• Research Briefing

    Terrorist Asset Freezing (Temporary Provisions) Bill

    On 27 January 2010 the Supreme Court announced that it had upheld the appeal in the case of HM Treasury v Ahmed and Others, which concerned the UK's implementation of United Nations obligations to freeze the assets of terrorists by way of two Orders in Council made under section 1 of the United Nations Act 1946. The Court quashed the Terrorism (United Nations Measures) Order 2006 and provisions in the Al-Qaida and Taliban (United Nations Measures) Order 2006. The Government announced its intention to introduce primary legislation to re-instate the asset-freezing regime.

  • Research Briefing

    Donations to Members of Parliament

    From 1 July 2009 Members no longer have to report certain donations to both the Electoral Commission and Registrar of Members' Interests. The Note examines the history behind this dual requirement enacted in the Political Parties, Election and Referendums Act 2000 (PPERA). Section 59 of the Electoral Administration Act 2006 provided for dual registration to end, but implementation of this provision was delayed until July 2009. The Note also sets out the new limits on donations which have to be declared by Members, enacted in the Political Parties and Elections Act 2009.

  • Research Briefing

    Indicators of hospital performance published by the Care Quality Commission and Dr. Foster Research

    This note examines measures of hospital standards and patient safety published by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and Dr. Foster Research Limited and critically appraises the methodology underpinning their assessments. Concerns have been raised about the lack of consistency between the CQC and Dr. Foster ratings; in the final section, a comparison is made between the two, and some explanations for the discrepancies are offered.

  • Research Briefing

    Religious representation in the House of Lords

    Within the context of House of Lords' reform proposals, there has also been discussion of the future of the Lords Spiritual, and questions of whether other faiths groups should have representation in the second chamber. This note discusses these proposals including the Government's most recent White Paper on Lords reform published in July 2008.

  • Research Briefing

    Misconduct in public office

    This Note briefly sets out the history of the Common Law offence of 'misconduct in public office'. It looks at recent use of the offence in prosecutions and considers proposals to place the offence on a statutory footing.

  • Research Briefing

    Governance of Britain: An update

    This note provides an update on the proposals made by the Government in their July 2007 Green Paper on constitutional reform, The Governance of Britain. The note sets out each proposal and progress made since the publication of the Green Paper, including the contents of the Constitutional Renewal White Paper and draft Bill published in March 2008, and the Constitutional Reform and Governance Bill introduced in July 2009.

  • Research Briefing

    Constitutional Reform and Governance Bill. Bill 142 2008-09.

    This Bill was introduced to the House of Commons on 20 July 2009. It followed the publication in July 2007 of the Governance of Britain Green Paper which set out a broad programme of constitutional reform. In March 2008 the Government published the Draft Constitutional Renewal Bill and Constitutional Renewal White Paper. The draft Bill was scrutinised by a Joint Committee, with other committees reporting on aspects of the proposals. The content of the Bill is different from that of the draft Bill in some significant ways. As well as clauses on the civil service, the ratification of treaties, judicial appointments and protest around Parliament which were contained in the draft Bill, the Bill includes new provisions on the House of Lords, the Comptroller and Auditor General and the National Audit Office, Human Rights claims against the devolved administrations and the transparency of financial reporting to Parliament. Clauses on the Attorney General, which had been in the draft Bill, are not in the Bill as introduced.

  • Research Briefing

    Bill of Rights 1689

    This Note sets out the historical background to the Bill of Rights 1688-89 and examines how its provisions have altered in the intervening centuries. Its role as part of the uncodified constitution of the United Kingdom is also discussed.