Home affairs by topic

Home affairs includes the following topic areas. Please click the links to access lists of publications by topic:

Communities

  • 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.

    Land use frameworks: integrating policies in England
  • Education (Assemblies) Bill [HL]

    This private member’s bill would repeal the requirement for schools in England without a designated religious character to provide daily acts of collective religious worship. In its place, the bill would establish a new duty to provide non-religious assemblies which develop the spiritual, moral, social, and cultural education of pupils. It is due to have its second reading in the House of Lords on 10 September 2021.

    Education (Assemblies) Bill [HL]
  • Human rights of LGBT+ people worldwide

    Equality in human rights for LGBT+ people varies globally. Many are vulnerable to violations, including violent attacks and social isolation. The United Nations (UN) has repeatedly confirmed that discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics is contrary to international human rights law. Despite this, over 70 countries worldwide criminalise adult same-sex relationships. The UK Government commits funds to targeted international LGBT+ rights programmes. However, it has recently faced criticism for its New Plan for Immigration.

    Human rights of LGBT+ people worldwide
View all briefings on communities

Crime

  • Misogyny: a new hate crime?

    ‘Hate crime’ is used to describe a range of criminal behaviour that a victim or other person perceives to be motivated by hostility or prejudice towards a person’s disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or transgender identity. These aspects of a person’s identity are referred to as ‘protected characteristics’. There have been recent calls to extend the protected characteristics to cover sex and gender. This would see misogyny become a hate crime.

    Misogyny: a new hate crime?
  • Modern slavery in UK supply chains

    Concerns have been raised about modern slavery and forced labour in the supply chains of UK businesses. The Modern Slavery Act 2015 places duties on companies to report on the steps they are taking to eradicate slavery from their business. This article analyses the impact of the reporting requirements and the progress the Government has made in meeting its commitments to strengthen the act’s provisions.

    Modern slavery in UK supply chains
  • Forensic science services and the criminal justice system

    Forensic science services are a key part of the criminal justice system in England and Wales. The provision of such services has been the subject of scrutiny in recent years. This article considers recent developments in the area, including the Forensic Capability Network and the latest appointment of the Forensic Science Regulator. It also considers the House of Lords debate on forensic science services in the criminal justice system that took place in April 2021.

    Forensic science services and the criminal justice system
View all briefings on crime

Culture, media and sport

  • BBC: Value to the UK and wider global audiences

    This briefing has been prepared in advance of a House of Lords debate on 2 December 2021 on the value of the BBC to its audiences. The briefing provides information on the BBC’s remit, its services, and their economic value to the UK. It also summarises issues such as the negotiations between the BBC and the Government over the licence fee settlement from 2022, and the forthcoming mid-term review of the BBC’s royal charter.

    BBC: Value to the UK and wider global audiences
  • Coroners (Determination of Suicide) Bill [HL]

    This private member’s bill would enable a coroner to record gambling addiction as a relevant factor to a death by suicide. Currently, data on the correlation between problem gambling and deaths by suicide remains limited. Public Health England’s recent evidence review on gambling-related harms concluded that problem gambling should be deemed a public health issue. The bill will receive its second reading in the House of Lords on 19 November 2021.

    Coroners (Determination of Suicide) Bill [HL]
  • Harnessing public engagement in the Olympics and Paralympics

    At the 2020 Olympic Games, held in Tokyo in 2021, the Great Britain and Northern Ireland team won a total of 65 medals, including 22 gold medals. ParalympicsGB won 124 medals at the Tokyo Paralympic Games, including 41 gold medals. However, recent figures indicate levels of physical activity in England have declined over the past year. This briefing summarises recent figures for levels of physical activity and the UK Government’s policies concerning encouraging sport in England.

    Harnessing public engagement in the Olympics and Paralympics
View all briefings on culture, media and sport

Family and civil law

  • Freedom of speech in universities

    Discussions regarding freedom of speech in universities have become increasingly prominent in recent years. A Government bill which seeks to “strengthen freedom of speech and academic freedom in higher education” is currently in the House of Commons. Critics of the bill have suggested that there is little evidence to suggest freedom of speech in universities is under threat; an opposition amendment seeking to prevent the bill’s passage was defeated at second reading.

    Freedom of speech in universities
  • Public Service Pensions and Judicial Offices Bill [HL]

    This proposed law seeks to reform pensions across the public sector. It would also make other changes to the rules related to judicial offices. The pension reforms partly respond to a finding of unlawful discrimination in existing schemes and are partly aimed at improving the operation of public sector pensions. The changes relating to judicial offices are intended to improve recruitment and retention in the judiciary.

    Public Service Pensions and Judicial Offices Bill [HL]
View all briefings on family and civil law

Immigration

  • 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.

    Migrants arriving in the UK by boat
  • Refugees (Family Reunion) Bill [HL]

    This private member’s bill would seek to improve the provision for leave to enter or remain in the UK granted to family members of refugees and of people granted humanitarian protection; and to provide for legal aid to be made available in such cases. The bill is scheduled to have its second reading on 10 September 2021.

    Refugees (Family Reunion) Bill [HL]
  • UK visa and immigration policies for EU and EEA citizens

    Since freedom of movement ended, EU and EEA citizens coming to the UK since 1 January 2021 are subject to immigration controls and the UK’s new points-based immigration system. EU and EEA citizens who were living in the UK before that date were eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to enable them to remain here. This article looks at key features of both schemes and the impact of the changes.

    UK visa and immigration policies for EU and EEA citizens
View all briefings on immigration

Justice

  • Detention of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

    British-Iranian dual national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been detained in Iran since 2016. The UK Government has called her detention arbitrary and has lobbied the Iranian Government for her release. Her husband, Richard Ratcliffe, and her MP, Tulip Siddiq, have called on the Government to do more to secure her freedom.

    Detention of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe
  • Misogyny: a new hate crime?

    ‘Hate crime’ is used to describe a range of criminal behaviour that a victim or other person perceives to be motivated by hostility or prejudice towards a person’s disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or transgender identity. These aspects of a person’s identity are referred to as ‘protected characteristics’. There have been recent calls to extend the protected characteristics to cover sex and gender. This would see misogyny become a hate crime.

    Misogyny: a new hate crime?
  • Accusations of genocide against Uyghurs in Xinjiang, China

    Several countries and parliaments have accused China of committing genocide against Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang. The UK Government maintains that only a competent court can make this determination. However, the Times reported that the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, Elizabeth Truss, had previously accused China of committing genocide. The House of Lords is due to take note of these reported remarks on 25 November 2021.

    Accusations of genocide against Uyghurs in Xinjiang, China
View all briefings on justice

Security

  • Facial recognition technology in schools

    In October 2021, some schools began taking payments for lunches using facial recognition technology (FRT). In response, the Information Commissioner’s Office and some privacy campaigners have expressed concern that this use of the technology is unnecessarily intrusive. This article focuses on how FRT is used in schools, what concerns have been raised about its use and how it is governed.

    Facial recognition technology in schools
  • ‘Defence in a Competitive Age’ and threats facing the UK

    The Ministry of Defence (MoD) published the command paper ‘Defence in a Competitive Age’ on 22 March 2021, setting out how the UK’s defence capabilities will support the Government’s integrated review of security, defence, development, and foreign policy. The command paper contained a range of measures, including how the UK will respond to current and future threats. This article summarises those provisions ahead of a forthcoming debate in the House of Lords on these issues.

    ‘Defence in a Competitive Age’ and threats facing the UK
View all briefings on security