Digital Economy Act 2017 (Commencement of Part 3) Bill [HL]

The Digital Economy Act 2017 (Commencement of Part 3) Bill is a private member’s bill sponsored by Lord Morrow. It would oblige the Government to commence, or bring into force, sections of the Digital Economy Act 2017 relating to online pornography that have yet to be activated and which the Government plans to repeal and replace. The House of Lords is scheduled to debate the bill at second reading on 28 January 2022.

Digital Economy Act 2017 (Commencement of Part 3) Bill [HL]

Skeleton bills and delegated powers

Several Lords committees have expressed concern about the increasing use of skeleton bills. These set out the principles for a policy but leave the detail to be filled in later by ministers through delegated powers. Because these powers are subject to less rigorous scrutiny than bills, there have been calls for the use of skeleton bills to be restricted alongside a broader reset in the balance of power between Parliament and government.

Skeleton bills and delegated powers

Freedom of speech: challenges and the role of public, private and civil society sectors in upholding rights

On 10 December 2021, the House of Lords is scheduled to debate a motion tabled by the Archbishop of Canterbury “that this House takes note of contemporary challenges to freedom of speech, and the role of public, private and civil society sectors in upholding freedom of speech”. This article provides background information ahead of the debate.

Freedom of speech: challenges and the role of public, private and civil society sectors in upholding rights
  • In Focus

    Amending the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to include sporting events

    Sports groups have long called for governments to protect intellectual property rights in sport. The UK Government is currently reviewing legislation introduced five years ago aimed at stopping pubs from using unauthorised satellite decoder systems to show live English Premier League football matches. The House of Lords will soon debate copyright protections for sporting events.

  • In Focus

    Migrants arriving in the UK by boat

    The number of undocumented migrants arriving in the UK by boat has been increasing since 2018. The Government has described such journeys as unsafe and unacceptable. The Nationality and Borders Bill includes measures aimed at deterring crossings. Critics such as the Refugee Council have alleged the bill will ‘unjustly’ subject refugees arriving without leave to differential treatment compared with those who arrive by other means.

  • In Focus

    All Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia report

    The Conservative Party manifesto for the 2019 general election pledged that finding a cure for dementia would be one of the Government’s biggest priorities. To this end, the manifesto committed to doubling dementia research funding and speeding up trials for new treatments. In a report published in September 2021, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia made a central recommendation that the Government should implement its funding pledge as soon as possible.

  • In Focus

    Covid-19: impact in Latin America

    Latin America accounts for over a fifth of all cases and almost a third of all deaths from Covid-19 worldwide. Vaccine rollouts are progressing across the region, but rates remain uneven. The economic toll of the pandemic has been severe, with recovery expected to take some time in many countries. This article provides a short summary of developments in the region arising from the pandemic ahead of a House of Lords debate on the subject.

  • Research Briefing

    Social care: challenges, funding and reform

    There is widespread recognition that the formal adult social care sector in England has faced multiple challenges over many years. The Government has set out proposals for a levy to raise funds for the sector alongside reforms to how people pay for adult social care in England. Further detail on the Government’s plans for sector reform are expected in a white paper due later this year.

  • Research Briefing

    Health and Social Care Levy Bill

    The bill would provide for a new tax dedicated to helping fund the Government’s plans for health and social care, with proceeds ringfenced for this purpose. The tax would be collected from April 2022. The House of Commons has passed the bill and there are limitations on the powers of the House of Lords to amend or reject the measure. The House of Lords is scheduled to debate the bill at second reading and remaining stages on 11 October 2021.

  • In Focus

    Leadership training for ministers and senior civil servants

    The Government has outlined an ambition to improve the professional skills held by both ministers and senior civil servants. This follows numerous reports and programmes aimed at improving government performance and effectiveness generally, most recently leading to the creation of a National Leadership Centre. This article provides an overview of developments relating to the training of government leaders ahead of a forthcoming debate on the subject.

  • In Focus

    Early years and childcare fees regulations: regret motion

    The Early Years Foundation Stage (Miscellaneous Amendments) and Childcare Fees (Amendment) Regulations 2021 come into force on 1 September 2021. They introduce a reception baseline assessment (RBA) for children entering reception class; update the statutory framework that early years providers in England must follow; and continue certain annual registration fee arrangements. The House of Lords is set to debate a motion to regret the changes on the basis that introduction of the RBA should be delayed.

  • In Focus

    Renewing the UK’s trading relationship with Commonwealth countries

    The Commonwealth comprises 54 countries who share a voluntary association. Member states have a combined population of 2.4 billion people and a gross domestic product estimated to have reached US$13 trillion in 2020. Commonwealth heads of government have set an ambition to increase intra-Commonwealth trade to US$2 trillion by 2030. Post-Brexit, the UK Government is pursuing free trade agreements with Commonwealth partners as part of its independent trade policy.

  • Research Briefing

    Social care provision in the UK and the role of carers

    On 24 June 2021, the House of Lords is due to debate a motion on social care provision and the role of carers. The term ‘social care’ can include all forms of personal and practical assistance for children, young people and adults who need extra support, including those who care for others. The policy area is a devolved matter and provision differs across the UK. This briefing provides an overview of the subject.

  • In Focus

    Higher Education Cheating Services Prohibition Bill [HL]

    The Higher Education Cheating Services Prohibition Bill is a private member’s bill sponsored by Lord Storey. It would make it an offence to provide or advertise cheating services to students enrolled at higher education providers in England. The House of Lords is scheduled to debate the bill at second reading on 25 June 2021.

  • In Focus

    Motions on recent changes to planning rules

    The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development etc.) (England) (Amendment) Order 2021 introduces several changes to the local planning framework. It makes it easier to convert a wider range of commercial buildings to residential use; allows further development of schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, prisons and ports; and implements a ‘retain and explain’ policy for certain statues, memorials and monuments. The House of Lords is set to debate motions to reject or ‘regret’ the changes.

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