Answered By: Catherine Dale
Last Updated: Oct 23, 2020     Views: 19

Parliamentary Debates are also known as Hansard. These are a record of the debates in which Members discuss government policy, proposed legislation and current issues.

Current debates can be accessed online. If you need to locate a quote from Hansard, you can either search or browse Parliament.UK for House of Commons and House of Lords Chamber commentary.

We recommended browsing if you have a specific quote to locate from a specific date.

Please note: You must browse by date to locate House of Lords Grand Chamber records. There is a Hansard search engine error has been reported to Parliament.UK but has not been resolved [September 2020].


For example, if you were searching for this quote:

"When introducing the Court of Appeal (Recording and Broadcasting) Order 2013, Lord McNally stated “It is important for justice to be seen to be done but this cannot be at the expense of the proper administration of justice.” House of Lords, Grand Committee, 15 October 2013, Volume 748, col 199."

  • Go to
  • Click on Find Debates for your chosen House
  • Enter "Court of Appeal (Recording and Broadcasting) Order 2013" (in quotes) in the search field
  • Change the From and Until dates to include the date of the debate - use the calendar to choose the date(s)
  • Click on Search
  • Click on the result
  • Scroll to locate Column 199 (or use Ctrl+F to search for 199 or a keyword from the quote) to locate the quote


Dr Ruth Houghton (Newcastle Law School) has also recorded a short video [4:55 mins] giving guidance on locating this quote. If you are a Newcastle University student, you can enter your Campus ID & password to view this video: How do I find a quote in Hansard?

The Library holds a complete set of House of Commons official reports from the first series published in the early 19th Century up to 2013, with a bound index for each session covering Members' names and subjects. A complete set of the House of Lords Hansard from 1914 to 2013 is also held. Both are available from the Research Reserve and can be requested via Library Search. These may be required if your research involves volumes that are not held online, or those that have mis-scanned characters or unexpected column structures, as noted on the Parliamentary website.