• In Focus

    Forensic Science Regulator Bill

    The Forensic Science Regulator Bill would put the existing forensic science regulator post on a statutory basis. The bill would also give the regulator powers to enforce a statutory code of practice for forensic science activities relating to the criminal justice system in England and Wales. The bill has completed its stages in the House of Commons and is due to have its second reading in the Lords on 19 March 2021.

  • In Focus

    Education (Guidance about Costs of School Uniforms) Bill

    The Education (Guidance about Costs of School Uniforms) Bill would require the Government to publish legally binding guidance requiring school authorities to consider costs when setting school uniform policies. This is in response to concerns about the high costs of school uniforms. It is a private member’s bill, introduced in the House of Commons, that is due to be considered in the House of Lords on 19 March 2021.

  • In Focus

    British Library Board (Power to Borrow) Bill

    The British Library Board (Power to Borrow) Bill would grant the British Library board new powers to borrow money. This private member’s bill, introduced in the House of Commons, has received cross-party support. Having completed its initial stages in the Commons on 12 March 2021, it is scheduled to be debated at second reading in the House of Lords on 19 March 2021. This article summarises the bill’s provisions and its passage through the Commons.

  • In Focus

    Peatland burning: New regulations for blanket bog habitats

    In February 2021, the Government introduced new regulations banning the burning of certain types of vegetation on protected blanket bog peatland without a licence in England. On 18 March 2021, the House of Lords will debate a motion criticising the new regulations as not adequately protecting peatland or reducing UK carbon emissions. This article summarises what the regulations do and what the reaction to them has been since they were announced.

  • In Focus

    HGV drivers: temporary relaxation of driving hours limits and minimum rest period rules

    Due to concerns about disruptions to supply chains resulting from Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic, the Government has introduced the Drivers’ Hours and Tachographs (Temporary Exceptions) Regulations 2021 (SI 2021/58) to relax the rules governing maximum driving hours and minimum rest periods. It has stated that the exceptions should only be used where necessary and not at the expense of safety. The House of Lords is due to debate the regulations on 18 March 2021.

  • In Focus

    Food waste in the UK

    As part of the United Nations’ sustainable development goals, the UK Government has committed to halving the UK’s per capita food waste by 2030. In 2018, the UK produced around 9.5 million tonnes of food waste, a 15% reduction from 2007. The Government supports several initiatives as part of its resources and waste strategy, but there have been calls for it to introduce statutory regulations to meet its targets, instead of relying on voluntary agreements.

  • In Focus

    UK Bilateral Defence Cooperation

    The Government has said that it intends to publish its integrated review on security, defence, foreign policy and development this month. As part of this, the Government is considering how the UK can work more effectively with its allies. The UK engages in various bilateral defence relationships. This article considers some of those relationships and highlights details of the integrated review.

  • In Focus

    Covid-19: Empowering women in the recovery from the impact of the pandemic

    Women have been specifically affected by the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. Reasons for this include that they are over-represented in some of the worst-hit sectors, and that they do a greater share of unpaid care. The Government has said it wants women’s economic empowerment to be a focus in the post-pandemic recovery period. But it has faced criticism for not taking enough account of gender equality in its approach.

  • In Focus

    An elusive vaccine: The fight against malaria

    Malaria remains a deadly disease for many countries. A complex parasite causes the illness, which means it has proved difficult to vaccinate against. Currently, only one vaccine candidate has received regulatory approval, and no candidate has ever been fully launched and distributed. Why is malaria so difficult to vaccinate against, and which vaccine candidates are currently in development?

  • In Focus

    World Book Day—4 March 2021

    World Book Day is an annual event to promote reading for pleasure amongst children and young people. Taking place this year on Thursday 4 March, its purpose is to change lives by creating life-long reading habits, particularly amongst children from disadvantaged backgrounds.