• Research Briefing

    Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill Committee Stage Report

    This is a report on the House of Commons committee stage of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill. It complements Research Paper 11/53. In the Bill’s remaining stages, it is likely that the areas that will prove most contentious will be the restrictions on legal aid, the introduction of new offences and possible Government amendments on squatting and self-defence and sentences of imprisonment for public protection.

  • Research Briefing

    Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims (Amendment) Bill – Committee Stage Report

    This Bill is a Private Members’ Bill introduced by Sir Paul Beresford. It has received Government support. This Bill was introduced into the Commons on 30 June 2010, and received its second reading without debate on 18 March 2011. The Government tabled a series of amendments for the Bill’s committee stage, which were welcomed by Sir Paul. These amendments were all added to the Bill without division. The Bill is due to have its report stage on Friday 21 October 2011.

  • Research Briefing

    Policing riots

    This note looks at the possible roles of the police and armed forces in controlling riots. A separate Library standard note 6048 deals with compensation and insurance for those affected by riots.

  • Research Briefing

    Legal aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill Bill No 205 of 2010-12

    This Research Paper has been prepared for the second reading of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill. The Bill covers a diverse range of issues, including legal aid; litigation funding and costs; sentencing; bail, remand and release on licence; prisoners’ pay and employment; out of court disposals and knives.

  • Research Briefing

    Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill Committee Stage Report [Bill 151 of 2010-11]

    During the Committee stage, several Government amendments were made to the provisions on police reform. Some (for example, on police complaints, police and crime plans and disqualifying people convicted of imprisonable offences from becoming or being police and crime commissioners) were on matters of substance. By contrast, there were only minor amendments to the provisions of the misuse of drugs and no substantive amendments to the parts of the Bill covering licensing, protests in Parliament Square or universal jurisdiction.

  • Research Briefing

    Anti-social Behaviour Orders

    The Home Secretary Theresa May criticised ASBOs in a speech in July 2010. Her criticisms were rejected by former Labour Home Secretaries. ASBOs were introduced by the Crime and Disorder Act 1988. Their use was slow to start with, but peaked in 2005 before declining again. Some commentators argue that authorities are using alternative remedies. Evaluations have highlighted the relatively high breach rate, but also their role in deterring anti-social behaviour. Publication of a Home Office review is awaited.

  • Research Briefing

    Special Constables

    This note sets out the role and powers of special constables as well as looking at some of the initiatives to increase their numbers.

  • Research Briefing

    End of Custody Licence

    The End of Custody Licence (ECL) was introduced in June 2007 to help deal with prison overcrowding. Eligible prisoners may be released up to 18 days before their release date, but can be recalled if they misbehave. Some prisoners are disqualified, including those convicted of certain violent offences. Since its introduction, over 36,000 prisoners have been released early under ECL. The Government have said that they intend the scheme to be a temporary one. The Conservatives have pledged to abolish the scheme, and the Liberal Democrats have also criticised it.

  • Research Briefing

    Crime and Security Bill. Bill 3 2009-10.

    The Bill would amend the law governing the taking, retention and destruction of fingerprints and DNA data from persons arrested for, charged with or convicted of criminal offences. It would reduce the requirements on the police to record information following a stop and search. It would introduce new 'go' orders for suspected perpetrators of domestic violence, which could mean excluding them from their homes in order to protect the victim. The Bill would also, in effect, extend new injunctions for gang-related violence to 14-18 year olds, and require courts to issue a Parenting Order where a child under 16 had breached an Anti-social Behaviour Order. It would require wheel clamping companies to be licensed, and create a new offence of possessing an authorised mobile phone in a prison. It also creates a new offence of preventing a person under 18 from gaining unauthorised access to air weapons.

  • Research Briefing

    Children, Schools and Families Bill. Bill 8 2009-10.

    This Bill provides ‘guarantees’ for pupils and parents in the school system, underpinned by new Home School Agreements, and makes provision for parental satisfaction surveys. It also makes changes to the powers of governing bodies of maintained schools; extends the remit of School Improvement Partners; provides greater powers for local authorities and the Secretary of State in relation to failing schools; paves the way for the introduction of School Report Cards; and makes provision to introduce a licence to practise for teachers. The Bill also seeks to implement the recommendations of several major reports. These changes affect the school curriculum; provide a registration system for home educators; and provide an additional right of appeal for parents of children with special educational needs. The Bill would also make changes to the reporting of information relating to family proceedings. Other provisions relate to Local Safeguarding Children Boards, Youth Offending Teams, the charitable status of academies, and the fees system for the inspection of independent schools.