• Research Briefing

    Criminal Justice and Courts Bill

    The Criminal Justice and Courts Bill would make a number of changes to the criminal justice system including sentencing; cautions; prisoners’ release and recall; and the detention of young offenders. It would also reform court proceedings and costs; establish a new system of strict liability in contempt proceedings; create new offences for juror misconduct; make changes to the conduct and funding of judicial review claims; and amend the law on extreme pornography.

  • Research Briefing

    Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill: Lords amendments

    The purpose of this note is to draw attention to the principal amendments that were made in the Lords. It does not cover all minor or technical amendments. All the agreed amendments were Government amendments, many of which were moved in response to amendments proposed but not agreed at earlier stages, and commitments made by the Government to consider matters further. Peers debated many other amendments, on some of which they voted, but this note does not cover amendments that were not agreed.

  • Research Briefing

    Children and Families Bill Committee Stage Report

    The Children and Families Bill introduces a wide range of legislation concerning adoption and children in care, aspects of family justice law, special educational needs, the Office of the Children’s Commissioner for England, child care, statutory rights to leave and pay for parents and adopters, time off work for ante-natal care, and the right to request flexible working. This paper complements Research Paper 13/11 prepared for the Commons Second Reading.

  • Research Briefing

    Draft Inheritence and Trustees’ Powers Bill

    In October 2008, the Law Commission began work on a project dealing with intestacy and family provision claims on death. In December 2011, the Law Commission published a final report and two draft bills. The Law Commission found “many instances where the current law is outdated, confusing or places unnecessary obstacles in the way of those with a valid claim to share in a deceased person’s assets”. It recommended a package of reforms “that would modify the current legal rules to reflect modern social expectations and to remove arbitrary or unduly technical aspects, while leaving intact the fundamental structure of the English law of “succession” to property on death”.

  • Research Briefing

    Crime and Courts Bill [HL]: Committee Stage Report

    The Crime and Courts Bill would, amongst other things, establish a new National Crime Agency, change the law on self defence for householders defending themselves from intruders, make changes to community sentences and immigration appeal rights and introduce a new drug driving offence. The Government made a number of substantive amendments in Committee, including on bailiffs, proceeds of crime and extradition.

  • Research Briefing

    Co-ownership of real property

    People who join together to buy real property (a house, flat, land) are known as co-owners. Typically, this may mean a couple in a relationship, whether married, in a civil partnership or cohabiting, or friends, who jointly buy a property to live in. There are two ways in which two or more people may hold (own) the underlying benefit in a property – as “beneficial joint tenants” or as “tenants in common”.

  • Research Briefing

    Children and Families Bill

    The Children and Families Bill introduces a wide range of legislation concerning adoption and children in care, aspects of family justice law, special educational needs, the Office of the Children’s Commissioner for England, child care, statutory rights to leave and pay for parents and adopters, time off work for ante-natal care, and the right to request flexible working. This paper has been prepared for the Second Reading of the Bill.

  • Research Briefing

    Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill

    The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill was introduced into the House of Commons on 24 January 2013 and is due to have its second reading debate on 5 February 2013. It would introduce civil marriage for same sex couples, and enable religious organisations to opt in to conduct same sex marriages if they wish to do so. The Bill includes provisions intended to protect religious organisations and individuals from being forced to conduct same sex marriages. The proposals have proved highly controversial with interested parties expressing strong opinions both for and against same sex marriage. The Bill would also enable civil partners to convert their partnership to a marriage and would enable married transsexual people to gain legal recognition in their acquired gender without having to end their marriage.

  • Research Briefing

    Crime and Courts Bill [HL]

    The Bill would establish a new National Crime Agency and make a number of changes to the administration of justice. It also deals with the law of self defence as it applies to householders defending themselves from intruders; makes changes to community sentences and to immigration appeal rights; and introduces a new drug driving offence.

  • Research Briefing

    Trusts (Capital and Income) Bill [HL]

    The Trusts (Capital and Income) Bill [HL] is based substantially on a draft bill prepared by the Law Commission. It is following the special procedure which applies to Law Commission bills. The Bill deals with technical and complex matters relating to trust law where trustees have to distinguish between capital and income in their management of the trust property. It is supported by the Opposition and by professional groups.

  • Research Briefing

    What has happened to school-related quangos?

    As part of the Government’s programme of public bodies’ reform, which affects all Government departments, the Department for Education has abolished a number of school related quangos. Four new Executive Agencies within the Department for Education have been established and have taken on some of the responsibilities of those NDPBs