• Research Briefing

    Power2010

    This note provides an overview of the Power inquiry in addition to the Power2010 campaign launched by Baroness Kennedy QC on 15 September 2009.

  • Research Briefing

    Judicial appointments

    This note provides background to the recent changes to the judicial appointments system in England and Wales, starting with the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, which established the Judicial Appointments Commission. Further changes to eligibility for appointment were made under the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007, which changed the criteria for appointment to a number of judicial offices. The Governance of Britain Green Paper suggested that there would be additional changes to the system of judicial appointments. In March 2008, the Government published a White Paper and a Draft Bill setting out the proposed amendments.

  • Research Briefing

    Parliamentary Trends: Statistics about Parliament

    This paper provides a summary of statistics about Parliament. It brings together figures about both the House of Commons and Lords; their membership and activities. The aim is to provide comparisons over time, though periods may vary according to relevance and the availability of consistent data. Some are for parliamentary sessions (a parliamentary session begins each year with the Queen’s Speech) some by calendar year and some by financial year. This should be borne in mind when comparing different sets of information.

  • Research Briefing

    Progress of the Political Parties and Elections Bill 2008-09

    The Political Parties and Elections Bill was introduced into the House of Commons on 17 July 2008 and was carried over from the 2007-08 session. The Bill received Royal Assent on 21 July 2009. This Note summarises the debates and changes made to the Bill in the House of Commons and the House of Lords after Committee stage in the Commons

  • Research Briefing

    Members’ Allowances

    On 22 January 2009, the House of Commons agreed to a new version of the Green Book, rules on Members' allowances and changes to the audit regime for Members' allowances. The new Green Book came into effect on 1 April 2009. This paper reviews developments that led to the revision of the Green Book; the background to changes made since it was published; and the decision by the Committee on Standards in Public Life to inquire into Members' expenses. See also Research Paper 09/61 which covers the Parliamentary Standards Bill.

  • Research Briefing

    Parliamentary Standards Bill. Bill 121 2008-09

    The Bill introduces a statutory Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) and Commissioner for Parliamentary Investigations. The IPSA will be responsible for devising a scheme for Members' allowances and for determining claims. The Commissioner will investigate allegations of misuse of allowances and breaches of the financial interest rules. See also Research Paper 09/60, which covers the background to the Government's decision to implement major changes, pending the report from the Committee on Standards in Public Life expected in autumn 2009.

  • Research Briefing

    MPs’ allowances and FoI requests

    This Standard Note sets out details of the major FoI requests made to the House of Commons since the introduction of the right to make individual requests in January 2005. It also describes the actions taken by the House of Commons in response to the requests and subsequent decisions by the Information Commissioner, the Information Tribunal and the High Court.

  • Research Briefing

    Suggestions for possible changes to the procedure and business of the House- a note by the Clerks

    This Standard Note reproduces the text of a letter and accompanying set of suggestions prepared by Robert Rogers, Clerk of Legislation, for circulation to the Leader of the House, Shadow Leaders, Whips, and Chairs of relevant Committees, and those Members intending to stand in the election for Speaker, due to take place on Monday 22 June. It is reproduced in this form for the convenience of other Members.

  • Research Briefing

    The Departmental Select Committee System

    On 25 June 1979 the House of Commons agreed to establish a new system of departmental select committees to scrutinise the expenditure, administration and policy of government departments. This paper briefly sets out the historical background to the departmental select committees system before charting their development over the last 30 years, considering evaluations made of the system and recent proposals for reform.

  • Research Briefing

    Uncertainty and risk

    This guide gives a general overview of the concepts of uncertainty and risk, highlights their connection to other aspects of statistical literacy and looks at the communication and understanding of risk.