• In Focus

    Facial recognition technology: police powers and the protection of privacy

    Facial recognition technology is used to identify individuals or to verify someone’s identity. Live facial recognition has been used by several police forces in England and Wales in collaboration with the private sector. There have been calls for increased scrutiny and oversight of the powers of the police to use the technology, including in the House of Lords. This article summarises the debates about the use of this technology.

  • In Focus

    Forensic Science Regulator Bill

    The Forensic Science Regulator Bill would put the existing forensic science regulator post on a statutory basis. The bill would also give the regulator powers to enforce a statutory code of practice for forensic science activities relating to the criminal justice system in England and Wales. The bill has completed its stages in the House of Commons and is due to have its second reading in the Lords on 19 March 2021.

  • In Focus

    Sanctions (EU Exit) (Miscellaneous Amendments) (No. 4) Regulations 2020

    The House of Lords is due to consider the Sanctions (EU Exit) (Miscellaneous Amendments) (No. 4) Regulations 2020 on 8 February 2021. The regulations, which came into force on 1 January 2021, are a consequence of a change in policy and drafting approach to sanctions licences issued by British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies. This article examines what the regulations do and why they have been made.

  • In Focus

    Bribery Act 2010: Post-Legislative Scrutiny

    In 2018, the House of Lords Select Committee on the Bribery Act 2010 conducted post-legislative scrutiny of the legislation. This included examining whether it had led to stricter prosecution of corrupt conduct. In March 2019, the Committee published its report. This article summarises the report and the Government’s response.

  • In Focus

    New legal definition of ‘antique firearm’

    The use of antique firearms in criminal activity has risen in recent years. Antique firearms which are kept as ornaments or curiosities are currently exempt from several provisions within firearms legislation. At present, there is no statutory definition of ‘antique firearm’. This article discusses new regulations that seek to introduce a legal definition.

  • Research Briefing

    Domestic Abuse Bill: Briefing for Lords Stages

    This government bill seeks to increase awareness of domestic abuse, strengthen support for victims and improve the effectiveness of the justice system. The bill includes provisions on several areas. It includes a new definition of domestic abuse, extra protection for victims and witnesses in court, and codifies the principle that consent to offences involving violent or abusive behaviour is not a defence.

  • In Focus

    Sanctions (EU Exit) (Consequential Provisions) (Amendment) Regulations 2020

    Since the passage of the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018, the Government has been preparing for the UK to implement sanctions once it is no longer covered by the EU’s legal framework. The draft Sanctions (EU Exit) (Consequential Provisions) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 would amend existing sanctions regulations made under the 2018 act to ensure that references in other pieces of primary and secondary legislation are up to date.

  • In Focus

    Domestic abuse in the UK: Government support

    During the Covid-19 pandemic, domestic abuse charities have reported a sharp increase in demand for their services. In response, the Government has provided additional funding to local authorities and domestic violence groups, and is seeking to enact further measures through the Domestic Abuse Bill shortly to come before the House of Lords.

  • In Focus

    Prosecution of Offences (Custody Time Limits) (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020

    These regulations temporarily increase the amount of time that a defendant can be held in custody whilst awaiting a crown court trial. The Government said that the purpose of the regulations is to provide reassurance to victims and the public following the recent delays in trial listings caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The regulations came into force on 28 September 2020 and will expire on 28 June 2021.

  • In Focus

    Sentencing for emergency service deaths: Calls for change

    The sentencing of offenders whose crimes lead to the death of an emergency service worker can vary depending upon the conviction received. The Harper’s Law campaign has called for life sentences to be imposed in instances where an emergency service worker is killed as a direct result of a crime. This article discusses life sentences, minimum terms, and recent calls for change to sentencing in England and Wales. This is due to be the subject of an oral question in the House of Lords on 1 October 2020.