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.

Political opinion polls: Should there be greater oversight?

How should gambling regulation change to reduce gambling harm?

A House of Lords committee on the gambling industry has called for a series of regulatory reforms to reduce the harm caused by ‘problem gambling’. Since the committee’s report, the Government has launched a wide-ranging review of gambling oversight and is due to publish its conclusions shortly. In the meantime, aspects of gambling regulation continue to evolve.

How should gambling regulation change to reduce gambling harm?
  • In Focus

    British Sign Language Bill

    British sign language (BSL) is the most commonly used sign language in the UK and is considered culturally important by the Deaf community. Although it is recognised as a language by the Government, this is not set out in law. This bill would give BSL full legal recognition as a language in England, Wales and Scotland and contains provisions to promote its use. The measures have cross-party support.

  • In Focus

    Cultural Objects (Protection from Seizure) Bill

    Under provisions in the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007, cultural objects loaned to institutions in the UK for temporary exhibitions are protected from seizure for a period of 12 months. The Cultural Objects (Protection from Seizure) Bill would allow this period to be extended by three months, for example in cases where an object may be stranded in the UK due to travel disruption and the 12-month period of protection would otherwise lapse.

  • In Focus

    Democracy and Digital Committee Report: Digital Technology and the Resurrection of Trust

    In June 2020, the House of Lords Democracy and Digital Committee published its report into the effects of digital technology on democracy and trust. It made several recommendations to the Government, including calling for online harms legislation to be introduced within a year of the report’s publication. The House of Lords is scheduled to debate the report on 11 March 2022.

  • In Focus

    Gambling advertising and harm caused by gambling

    For some people, gambling can lead to financial difficulties, deteriorating health, crime and other harms. The links between gambling advertisements and such ‘problem gambling’ have been widely debated. This briefing explores these debates. It also examines the current regulatory regime for gambling advertising and proposals for change.

  • In Focus

    LGBT+ History Month: Jez Dolan’s ‘Wolfenden’

    To mark LGBT+ History Month, this article examines the history behind Jez Dolan’s ‘Wolfenden’. Hanging in Portcullis House, this artwork was commissioned by Parliament in 2015 to commemorate the 1957 Wolfenden Report. The article discusses the artwork, the history of the decriminalisation of homosexuality and the part played by the House of Lords in the process.

  • In Focus

    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.

  • In Focus

    Social media: potential harm to children

    Social media platforms can be sources of learning, advice and support for children and young people. However, concern has been expressed about the use of these platforms as conduits for abuse, cyberbullying and content promoting self-harm. The Government’s upcoming Online Safety Bill aims to improve safety of children online.

  • In Focus

    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.

  • 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.

  • Research Briefing

    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.

  • In Focus

    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.

  • In Focus

    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.

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