Istanbul Convention: Preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence

The UK signed the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, also known as the Istanbul Convention, in 2012. On 17 May 2022, Home Secretary Priti Patel announced that the UK’s laws were now compliant with the treaty and the government intended to ratify. The House of Lords International Agreements Committee has welcomed the ratification, but has expressed concern about two reservations the UK wishes to make from the treaty.

Istanbul Convention: Preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence

Co-location of the Houses of Parliament

In January 2020, the government suggested that the House of Lords could be moved out of London, possibly to the city of York. In May 2022, Michael Gove wrote to the Lord Speaker saying he would not support the QEII Centre as a decant location for the Lords during restoration and renewal, suggesting Stoke among other places as alternatives. The government has framed the proposal of moving the Lords as part of its levelling up agenda, but some commentators have expressed concern about the practical implications of the Commons and Lords being located in different cities. This article highlights commentary on these viewpoints.

Co-location of the Houses of Parliament
  • In Focus

    Game Birds (Cage Breeding) Bill [HL]

    The Game Birds (Cage Breeding) Bill [HL] would make it an offence to keep pheasants or partridges in raised laying cages or battery cages for the purpose of producing eggs. Currently, the statutory Code of Practice for the Welfare of Gamebirds Reared for Sporting Purposes recommends that barren raised cages for breeding pheasants and small barren cages for breeding partridges should not be used, and any system should be appropriately enriched.

  • Research Briefing

    Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Bill

    The Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Bill is a government bill that is being fast-tracked through Parliament. It completed its second reading and remaining stages in the House of Commons on 7 March 2022. The bill would make provision in three areas: part 1 would introduce a register of the beneficial owners of overseas entities that owned land in the UK; part 2 would make changes to strengthen unexplained wealth orders; and part 3 would make changes to sanctions legislation to help deter and prevent breaches of financial sanctions.

  • Research Briefing

    Down Syndrome Bill

    The Down Syndrome Bill is a private member’s bill from the House of Commons sponsored by Liam Fox (Conservative MP for North Somerset). The bill would require the secretary of state to give guidance to ‘relevant authorities’ on steps that would be appropriate for them to take to meet the needs of people with Down syndrome when the authority was exercising its ‘relevant functions’.

  • In Focus

    Cultural Objects (Protection from Seizure) Bill

    Under provisions in the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007, cultural objects loaned to institutions in the UK for temporary exhibitions are protected from seizure for a period of 12 months. The Cultural Objects (Protection from Seizure) Bill would allow this period to be extended by three months, for example in cases where an object may be stranded in the UK due to travel disruption and the 12-month period of protection would otherwise lapse.

  • In Focus

    Beyond Brexit: policing, law enforcement and security

    From 1 January 2021, the UK and EU’s relationship in policing, law enforcement and security has been governed by the provisions of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, most notably part three. The House of Lords European Union Committee published a report examining the arrangements on 26 March 2021. The committee welcomed several of the agreement’s provisions but said it was an unavoidable consequence of Brexit that it did not provide for the same level of collaboration as before.

  • In Focus

    Social media: potential harm to children

    Social media platforms can be sources of learning, advice and support for children and young people. However, concern has been expressed about the use of these platforms as conduits for abuse, cyberbullying and content promoting self-harm. The Government’s upcoming Online Safety Bill aims to improve safety of children online.

  • In Focus

    Negligence in the NHS: liability costs

    NHS Resolution manages a number of clinical negligence schemes for the NHS in England. Concern has been expressed about the high cost of dealing with negligence claims. For example, the Government has said that payment costs were the equivalent of 1.5% of the NHS budget and these costs were forecast to continue rising. The Department of Health and Social Care is looking at the issue and the Government has said it will publish a consultation on its next steps in 2021.

  • Research Briefing

    COP26: aims, goals and progress

    COP26 is an international climate change conference held under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It stands for ‘conference of the parties’ and is the 26th meeting of the parties to the UNFCCC. It is being held between 31 October and 12 November 2021. On 18 November 2021, the House of Lords is due to debate the outcomes of the conference.

  • In Focus

    Leaseholders: fire and building safety

    Following the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017, survey work has revealed that dangerous cladding was also present on other residential tower blocks. The Government has announced funding to help pay for remedial work. However, politicians and campaigners have expressed concern that the funding does not cover all fire safety defects and that leaseholders are being sent bills by building owners to cover costs of fire safety work, potentially leading to financial hardship and significant stress.

  • In Focus

    Land use frameworks: integrating policies in England

    Planning and land use policies cover a wide range of considerations. These range from controlling the built environment to achieving environmental aims such as reducing emissions, as well as agricultural and economic objectives. Some groups have argued for the need for an overarching ‘land use framework’ to draw these together to ensure all policy aims can be met. The House of Lords is scheduled to debate this issue on 28 October 2021.

  • Research Briefing

    Compensation (London Capital & Finance plc and Fraud Compensation Fund) Bill

    The Compensation (London Capital & Finance plc and Fraud Compensation Fund) Bill would make provisions relating to the payment of compensation to eligible customers of London Capital & Finance plc. It would also allow the secretary of state to provide a loan to the Board of the Pension Protection Fund and for that loan to form a part of the funds of the Fraud Compensation Fund. The House of Lords second reading and remaining stages of the bill are scheduled to take place on 19 October 2021.

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