Queen’s Speech 2022: Justice

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 article provides a summary of legislative and policy proposals for justice, including a draft victims bill and parole system reform.

Queen’s Speech 2022: Justice

Queen’s Speech 2022: Home affairs

The Queen’s Speech is due to take place on 10 May 2022. The Government will use the speech to outline its plans for the new parliamentary session. This article considers what home affairs related announcements the Government might make, including plans for new legislation relating to counter-state threats and economic crime, and amendments to the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

Queen’s Speech 2022: Home affairs
  • In Focus

    Changes to the Highway Code on using a mobile phone while driving: regret motion

    The Government has recently broadened the scope of Highway Code rule 149, which now makes it an offence to use a hand-held mobile device for almost any purpose while driving, not just to make and receive calls and texts. The House of Lords is due to debate a regret motion on the changes. The motion raises concerns about their scope and the “piecemeal” way the Highway Code was being amended.

  • In Focus

    Approved Premises (Substance Testing) Bill

    The Approved Premises (Substance Testing) Bill is a private member’s bill that would create a statutory framework for drugs testing in approved premises, including testing for psychoactive substances and the abuse of prescription and pharmacy medicines. The bill received cross-party support in the House of Commons.

  • In Focus

    Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles (Safeguarding and Road Safety) Bill

    On 4 March 2022, the House of Lords is due to debate the second reading of the Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles (Safeguarding and Road Safety) Bill. The bill would oblige taxi and private hire vehicle licensing authorities to submit information about refusals, suspensions and revocations of driver licences to a national database. Licensing authorities would also have to check the database before making licensing decisions.

  • In Focus

    Recreational drug use: what’s the harm?

    In recent years, some in law enforcement and Government have associated recreational drug use, particularly among the middle classes, with increasing violence. This article looks at the Government’s plans to tackle the problem, responses to the proposals and Dame Carol Black’s recent independent review of drugs.

  • 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.

  • Research Briefing

    Judicial Review and Courts Bill

    This government bill would make several changes to judicial review and introduce new procedural measures in criminal courts, employment tribunals and coroner’s courts, amongst others. According to the Government, the bill would strengthen judicial review, modernise the court and tribunal system, and help to address case backlogs caused by the pandemic.

  • In Focus

    Surveillance Camera Code of Practice: regret motion

    The Government has updated a code of practice that local authorities and the police must consider when using camera systems. Critics allege the code is part of a framework governing the use of facial recognition technology that is insufficient. In response, they have called for the framework to be improved or replaced or for use of facial recognition technology to be either temporarily or permanently suspended.

  • In Focus

    Financial fraud and vulnerable people

    On 2 December 2021, the House of Lords is scheduled to hold a short debate on a motion tabled by Lord Sharkey (Liberal Democrat). He will ask the Government what steps it is taking to protect vulnerable people from financial fraud. This article provides information about the various types of fraud committed and the scale of the problem; which groups are more vulnerable to fraud; and what is being done to tackle the crime.

  • In Focus

    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.

  • In Focus

    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.

  • In Focus

    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.

  • In Focus

    Pandora papers, money laundering and corruption

    The pandora papers are the largest ever leak of documents and files revealing how a global network of offshore companies, trusts and financial mechanisms are enabling wealthy individuals to avoid tax, and in some cases reportedly to also engage in criminal activities such as money laundering. There are also fears that the UK property market is being targeted by investors who are buying valuable properties through offshore companies to conceal their ownership and avoid taxation.

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