debates, House of Lords Debates, and Public Bill Committee Debates ( formerly published as Standing Committee Debates).
Child Poverty Bill, Second Reading, HC Deb 20 July 2009, vol 496, cols 603-679
|Child Poverty Bill, Second Reading,||HC Deb||20 July 2009,||cols 603-679|
|(name of debate)||Series of debates||Date||Column number(s)|
Child Poverty Bill Deb 22 October 2009, cols 77-98
|Child Poverty Bill Deb||22 October 2009,||cols 77-98|
|Bill title||Date||Column number(s)|
PBC (Bill 112) 22 October 2009, cols 77-98
|PBC||(Bill 112)||22 October 2009,||cols 77-98|
|Series||Bill number||Date||Column number|
SC Deb (A) 30 Jan 2003, col 217
Stg Co Deb (2002-2003) Co A Local Government Bill col 217
Up to session 1978-1979, Sessional Papers are arranged by broad subject and bound in separate volumes. References (especially in sessional indexes) may be to the volume and page. You will need to find out this reference in order to locate a paper within these volumes.
E.g. The Antarctic Treaty. Recommendations of the seventh consultative meeting held at Wellington, 30 October to 10 November 1972 (Cmnd 5502, 1973), may be cited in a format such as:
Sessional Papers, 1973-74, III, 99
|Sessional Papers||Session||Volume||Page number|
For information about legislation from the Scottish Parliament refer to out Legislation Guide:
This collection contains print copies of:
Follow the link to ‘UK Parliament’ then, under ‘Categories’, to ‘HOL / HOC Daily Hansards’ or ‘Public Bill and General Committee Debates’. Then filter by session and browse by volume (paper) / committee and date. (Alternatively, use options in the ‘Advanced Search’ screen.)
Follow the link to the ‘Advanced Search’ screen. Under ‘Categories’ select the relevant source (e.g. ‘HOC Daily Hansards’). Enter terms in the ‘Keywords in document text’ search field.
In 'Find by Volume and Column Number' select series (e.g. Commons / Lords), enter volume and column number, select 'Find'; or use the options under 'Browse Sittings'.
Enter your search term(s) in the 'Search Hansard...' box, select 'Search'; or use the options under 'Find Debates' .
Follow the relevant ‘Find MPs’ or ‘Find Peers’ link, and then search for an MP/Peer or browse by Member and filter by search term and/or date.
Use the Hansard reference information to locate the debate by the series (e.g. House of Commons) volume and column number.
Annotations at the beginning of an act contains references to debates relating to the Bill.
‘Explanatory Notes’ to recent UK Acts contain references to debates on the related Bill (under ‘Parliamentary History’ / ‘Hansard References’).
Use the indexes in Hansard to look up the subject or speaker. The indexes give references to the column number (and volume).
The ‘Bill Tracker’ allows you to follow the progress of a Bill as it goes through the UK or Scottish Parliament.
This page lists bills currently before Parliament with links to information about the current state of passage including links to associated documents.
For earlier session's bills, follow the link to 'Bills in previous session'.
The annotations at the beginning of an act contains references to debates relating to the Bill listed by stage/reading.
‘Explanatory Notes’ to Acts of the Scottish Parliament and recent UK Acts indicate the progress of the related Bill (under ‘Parliamentary History’ / ‘Hansard References’).