• Research Briefing

    Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups

    The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 provided for a new Vetting and Barring Scheme under which individuals who wish to engage in certain types of employment or activity involving contact with children or vulnerable adults will have to apply to be subject to monitoring by a government body: the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA).

  • Research Briefing

    Acquitted defendants: recovery of legal costs from central funds

    This note outlines the provisions under which an acquitted defendant may be entitled to recover his legal costs from central funds. In particular, it considers the recent introduction of a "cap" on the amount that may be recovered. The cap, introduced in October 2009, provides that an acquitted defendant who paid for private legal representation will only able to recover his costs at legal aid rates, even where these are lower than the commercial rates his private lawyers actually charged. The defendant will be responsible for meeting any difference. Following a judicial review application by the Law Society, in June 2010 the High Court ruled that the October 2009 pay rates were unlawful.

  • Research Briefing

    Anti-Slavery Day Bill

    This note provides an overview of the Anti-Slavery Day Bill, which would require the Secretary of State to designate a date for an annual "Anti-Slavery Day" to raise awareness of the dangers and consequences of modern-day slavery and human trafficking. The Bill is a Private Member's Bill introduced by Anthony Steen, founder of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Human Trafficking, who drew sixth place in the 2009-10 ballot for Private Members' Bills.

  • 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

    Coroners and Justice Bill: Lords amendments

    This note outlines the principal amendments made to the Coroners and Justice Bill during its Lords stages. Of particular significance are the amendments relating to secret inquests, the use of intercept evidence, the "free speech" proviso to the offence of inciting hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation, the "crime of passion" defence to murder and the introduction of an Independent Commissioner for Terrorist Suspects.

  • Research Briefing

    Policing and Crime Bill (Bill 7 of 2008-09)

    This Bill includes measures on police accountability and effectiveness, prostitution and certain orders relating to sex offences, regulation of lap dancing clubs, licensing conditions, police powers relating to alcohol, proceeds of crime, extradition, airport security, criminal records, importation restrictions on offensive weapons and football banning orders.

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