President-elect Joe Biden is due to begin his term as US president on 20 January 2021. Due to the coronavirus pandemic and heightened security concerns, his inauguration is likely to look different to those before. This article outlines some key information about presidential inaugurations in the US and looks at how recent events may impact this year’s ceremony.

  • In Focus

    Judicial review involves a judge reviewing the lawfulness of a decision that has been made by a public body. Following the Government's announcement of an independent review that will consider if judicial review reform is needed, this article looks at what judicial review is, and recent debates about whether the process is working.

  • In Focus

    In October 2017, the Tenancy Reform Industry Group highlighted potential barriers to productivity in the farming sector caused by agricultural tenancy laws and proposed ideas for reform. This article provides a summary of that report and action the Government has taken since.

  • In Focus

    The Government has used the phrase ‘Global Britain’ since the EU referendum in 2016 to summarise its post-Brexit foreign policy. It has said the Integrated Security, Defence and Foreign Policy Review, set to conclude early this year, will expand on its vision for the UK’s place in the world. In November 2020, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the first outcome of this review would be an increase in defence spending over the current parliament.

  • In Focus

    The campaign organisation Church Action for Tax Justice published two reports entitled Tax for the Common Good and Fair Tax Now, containing proposals on creating a fairer tax system. The House of Lords will debate these reports on 21 January 2021. This article summarises the reports' recommendations, the Government’s current tax policies and the impact of Covid-19 on fiscal policy.

  • In Focus

    On 24 December 2020, the UK and the EU reached agreement on a Trade and Cooperation Agreement (the TCA) setting out their future relationship. The UK Parliament passed the European Union (Future Relationship) Act 2020 in one day on 30 December 2020. The TCA has been provisionally applied by both parties from 1 January 2021. The House of Lords is due to debate the TCA on 8 January 2021.

  • In Focus

    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.

  • In Focus

    At the time of publication, the UK and the EU are continuing to negotiate their future relationship. Should a deal be reached, the Government has indicated Parliament would have to pass legislation to implement it. The requirements of the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010 would also need to be met before the UK Government could ratify a treaty. This article looks at the role of the House of Lords in this process.

  • In Focus

    These coronavirus regulations reduced the length of the self-isolation period from 14 days down to 10 and added new areas, including London, to the list of places in tier 3. They are part of the Government’s ongoing strategy to control the spread of coronavirus. The regulations need to be approved by both Houses of Parliament or they will cease to be law.

  • In Focus

    The motion “that this bill do now pass” is moved immediately after a bill’s final stage in the House of Lords (known as third reading). It is amendable and so provides an opportunity for the House to oppose, delay or record a view on a measure if there is enough support. This article provides examples of amendments to the motion and what the outcome was each time.

  • In Focus

    The Trade (Disclosure of Information) Bill would allow Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and other public authorities to share data relating to the flow of traffic, goods and services into and out of the UK. The House of Lords is due to consider all stages of this bill on 17 December 2020. The bill essentially replicates some data-sharing provisions from the Trade Bill, currently at report stage in the Lords.