Commission on Young Lives: National plan for vulnerable young people

The Commission on Young Lives was an independent group formed to design a new national system to prevent crisis in vulnerable young people and to boost their life chances and educational prospects. The commission published a report in November 2022 which made recommendations to government, local authorities, police and others to tackle the “deep-rooted” problems facing vulnerable youths. The commission’s “centrepiece recommendation” was for a “sure start plus for teenagers” network of intervention and support.

Commission on Young Lives: National plan for vulnerable young people

Building a stronger union: House of Lords Constitution Committee

In January 2022, the House of Lords Constitution Committee published a report calling for the UK government to set out a “clearer vision” for the future of the UK’s union. Although it welcomed the government’s commitment to the union, it argued that a more modern style of governance was needed, and that it was “imperative” that all executives and legislatures worked “constructively and in partnership”. The government has welcomed the report and said it would consider several of its recommendations.

Building a stronger union: House of Lords Constitution Committee

Refugees and asylum-seekers: UK policy

In 2021, the government said that “as a force for good in the world” the UK would remain “sensitive to the plight of refugees and asylum-seekers”. It stated it had a “proud track record” of protecting those who need it, in accordance with its international obligations. However, the government has also spoken of the need to reform the “broken” asylum system. In 2022 it introduced new measures to implement changes.

Refugees and asylum-seekers: UK policy
  • In Focus

    Causes of youth unemployment: Lords committee report

    The House of Lords Youth Unemployment Committee identified six main “longstanding drivers” of youth unemployment: skills gaps and shortages; access to careers advice; the further education system; availability of apprenticeships; support for disadvantaged groups; and coordination between government departments. The committee stated that the Covid-19 pandemic had made the situation worse, especially for those disadvantaged groups already facing additional barriers. This article summarises the findings and recommendations of the committee.

  • Research Briefing

    Electronic Trade Documents Bill [HL]: HL Bill 57 of 2022–23

    The Electronic Trade Documents Bill [HL] provides for certain digital trade documents to be put on the same legal footing as their paper counterparts. It implements the recommendations made by the Law Commission in March 2022. The bill was introduced in the House of Lords by Lord Kamall (Conservative) on 12 October 2022. The second reading of the bill is due to take place on 7 November 2022.

  • In Focus

    Freedom of expression online: Communications and Digital Committee report

    This article considers freedom of expression in the UK ahead of the House of Lords debate on the Communications and Digital Committee report ‘Free for all? Freedom of expression in the digital age’ on 27 October 2022. It provides background information on freedom of expression, including restrictions and the online context, and sets out the committee’s recommendations and the government’s policy. It also includes links to commentary on the proposed Online Safety Bill.

  • In Focus

    UK-China relations: International Relations and Defence Committee report

    The House of Lords International Relations and Defence Committee published a report in 2021 calling for the government to produce a “single, coherent China strategy”. The committee report focused on the UK-China security and trade relationship. It concluded that a clear plan was needed on how to balance the UK’s ambition for increased economic engagement with China and the need to protect the UK’s national security and its values.

  • In Focus

    Storm overflows discharge reduction plan

    The government published its plan to reduce storm overflow spills and their harmful impacts in August 2022. Under the plan, water companies will have to meet several time-bound targets to limit storm overflow use and eliminate ecological harm from their discharges by 2050. The government was required to publish this plan by 1 September 2022 under the Environment Act 2021.

  • Research Briefing

    Falklands War: 35 Years Anniversary (published 2017)

    The Falklands War took place between April and June 1982, following an invasion of the Islands by the Argentine military junta. This briefing has been prepared to mark the 35th anniversary of the Falklands War. It provides background to the British and Argentine Governments' claim to sovereignty over the Islands; a summary of the events of the war; and an overview of recent political developments.

  • Research Briefing

    Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill: HL Bill 37 of 2022-23

    The Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill 2022–23 is intended to address the legacy of the Northern Ireland Troubles by establishing a new independent commission for reconciliation and information recovery, limiting criminal investigations and legal proceedings, and providing for a new oral history initiative and memorialisation strategy.

  • In Focus

    Sewage pollution in England’s waters

    Treated and untreated sewage is released into inland waters and the sea. This is permitted in specified circumstances and is regulated by the Environment Agency, the Water Services Regulation Authority (Ofwat) and by statute. There has been increasing concern about the level of sewage pollution in England’s waters, and the government has stated that improving water quality is a priority.

  • In Focus

    UN commissions of inquiry and fact-finding missions

    The UN establishes commissions of inquiry and fact-finding missions to investigate human rights abuses across the world. These bodies are mandated by a variety of UN entities, including the human rights council (HRC). The HRC is the principal intergovernmental UN body for promoting and protecting human rights, and for acting on human rights abuses. This article provides an overview of the investigative bodies it, and other UN entities establish to investigate violations of human rights and humanitarian law.

  • In Focus

    Calls for a UK-wide constitutional commission

    Since devolution in the UK in the late 1990s, intergovernmental relations (IGR) have been necessary for joint decision-making on areas of shared responsibility and for dispute resolution. The political and institutional structures that support IGR have been evolving since this time. However, there have been calls for a UK-wide constitutional commission to examine the relationships and arrangements between the four nations of the UK.