• In Focus

    Covid-19 regulations: Face coverings

    The Government has laid several statutory instruments requiring people to wear face coverings, with the aim of reducing the spread of Covid-19. These regulations include a list of “relevant places” where people must wear face coverings. The regulations have been updated with subsequent regulations that add places to the list and remove exemptions. The financial penalties for non-compliance have also been updated. This article looks at the requirements imposed by the various instruments.

  • In Focus

    Capping the size of the House of Lords

    There is currently no cap on the membership of the House of Lords. Some have recommended the introduction of a cap to address concerns about the size of the House. This article discusses recent proposals to cap the membership at 600 and sets out the Government's position. It also contains brief information on recent changes in the size of the House.

  • In Focus

    Sentencing for emergency service deaths: Calls for change

    The sentencing of offenders whose crimes lead to the death of an emergency service worker can vary depending upon the conviction received. The Harper’s Law campaign has called for life sentences to be imposed in instances where an emergency service worker is killed as a direct result of a crime. This article discusses life sentences, minimum terms, and recent calls for change to sentencing in England and Wales. This is due to be the subject of an oral question in the House of Lords on 1 October 2020.

  • In Focus

    Local lockdowns: The legislative framework in England

    The Government has relaxed many of the national coronavirus lockdown restrictions since the height of the pandemic. Instead, it has sought to control outbreaks in specific areas with ‘local lockdowns’. This article examines the legislative framework around local lockdowns and the parliamentary scrutiny they have undergone.

  • In Focus

    Covid-19: Impact on the UK cultural sector

    The UK’s arts and entertainment sector has been one of the areas worst affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The decline in revenues and the number of workers furloughed over the past few months is second only to the accommodation and food sector. This article examines the impact of the pandemic on the UK’s cultural industry and the Government’s recently announced support package worth £1.57 billion aimed at helping the sector recover.

  • In Focus

    Free school meals in the holidays: A permanent change?

    Children whose parents or guardians get certain benefits, and all children up to year 2, are entitled to a free school meal during term time. During the Covid-19 pandemic the Government introduced supermarket vouchers to cover the cost of a meal while the schools were closed. This scheme was extended into the Easter, May half term and summer school holidays. On 14 September 2020, Baroness D’Souza is due to ask the Government what assessment they have made of extending a programme of free meals and activities into all future school holidays.

  • In Focus

    Jobseekers (Back to Work Schemes) Act 2013 (Remedial) Order 2019

    The Jobseekers (Back to Work Schemes) Act 2013 (Remedial) Order 2019 makes changes to the Jobseekers (Back to Work Schemes) Act 2013. These changes are the result of decisions made in the courts on the act’s compatibility with the European Convention on Human Rights. This article looks at the court cases which led to the remedial order, ahead of its debate in the House of Lords on 3 September 2020.

  • In Focus

    Funding science research in universities

    Scientific research in universities is funded through a mix of public money, EU funding and other sources. This article considers the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee report on the pressures on science research funding in universities, including proposals in the Augar Review to lower the existing cap on tuition fees and the potential impact of Brexit. The committee’s report is due to debated in the House of Lords on 9 September 2020.

  • In Focus

    Parliamentary scrutiny of treaties: Debate on committee reports

    This article summarises the conclusions of three House of Lords committee reports on the powers of Parliament to scrutinise treaties. In the context of Brexit, there have been calls for Parliament’s powers of scrutiny of treaties and trade agreements to be strengthened. The committee reports are due to be debated in the House of Lords on 7 September 2020.

  • In Focus

    Covid-19 regulations: Face coverings in shops

    On 23 July 2020 the Government laid regulations requiring people to wear face coverings in shops and some other indoor venues. The House of Lords is due to debate these regulations in September 2020. This article provides an overview of the regulations and the background to their introduction.

  • In Focus

    Retirement from the House of Lords

    There is no formal retirement age for members of the House of Lords. However, members can voluntarily retire under the provisions of the House of Lords Reform Act 2014. This article explains how these provisions came into force and details how many members have retired under this legislation so far.