The privilege of peerage is the body of special privileges belonging to members of the British peerage. It is distinct from Parliamentary privilege, which applies only to those peers serving in the House of Lords and the members of the House of Commons, while Parliament is in session and forty days before and after a Parliamentary session.
The privileges have been lost and eroded over time. Only three survived into the 20th century: the right to be tried by other peers of the realm instead of juries of commoners, freedom from arrest in civil (but not criminal) cases, and access to the Sovereign to advise him or her on matters of state. The right to be tried by other peers was abolished in 1948. Legal opinion considers the right of freedom from arrest as extremely limited in application, if at all. The remaining privilege is not exercised and was recommended for formal abolition in 1999, but has never been formally revoked.
Peers also have several other rights not formally part of the privilege of peerage. For example, they are entitled to use coronets and supporters on their achievements of arms.
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