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.

Freedom of speech: challenges and the role of public, private and civil society sectors in upholding rights

Motion to annul temporary relaxation of HGV driving time limits and rest patterns

Between 12 July and 31 October 2021, the Government temporarily relaxed the enforcement of retained EU law that sets the driving time limits and rest patterns of heavy goods vehicle drivers. This was in response to disruption caused by the HGV driver shortage and the Covid-19 pandemic, amongst other things. The Drivers’ Hours and Tachographs (Temporary Exceptions) (No. 4) Regulations 2021 extends this temporary relaxation from 1 November 2021 until 11.59pm on 9 January 2022. On 6 December 2021, the House of Lords will debate a motion to annul this instrument.

Motion to annul temporary relaxation of HGV driving time limits and rest patterns
  • In Focus

    Trade and institutional frameworks after Brexit

    What institutions and arrangements will govern the UK’s post-Brexit relationship with the EU? And what will be the implications of Brexit for UK-EU trade in services and trade in goods? This article summarises the findings of three reports from a House of Lords committee that addressed these questions, as well as the Government’s responses. The House of Lords is due to debate the reports on 6 December 2021.

  • In Focus

    Nuclear power in the UK

    The House of Lords is due to debate a motion moved by Lord Howell of Guildford (Conservative) that “this House takes note of the role of civil nuclear power in meeting the United Kingdom’s (1) electricity needs, and (2) energy security”. This article gives an overview of nuclear power in the UK. It looks at issues such as its role in meeting carbon reduction targets, safety and the disposal of radioactive waste.

  • In Focus

    School teachers’ pay and conditions 2021–22: regret motion

    The School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions (England) Order 2021 made several changes to the pay and employment conditions of teachers in England for the 2021–22 academic year. Changes included a consolidated pay award for teachers whose full time equivalent basic earnings are less than £24,000. On 1 December 2021, the House of Lords will debate a regret motion on the instrument.

  • 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.

  • 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

    Negligence in the NHS: liability costs

    NHS Resolution manages a number of clinical negligence schemes for the NHS in England. Concern has been expressed about the high cost of dealing with negligence claims. For example, the Government has said that payment costs were the equivalent of 1.5% of the NHS budget and these costs were forecast to continue rising. The Department of Health and Social Care is looking at the issue and the Government has said it will publish a consultation on its next steps in 2021.

  • In Focus

    Cigarette Stick Health Warnings Bill [HL]

    This private member’s bill would seek to place a requirement on tobacco manufacturers to print health warnings on individual cigarette sticks and cigarette rolling papers. It is scheduled to have its second reading in the House of Lords on 3 December 2021.

  • In Focus

    Second National Infrastructure Assessment: Baseline Report

    In November 2021, the National Infrastructure Commission published the baseline report from its forthcoming second National Infrastructure Assessment. The baseline report evaluates the current state of the UK’s economic infrastructure and identifies key challenges for the coming decades, informing recommendations in the full assessment in 2023. The baseline report found that there has been significant progress in some areas such as gigabit broadband since the last Assessment in 2018. However, it added much more was required, particularly in areas such as electricity emissions and water pollution.

  • In Focus

    Afghanistan: hunger, poverty, and resettlement efforts

    Following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, the country is on the brink of a humanitarian and economic crisis. United Nations agencies report that significant proportions of the population are at risk from malnutrition, particularly young children, and as much as 97% of the population could fall below the poverty line. At the same time, many Afghans continue to seek to leave Afghanistan and the UK is engaged in efforts to resettle those who qualify to come to the country via several schemes. However, the key Afghan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme (ACRS) is yet to commence operations.

  • In Focus

    Detention of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

    British-Iranian dual national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been detained in Iran since 2016. The UK Government has called her detention arbitrary and has lobbied the Iranian Government for her release. Her husband, Richard Ratcliffe, and her MP, Tulip Siddiq, have called on the Government to do more to secure her freedom.

  • 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.

Total results (page 1 of 31)