• In Focus

    Motor Vehicles (Compulsory Insurance) Bill

    The Motor Vehicles (Compulsory Insurance) Bill is a private member’s bill introduced in the House of Commons by Peter Bone (Conservative MP for Wellingborough). It aims to reverse a 2014 decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union that expanded the types of vehicles required to have compulsory third-party motor insurance. The bill received Government support in the Commons and the Labour Party did not oppose it. Its second reading in the House of Lords is scheduled to take place on 18 March 2022.

  • In Focus

    Finance (No. 2) Bill

    The Finance (No. 2) Bill is a government bill intended to give lasting statutory effect to tax measures announced both in the October 2021 budget and more recently. The bill underwent a series of changes during its passage through the House of Commons. This briefing summarises these developments and also some of the criticism of the bill’s objectives from the House of Lords Economic Affairs Finance Bill Sub-Committee.

  • In Focus

    Peerages: can they be removed?

    In February 2022, Lord Ahmed received a prison sentence following a criminal conviction. He resigned from the House of Lords in November 2020. Despite the conviction, sentencing and resignation, his title remains. A victim has now called on the Government to remove Lord Ahmed’s life peerage. This article looks at what peerages are, and how they can be removed.

  • In Focus

    The women and girls in the fight against Covid-19

    It is nearly two years since the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared Covid-19 a global pandemic. Globally women make up over two-thirds of health and social care workers, rising to three-quarters of NHS staff employed in England. This placed women at the forefront of the fight against the virus. In the UK and the US, many women have been also leading the search for a vaccine. This article looks at some of these UK and US female scientists and their roles in the global pandemic response.

  • In Focus

    Recreational drug use: what’s the harm?

    In recent years, some in law enforcement and Government have associated recreational drug use, particularly among the middle classes, with increasing violence. This article looks at the Government’s plans to tackle the problem, responses to the proposals and Dame Carol Black’s recent independent review of drugs.

  • In Focus

    Reforming the Human Rights Act 1998

    The Human Rights Act 1998 set out human rights protection from the European Convention on Human Rights in UK law. The impact of the act on parliamentary sovereignty and the criminal justice system, amongst other things, has been increasingly considered. Following several years of debate, the Government has recently revealed its plans to replace the act with a new British bill of rights.

  • In Focus

    Beyond Brexit: policing, law enforcement and security

    From 1 January 2021, the UK and EU’s relationship in policing, law enforcement and security has been governed by the provisions of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, most notably part three. The House of Lords European Union Committee published a report examining the arrangements on 26 March 2021. The committee welcomed several of the agreement’s provisions but said it was an unavoidable consequence of Brexit that it did not provide for the same level of collaboration as before.

  • In Focus

    Democracy and Digital Committee Report: Digital Technology and the Resurrection of Trust

    In June 2020, the House of Lords Democracy and Digital Committee published its report into the effects of digital technology on democracy and trust. It made several recommendations to the Government, including calling for online harms legislation to be introduced within a year of the report’s publication. The House of Lords is scheduled to debate the report on 11 March 2022.

  • In Focus

    Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013: Post-legislative scrutiny

    The House of Lords Committee on the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013 released a post-legislative scrutiny report in July 2020. It found that, despite the act helping to improve the accuracy of the electoral register, millions of eligible voters may still be missing, risking disenfranchisement and damage to electoral integrity. Debate of the committee’s findings comes as the Elections Bill 2021–22 makes its way through Parliament, promising further changes to electoral laws.

  • In Focus

    Draft Overarching National Policy Statement for Energy

    The Government has published draft updates for a range of energy-related national policy statements first introduced in 2011. The statements provide guidance for those involved in determining development applications for major infrastructure projects. The Government has said the updates focus on regulatory, policy and technology changes.

  • In Focus

    Gambling advertising and harm caused by gambling

    For some people, gambling can lead to financial difficulties, deteriorating health, crime and other harms. The links between gambling advertisements and such ‘problem gambling’ have been widely debated. This briefing explores these debates. It also examines the current regulatory regime for gambling advertising and proposals for change.

  • In Focus

    Education (Careers Guidance in Schools) Bill

    This private member’s bill would seek to extend the duty to provide careers guidance in schools in England to students in year 7. It would also extend the duty to academies. The House of Lords is scheduled to debate the bill at second reading on 4 March 2022.

  • In Focus

    Local Government (Disqualification) Bill

    The Local Government (Disqualification) Bill would disqualify individuals subject to certain sexual offence legal orders from standing for election or holding office in local authorities. The measures follow a recent Government consultation exercise, and they enjoy cross-party support.

  • In Focus

    Surveillance Camera Code of Practice: regret motion

    The Government has updated a code of practice that local authorities and the police must consider when using camera systems. Critics allege the code is part of a framework governing the use of facial recognition technology that is insufficient. In response, they have called for the framework to be improved or replaced or for use of facial recognition technology to be either temporarily or permanently suspended.

  • In Focus

    LGBT+ History Month: Jez Dolan’s ‘Wolfenden’

    To mark LGBT+ History Month, this article examines the history behind Jez Dolan’s ‘Wolfenden’. Hanging in Portcullis House, this artwork was commissioned by Parliament in 2015 to commemorate the 1957 Wolfenden Report. The article discusses the artwork, the history of the decriminalisation of homosexuality and the part played by the House of Lords in the process.