• In Focus

    Current state of the Organization for Security and Co-operation

    The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe is a multilateral institution, which deals with a wide range of security-related issues including conflict prevention, human rights and economic and environmental activities. It is described as a forum for political dialogue and joint action. Its decisions are not legally binding and are taken by consensus on a political basis. However, the war in Ukraine has raised questions over its future role.

  • In Focus

    Family migration: Justice and Home Affairs Committee report

    This briefing summarises the House of Lords Justice and Home Affairs Committee report on family migration, and the government’s response to the report. Stressing the importance of family life, the committee made a number of recommendations to make family migration pathways simpler and more flexible. However, the government defended how family migration was managed, saying that it balanced the need to protect public finances whilst providing pathways to many that need them.

  • Current Affairs Digest

    Current Affairs Digest: Home Affairs (September 2023)

    Police Service Northern Ireland (PSNI) experienced two data breaches in July and August 2023. In the first breach, a laptop and documents were stolen from a private vehicle, exposing the names of over 200 officers and staff. In the second breach, the police service accidentally published the personal details of 10,000 officers and staff online. This article examines the ramifications of the data breaches and discusses the political reaction to them.

  • In Focus

    The future UK-EU relationship: Report by the House of Lords European Affairs Committee

    Since the Windsor Framework was agreed in February 2023, the UK and the EU agree their relationship has been on a positive trajectory. In light of this, a recent House of Lords committee report made recommendations about further opportunities for UK-EU cooperation on foreign policy, defence and security, energy security, climate change and mobility of people.

  • In Focus

    Climate change-induced migration: UK collaboration with international partners

    Climate change is likely to increase migration flows over the coming decades. Increasingly frequent and severe extreme weather events are expected to increase “forcible displacements”, and the “slow-onset” impacts of climate change are expected to make the hardest hit regions uninhabitable. The UK is involved with several international forums which aim to discuss and cooperate on these issues.

  • In Focus

    Horseracing industry: Government support and recent developments

    Horseracing is the second largest sport in the UK in terms of attendance and revenues generated. However, the horseracing industry faces several challenges, including declining attendances and lower prize money levels compared with international competitors. This article summarises the government support provided to the racing industry, the proposed reforms in the government’s gambling white paper of April 2023, and the reaction to protests at racecourses over the summer of 2023.

  • In Focus

    Citizens’ rights after Brexit: Report and follow-up work of the House of Lords European Affairs Committee

    In July 2021 the House of Lords European Affairs Committee published a report examining citizens’ rights in the UK and EU after Brexit. The committee raised concerns about the European Union settlement scheme for EU citizens wishing to continue to reside in the UK, among other things. The committee wrote to the home secretary in 2023 asking further questions. This briefing looks at some of the issues raised in the report, the committee’s follow-up work and the government’s responses.

  • In Focus

    Housing in rural and coastal communities

    Issues such as the growth in short-term lettings and second homes disproportionately impact housing issues in rural and coastal areas. This exacerbates an already complex housing situation nationally. Charities and campaign groups have called for government intervention, arguing that the negative impacts, such as a shortage of affordable housing, are hollowing out rural and coastal areas.

  • In Focus

    Children and Families Act 2014: Lords committee report

    In December 2022, a House of Lords select committee published a report on the Children and Families Act 2014. It concluded the act was an example of “inadequate implementation” and had “largely missed” the opportunity to improve the lives of children and young people. In response, the government said the committee’s recommendations were at the heart of its plans to reform children’s social care. This article summarises the committee’s findings, as well as the government’s response.

  • In Focus

    75th anniversary of the arrival of the Windrush generation

    22 June 2023 was the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the passengers of the Empire Windrush in the UK. The day celebrates the contribution and achievements of the Windrush generation and their descendants. This briefing provides background information for a debate in the House of Lords on marking this anniversary.

  • Current Affairs Digest

    Current Affairs Digest: Law (July 2023)

    The government describes the Illegal Migration Bill as seeking to “prevent and deter unlawful migration”. The bill has proven controversial, with various organisations raising concerns about the bill’s impact on UK legal obligations under international law. This article draws together commentary on the bill’s interaction with international law, as well as presenting the government’s position on the issues.

  • In Focus

    Our creative future: Communications and Digital Committee report

    In January 2023, the House of Lords Communications and Digital Committee published a report on the future of the UK’s creative industries. The report highlighted the contribution the sector makes to the UK economy and criticised the government for being “complacent” in its support for the sector. This article summarises the committee’s recommendations, the government’s response in April 2023, and the government’s ‘Creative industries sector vision’ (June 2023).

  • In Focus

    Emergency healthcare in crisis: Public Services Committee report

    In September 2022, the House of Lords Public Services Committee found that “emergency access to healthcare is in crisis”. The committee outlined an action plan which it said set out how the government could address some immediate challenges in the short term and begin developing a new model for emergency health services which are fit for purpose in the long term.

  • Research Briefing

    Animals (Low-Welfare Activities Abroad) Bill: HL Bill 122 of 2022–23

    The Animals (Low-Welfare Activities Abroad) Bill would prohibit the sale, offering for sale, or advertisement in England and Northern Ireland of low-welfare animal activities which take place abroad. The activity types covered would be set out in regulations, but would include those where animals are subject to unnecessary suffering or are kept in confinement.