Draft environmental principles policy statement

The Environment Act 2021 requires the government to publish an environmental principles policy statement outlining how environmental principles should be interpreted and applied by ministers when making policy. A draft of the first statement to be made under the act was laid before Parliament on 11 May 2022 and is due to be discussed by the Lords on 30 June 2022.

Draft environmental principles policy statement

Local Authority (Housing Allocation) Bill [HL]: HL Bill 9 of 2022–23

The Local Authority (Housing Allocation) Bill [HL] is a private member’s bill introduced by Lord Mann (non-affiliated). The bill is due to have its second reading in the House of Lords on 8 July 2022. The bill would require local planning authorities to establish targets for the allocation of land for new housing in England in consultation with their local communities. The timescales for meeting these targets would be set by the secretary of state.

Local Authority (Housing Allocation) Bill [HL]: HL Bill 9 of 2022–23

Standards in public life and the democratic process

Members of both Houses of Parliament are expected to abide by the seven principles of public life, also known as the Nolan Principles, and to the principles and rules set out in each House’s code of conduct. In addition, ministers are expected to follow the ministerial code. Declines in public trust in government and politicians often follow episodes of perceived declines in standards, such as after the 2009 media coverage of politicians’ expenses.

Standards in public life and the democratic process
  • In Focus

    Union of the United Kingdom: Under stress?

    The UK’s union continues to evolve. Recent developments include the repatriation of powers from the EU post-Brexit and reviews of intergovernmental relations between central government and the devolved administrations, but there are also calls for further constitutional review and reform. The Scottish government’s plans for a second independence referendum and disagreements about the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol are particular issues that highlight current stresses on the union.

  • In Focus

    Use and scrutiny of emergency powers during the coronavirus pandemic: Constitution Committee report

    The House of Lords Constitution Committee published a report in 2021 raising concerns about the government’s approach to introducing emergency measures and laws during the coronavirus pandemic. In particular, the committee believed there was limited opportunity for Parliament to properly scrutinise the measures and there were issues of legal clarity. This article summarises the report and the government’s response, and links to other recent committee reports on parliamentary scrutiny.

  • In Focus

    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.

  • Current Affairs Digest

    Current Affairs Digest: Constitution (June 2022)

    In April 2022, the UK government announced a scheme to relocate certain asylum seekers from the UK to Rwanda for asylum claims processing and potential resettlement. This led to national and international concerns about whether the scheme contravenes international human rights law. This article looks at some of those concerns, as well as other countries that have introduced similar policies.

  • In Focus

    Calls for a UK-wide constitutional commission

    Since devolution in the UK in the late 1990s, intergovernmental relations (IGR) have been necessary for joint decision-making on areas of shared responsibility and for dispute resolution. The political and institutional structures that support IGR have been evolving since this time. However, there have been calls for a UK-wide constitutional commission to examine the relationships and arrangements between the four nations of the UK.

  • In Focus

    International Agreements Committee report on improving the framework for the parliamentary scrutiny of treaties

    In September 2021, the House of Lords International Agreements Committee published a report on its experiences scrutinising agreements under the current statutory framework for treaty scrutiny. Among its recommendations, the committee called for government commitments on scrutiny working practices made since April 2020 to be consolidated in a formal concordat. The committee also asked the government to commit to giving it more notice of both treaties set to be laid before Parliament and significant other agreements.

  • In Focus

    Political opinion polls: Should there be greater oversight?

    The House of Lords Liaison Committee has updated the findings of an earlier ad hoc Lords committee on the issues arising for UK politics from political opinion polling. The Liaison Committee welcomed recent advances in polling techniques and information prepared by the polling industry on how to interpret polls. However, it concluded that the case for greater oversight of polling remained a matter for debate.

  • In Focus

    Queen’s Speech 2022: Brexit—Retained EU law and the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland

    The Government is planning to make significant changes to the legal status of retained EU law and the post-Brexit regulatory landscape. This would be through a ‘Brexit Freedoms Bill’ and standalone legislation in areas such as procurement and data protection. There is also speculation the Government may introduce a bill to override parts of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland.

  • In Focus

    Queen’s Speech 2022: Devolved affairs

    The Government has argued that devolution has “empowered communities” and provided “huge benefits across the United Kingdom”. Its stated aim is to continue to collaborate with the devolved administrations, “work[ing] together to deliver for the British people”. This article discusses some of the key issues in devolved affairs that may be addressed in the forthcoming parliamentary session.

  • In Focus

    Queen’s Speech 2022: Constitution

    The Queen’s Speech is taking place on 10 May 2022. This will set out the Government’s legislative and policy programme for the new parliamentary session. This briefing provides a summary of legislative proposals concerning the constitution and other announcements that may be included in the speech.

  • In Focus

    Queen’s Speech 2022: Health and social care

    The next Queen’s Speech, in which the Government will set out its legislative programme for the new parliamentary session, will be delivered on 10 May 2022. The speech and accompanying briefing notes are expected to detail some health and social care-related initiatives. These could include a draft bill to reform the Mental Health Act 1983 and measures to ban conversion therapy in respect of a person’s sexual orientation.

Total results (page 1 of 30)