Research briefings

This page provides access to research briefings produced by the Libraries of the House of Commons and House of Lords and the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST). You can find research briefings by sorting by date, type, or one of 350 topics. Pick your options from the dropdown menus.

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    • Commons Library Research Papers: in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other major topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
    • Commons Library Standard Notes: 3,000 briefings on topical issues or frequently asked questions.
    • Lords Library Notes: Written by the research section of the House of Lords Library to provide information on topics of current interest to members
    • POSTnotes: Short briefings produced by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology analysing policy issues that have a basis in science and technology.
    • POST Reports: Occasional major reports produced by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology.

Displaying 21-40 out of 4452

  • Mediation and other alternatives to court Published 29 February 2012 | Standard notes SN04176 Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is the collective term for settling civil disputes with the help of an independent third party and without the need for a formal court hearing. Alternatives to litigation include: mediation, ombudsmen schemes and arbitration. In relevant circumstances, ADR schemes may offer certain advantages over going to court in that they can be more flexible, quicker, less stressful and less expensive. Topic: Civil law, Legal profession
  • Feed-in Tariffs: Solar PV Review Published 29 February 2012 | Standard notes SN06112 This note summarises details of Solar PV feed-in tariffs, including the various reviews of tariffs for solar and the latest consultation published in February 2012. Topic: Climate change, Energy, Renewable energy
  • Arranging and paying for a funeral Published 29 February 2012 | Standard notes SN06242 Reasonable funeral expenses are payable out of the deceased’s estate in priority to the payment of any unsecured debts or liabilities. Anyone who arranges the funeral will generally be responsible for paying the funeral directors’ bill, so it is important to establish where the money will come from, especially if there is insufficient property in the deceased’s estate to pay for the funeral. Topic: Death, Funerals
  • Public sector employment and expenditure by region Published 29 February 2012 | Standard notes SN05625 This note shows the regional pattern of public spending and public sector employment. Topic: Economic policy, Economic situation, Employment, Public expenditure
  • Business and Consumer Confidence: Economic Indicators page Published 29 February 2012 | Standard notes SN02817 Overall consumer confidence in February 2012 was -29, the same as in January, according to GfK NOP. Topic: Consumers, Economic situation, Manufacturing industries
  • Recess Elections Act 1975 Published 29 February 2012 | Standard notes SN00529 The Note explains the provisions of the Recess Elections Act 1975 which allows a writ for a by-election to be moved during a prorogation of Parliament or adjournment of the House. Topic: By-elections, Elections
  • Sponsored Academies: Statistics Published 28 February 2012 | Standard notes SN04719 Under the last Government the first academy was set up in 2002. Their number increased steadily over the following few years and reached more than 100 by the end of 2008. The rate of growth was even faster in the following two years. At the start of February 2012 their number stood at 337; 329 secondaries and 8 recently opened primary schools. Topic: Schools
  • Converter Academies: Statistics Published 28 February 2012 | Standard notes SN06233 The Government introduced the Academies Bill at the end of May 2010. The Academies Act 2010 came into force in time to allow the first converter academies to start in September 2010. Up to the start of February 2012 a total of 1,243 schools had converted to become academies and a further 618 had applied for conversion. Most of these academies are secondary schools and around one in four secondaries has converted. The secondary schools which have converted so far had free school meal eligibility rates around one third below the national average. Topic: Schools
  • Preventing and prosecuting piracy at sea: legal issues Published 28 February 2012 | Standard notes SN06237 The resurgence in piracy at sea, particularly hijackings off the coast of Somalia, has prompted a range of efforts to tackle it. These throw up a series of legal issues including the use of force by governments and private armed security guards, and transferring of suspects for trial or imprisonment. Library Standard Notes covering related issues include: Piracy at sea: overview and policy responses; Somalia: recent political, security and humanitarian developments; and Does Somali piracy have any ‘developmental effects’?. Topic: Africa, Defence policy, International law, Military operations, Shipping, United Nations
  • Women in the House of Lords Published 28 February 2012 | Library notes LLN 2012/005 This Library Note provides background information on women in the House of Lords, including the history of women's membership, their contribution to the work of the House, and statistics on women's representation in the House. Topic: House of Lords, Members of the Lords
  • New Enterprise Allowance Published 28 February 2012 | Standard notes SN05878 The New Enterprise Allowance is a government scheme designed to help unemployed people who want to start their own business. Topic: Employment, Employment schemes, Small businesses, Unemployment
  • Wind Farms - Distance from housing Published 28 February 2012 | Standard notes SN05221 This notes deals with the issue of a separation distance between wind farms and housing. Topic: Planning, Renewable energy
  • Badger Culling Published 28 February 2012 | Standard notes SN05873 This note summarises the proposals for allowing farmers in England to cull badgers and the Governments decison to go ahead with cull, starting with two pilot areas in West Gloucestershire and West Somerset, in 2012. It also covers proposals for culling badgers in Wales. Topic: Agriculture and environment, Animal diseases, Animal welfare, Animals, Countryside, Wildlife
  • Apprenticeships policy Published 28 February 2012 | Standard notes SN03052 This note provides a summary of apprenticeships policy in England. Topic: Employment schemes, Training
  • Armed Forces Redundancies Published 28 February 2012 | Standard notes SN05951 This note sets out the information that has been publicly released regarding the Armed Forces Redundancy Programme. Topic: Armed forces
  • Piracy at sea: overview and policy responses Published 28 February 2012 | Standard notes SN03794 This note gives a brief overview of the problems facing UK and world shipping from piracy and armed robbery at sea and summarises the actions being taken by the UK Government and international organisations to tackle the problem. Topic: Africa, Shipping
  • Does Somali piracy have any 'developmental effects'? Published 28 February 2012 | Standard notes SN06238 Amended 29 February 2012 There has been growing debate about where the spoils of Somali piracy have been going. How far are they helping to support the Islamist terrorist group al-Shabaab? Is some of the money going into the pockets of local politicians and businessmen with links to the pirates? Could a surprisingly large portion of the spoils be percolating through to ordinary Somalis? This note briefly surveys recent debates on the last two of these questions. Topic: Africa, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, International development, International politics and government
  • In brief: French presidential elections 2012 Published 28 February 2012 | Standard notes SN06236 France is holding Presidential elections in April and May 2012. The current favourite to win the elections is the Socialist Party’s candidate, Francois Hollande. Topic: Europe, Western Europe
  • 0845 numbers Published 28 February 2012 | Standard notes SN06235 The use of non-geographic telephone numbers, such as those beginning 0845, has been controversial – particularly in the context of the delivery of public services by bodies such as HM Revenue and Customs. Topic: Telecommunications
  • Somalia: recent political, security and humanitarian developments Published 28 February 2012 | Standard notes SN06115 Amended 29 February 2012 This note surveys the military set-backs experienced by al-Shabaab since the beginning of 2011, the motives behind the current Kenyan incursion into southern Somalia, recent international efforts to promote a viable political process on the ground and the continuing food crisis in the country. Topic: Africa, Human rights, International development, International politics and government, Terrorism

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