OFCOM (Duty regarding Prevention of Serious Self-harm and Suicide) Bill [HL]: HL Bill 18 of 2022–23

The OFCOM (Duty regarding Prevention of Serious Self-harm and Suicide) Bill [HL] is a private member’s bill that has been introduced in the House of Lords by Baroness Finlay of Llandaff (Crossbench). Amongst its provisions, the bill would require Ofcom to establish a unit to advise the government on the extent of content on social media platforms which could be seen to encourage self-harm or suicide.

OFCOM (Duty regarding Prevention of Serious Self-harm and Suicide) Bill [HL]: HL Bill 18 of 2022–23

Education (Non-religious Philosophical Convictions) Bill [HL]: HL Bill 29 of 2022–23

The Education (Non-religious Philosophical Convictions) Bill [HL] is a private member’s bill sponsored by Baroness Burt of Solihull (Liberal Democrat). It would introduce an explicit requirement for schools in England to include non-religious worldviews such as humanism in religious education (RE). The House of Lords is scheduled to debate the bill at second reading on 3 February 2023.

Education (Non-religious Philosophical Convictions) Bill [HL]: HL Bill 29 of 2022–23

Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill: HL Bill 89 of 2022–23

The Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill is due to have its second reading in the House of Lords on 6 February 2023. The bill would automatically revoke, or ‘sunset’, most retained EU law at the end of 2023. However it would also give ministers powers to exempt some retained EU law from the sunset and to restate, reproduce, replace or update retained EU law by statutory instrument.

Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill: HL Bill 89 of 2022–23
  • Research Briefing

    Online Safety Bill: HL Bill 87 of 2022–23

    The Online Safety Bill is a government bill that would establish a regulatory framework for certain online service providers. It would also create several new offences relating to online harms including offences of false communications, threatening communications, sending or showing flashing images electronically (‘epilepsy trolling’) and sending photographs or films of genitals (‘cyberflashing’). The government has said it will bring forward several amendments to the bill in the House of Lords including new offences relating to intimate images and promoting self-harm, criminal sanctions for senior managers of non-compliant providers, and promotion of small boat crossings.

  • In Focus

    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.

  • Research Briefing

    Water Safety (Curriculum) Bill [HL]: HL Bill 28 of 2022–23

    On 3 February 2023, the second reading of the Water Safety (Curriculum) Bill [HL] is scheduled to take place in the House of Lords. The bill is a private member’s bill introduced by Lord Storey (Liberal Democrat). The bill seeks to make it compulsory to include water safety education in the curriculum for all schools (primary and secondary) in England and Wales.

  • In Focus

    Arrival of the Empire Windrush: Celebrating the 75th anniversary

    National Windrush Day on 22 June 2023 will mark the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the passengers of the Empire Windrush to the UK. The day celebrates the contribution and achievements of the Windrush generation and their descendants. This briefing provides background information for a debate in the House of Lords on the government’s plans to mark this celebration.

  • In Focus

    International Holocaust Memorial Day 2023

    Friday 27 January 2023 is International Holocaust Memorial Day, marking the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Poland on the same day in 1945. On this annual day of commemoration, the United Nations urges every member state to honour the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and millions of other victims of Nazism, and to develop educational programs to help prevent future genocides.

  • In Focus

    The Commonwealth: Zimbabwe’s return?

    In 2003, Zimbabwe withdrew from the Commonwealth following a suspension for human rights violations. In 2018, the country began the process of rejoining the organisation. This process is ongoing. However, it has been argued that Zimbabwe should not be allowed to rejoin as it does not meet the required standards in respect of its human rights record, democratic processes and institutions and rule of law.

  • In Focus

    National risk register: Preparing for national emergencies

    The national risk register provides an overview of the risks of major emergencies that could impact the UK, looking ahead two years at a time. These risks include natural disasters, terrorism and disease outbreaks. With the last register published in 2020 and, therefore, expected to be refreshed imminently, this article examines whether successive governments have mitigated the risks detailed in the register.

  • In Focus

    Targeting culture: The destruction of cultural heritage in conflict

    Armed conflict affects many aspects of life. As well as the humanitarian toll it takes, conflicts often involve damage to and the destruction of cultural heritage as well as the looting of artefacts. This article looks at how cultural heritage has been deliberately targeted in recent conflicts, considers what international protections exist and discusses if they are fit for purpose.

  • In Focus

    ‘Fit for the future? Rethinking the public services workforce’: Public Services Committee report

    In July 2022, the House of Lords Public Services Committee published a report on the future of the public services workforce. It argued that public sector staffing was “facing a crisis” due to a “vicious circle” of increasing demand, staff shortages, low morale and recruitment issues. The committee observed that these problems were not unsolvable, but said current efforts were at “far too small a scale”. It made recommendations which it argued, if implemented, would make a “substantial difference” and “secure a more sustainable public services workforce for the future”.

  • In Focus

    Arts Council England: Funding and regional distribution

    The government announced plans in February 2022 to redistribute Arts Council England (ACE) funding across regions in England to “level up” access to the arts. ACE published its latest funding allocations for 2023–26 in November 2022. It said 21.8% more investment would be given to regions outside of London when compared to 2018/19. Some arts organisations and parliamentarians have raised concerns about ACE’s funding distribution and the impact on leading cultural institutions.

  • In Focus

    Future funding of the BBC: Lords committee report

    The BBC is principally funded through a licence fee paid by UK households; the amount is set by the government in a periodic ‘licence fee settlement’. In January 2022, the government announced a licence fee settlement that would apply from April 2022 until March 2028. It also stated that it was considering how the BBC should be funded after this period. In July 2022, the House of Lords Communications and Digital Committee published a report examining the future of BBC funding.

  • In Focus

    Review of the London Fire Brigade: Findings and reaction

    In November 2022, an independent cultural review of the London Fire Brigade raised several concerns about the service. This included the finding that it was “institutionally misogynist and racist”. Responding, London Fire Commissioner Andy Roe apologised for the harm caused and set out several measures aimed at addressing the core problems. This article gives an overview of the findings and sets out the reaction to the review from various groups and individuals.

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