Building an inclusive society in the post-pandemic world

Attendees at a United Nations (UN) summit more than 25 years ago defined an inclusive society as a “society for all”. Policy responses have been introduced in the years since, though questions remain about how progress can be measured. The Covid-19 pandemic has represented a setback towards realising the goal in many areas, but some have identified an opportunity to redouble efforts towards achieving ambitions in the pandemic’s wake.

Building an inclusive society in the post-pandemic world

Prisons (Substance Testing) Bill

The Prisons (Substance Testing) Bill is a government supported private member’s bill. It would amend existing legislation to allow prisons to test for a wider range of drugs, including psychoactive substances and prescription and pharmacy medicines, without the need to regularly change legislation in the future.

Prisons (Substance Testing) Bill
  • In Focus

    Audiovisual Media Services (Amendment) Regulations 2021

    The Audiovisual Media Services Regulations 2020 transposed a revised EU directive into UK law. The current amendment regulations would make some changes to the earlier set, most notably to amend the duties placed on Ofcom, the regulator. The House of Lords Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee has raised some concerns about the UK’s ability to tackle online harm now that the UK has left the EU.

  • In Focus

    Botulinum Toxin and Cosmetic Fillers (Children) Bill

    The Botulinum Toxin and Cosmetic Fillers (Children) Bill would prohibit specific cosmetic procedures being performed on young people under the age of 18 in England, except under the direction of a registered health professional (such as doctors, dentists, pharmacists, nurses). It would also prohibit businesses from arranging or performing the procedures on under-18s. The bill has completed its stages in the House of Commons and is due to have its second reading in the Lords on 16 April 2021.

  • 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

    Global gender equality in political life

    As part of its sustainable development goals, the United Nations (UN) has called for women to achieve full and effective participation in political life by 2030. Currently, women account for 25.5% of national representatives worldwide. The UN has said that with the current rate of action gender parity will not be reached for another 130 years. This article considers which countries are leading on political gender parity and what barriers to full participation remain.

  • In Focus

    Debate on the Coronavirus Act 2020 and health protection regulations

    The first anniversary of the Coronavirus Act 2020 passing into law will fall on 25 March 2021. Both Houses of Parliament are due to hold debates on this date to consider a one-year status report on the act and its provisions. The House of Lords is also set to consider certain health protection regulations made under the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 during its debate.

  • In Focus

    Renewables obligation scheme: changes to energy supplier payments

    The renewables obligation scheme provides support for generators of renewable electricity. The costs of the scheme are met by energy suppliers. These costs are then passed on to consumers. When suppliers fail to meet their obligations under the scheme, the resultant shortfall is mutualised if it reaches a certain threshold and must be met by other suppliers. The Renewables Obligation (Amendment) Order 2021 would raise the shortfall threshold which triggers this mutualisation process.

  • In Focus

    Coming Home: Calls for a long-term housing strategy in England

    A recent report published by the Church of England has estimated that 8 million people in England are currently living in overcrowded, unaffordable or unsuitable homes. Responding to these issues, the report makes a number of recommendations aimed at actors across the housing sector, including the Government. This article provides a brief overview of the report and the Government’s policies on various housing issues.

  • In Focus

    Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (England) (Amendment) (No. 7) Regulations 2021

    On 15 February 2021, new regulations on travellers arriving into England came into force. All travellers are now required to test negative twice during their quarantine period, and travellers entering from ‘red list’ countries must isolate in Government-approved hotels. The Government has been criticised for not introducing hotel quarantine for all arrivals to England. The regulations are subject to a regret motion in the House of Lords.

  • In Focus

    Lord speaker election: April 2021

    The lord speaker, along with their deputies, chairs the business of the House of Lords and has certain other procedural, ceremonial and ambassadorial functions. As a result of the resignation of the current Lord Speaker, Lord Fowler, an election for a new lord speaker will be held in April 2021.

  • In Focus

    Education and Training (Welfare of Children) Bill

    The Education and Training (Welfare of Children) Bill would extend the safeguarding and promotion of child welfare duties that currently apply to schools and colleges to cover all providers of publicly funded post-16 education and training. This would include 16–19 academies, institutions providing specialist educational support and independent learning providers delivering apprenticeship or T-level training. The House of Lords is scheduled to consider the bill on 19 March 2021.