The Offenders (Day of Release from Detention) Bill is a private member’s bill that was introduced in the House of Commons by Simon Fell (Conservative MP for Barrow and Furness). The bill is sponsored in the Lords by Lord Bird (Crossbench). It is supported by the government.
Pensions dashboards are new online services that will allow individuals to see information about their pensions online. The Pensions Dashboards Regulations 2022 place certain obligations on pension schemes, including a requirement to connect to the dashboard services. The Pensions Regulator has the power to issue a financial penalty for any breach of the regulations. The Pensions Dashboards (Prohibition of Indemnification) Bill would make it a criminal offence for occupational or personal pension scheme trustees or managers who receive a financial penalty under the Pensions Dashboards Regulations 2022 to reimburse themselves with pension scheme assets.
The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill is a government bill which is intended to help tackle economic crime, better protect national security and enable Companies House to deliver a better service for UK individuals and businesses.
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.
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.
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 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 recent years, there has been a series of highly publicised controversies involving officers in the Metropolitan Police Service. Following criticism of her handling of the force, the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service Dame Cressida Dick resigned in February 2022. Her successor, Sir Mark Rowley, has vowed to improve recruitment, conduct and discipline in the force. The government and other policing bodies have also committed to making improvements.
The House of Lords Justice and Home Affairs Committee has considered the use of artificial intelligence technologies in the criminal justice system. It found benefits to using such technology to help apply the law, but also raised concerns about a potential risk to the public’s fundamental human rights and civil liberties. This article summarises the committee’s findings and recommendations, as well as the government’s response.
The Protection for Whistleblowing Bill [HL] would introduce several protections for whistleblowers, including the establishment of an independent Office of the Whistleblower. The bill would also create offences relating to the treatment of whistleblowers and the handling of whistleblowing cases. It would also repeal the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998.
In September 2022, Home Secretary Suella Braverman announced to an audience of Young Conservatives that she was considering proposals to give anonymity to suspected criminals. Several high profile cases and a recent UK supreme court ruling have led to increased discussions about whether “trial by media” could undermine the criminal justice system. This article examines the reaction to the home secretary’s announcement and the supreme court ruling from legal and media sectors, as well as concerns raised by charities about the impact that suspect anonymity could have on victims of crime.
This government bill would introduce powers to address protestors that cause serious disruption. This includes new criminal offences such as those relating to: locking on; tunnelling; obstructing major transport works; interfering with key national infrastructure; and interfering with the access to, or provision of, abortion services. The bill would also introduce serious disruption prevention orders, as well as give the secretary of state the power to bring civil proceedings against those causing serious disruption as a result of protest-related activities. The bill has proven controversial, with some arguing that it could threaten the right to protest. The government states that the bill would plug what it argues are gaps in existing legislation to better protect the public from serious disruption caused by protestors.
Since 2012, directly elected politicians called police and crime commissioners (PCCs) have been responsible for the non-operational aspects of policing in most forces in England and Wales. In July 2020, the government announced a two-part review of the PCC model. This article provides background information on the responsibilities held by PCCs and summarises the findings of the government’s review.
In November 2022, the focus of the sporting world will turn to Qatar and the upcoming football world cup. While many fans are looking forward to the tournament, some victims of domestic abuse will be concerned about being subjected to increased levels of violence. This article examines research which has shown a link between football and domestic abuse, with several studies specifically focusing on the impact of international tournaments.
This article presents statistics and information on violent crime, burglaries and gang activity in England and Wales ahead of a House of Lords debate on 20 October 2022. It also provides details on and reaction to the government’s attempts to address these issues, including its ‘beating crime plan’ and efforts to increase police numbers.