• Research Briefing

    Enforcing a Charging Order

    This note provides a brief overview of the different types of debt enforcement methods available to a creditor who is in possession of a court judgment. The rest of the note deals only with Charging Orders; how charging orders are now granted by the court and enforced by way of an Order for Sale.

  • 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 The Law Commission found “many instances where the current law is outdated, confusing or places unnecessary obstacles in the way of those with a valid claim to share in a deceased person’s assets”.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] – reform of bailiffs

    This note provides a summary of the problems identified with the current regulatory system for bailiffs and the background to bailiff reform. It also provides an outline of the Government’s proposed reforms as set out in its consultation paper, ‘Transforming bailiff action’. Importantly, it considers the new bailiff provisions embodied in ‘enforcement by taking control of goods’ in the Crime and Courts Bill, which seek to amend Part 3 and Schedule 12 of the TCEA 2007.

  • 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

    Justice and Security Bill [HL] Committee Stage Report

    This paper has been produced following the Committee Stage of the Justice and Security Bill in the House of Commons, which took place between 29 January and 7 February 2013. The Bill, which has proved contentious, was originally introduced in the House of Lords on 28 May 2012. It is aimed at modernising and strengthening the oversight of the intelligence and security services and would allow the civil courts to use ‘closed material procedures’ to hear sensitive evidence in cases that raised national security concerns. It would also preclude the courts from ordering the disclosure of sensitive information in certain circumstances. The Bill was revised significantly in the Lords and was introduced in the House of Commons on 28 November 2012. Second Reading took place on 18 December 2012. A number of noteworthy and controversial amendments were made to the Bill in Committee.

  • 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

    Large-scale land acquisitions in developing countries – camouflage for ‘land grabbing’?

    Oxfam has launched a campaign on the issue of ‘land-grabbing’ – or what others would call ‘large-scale land acquisitions’ – in developing countries around the world, including by foreign governments or companies, with the World Bank primarily in its sights. This note is a brief introduction to the debate, current multilateral initiatives on the issue and the stance of the UK Government.