Administration of justice

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on the administration of the justice system. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Standard Notes

07.11.2014The European Arrest Warrant
This note considers the European Arrest Warrant, including an overview of the benefits it brings and the criticisms it gives rise to. Parliament is currently considering whether the UK should remain within the European Arrest Warrant framework, or whether it should opt out of this in favour of some other form of extradition arrangements with EU Member States.
04.11.2014The August 2011 riots: a statistical summary
This article, published in October 2011, provides a summary of the Ministry of Justice statistical updates produced throughout August and September on those brought before the courts, for offences relating to this public disorder. In October 2011 more detailed statistical publications were released relating to the offences committed and offenders prosecuted.
28.10.2014Anti-social behaviour- new provisions
Substantial changes to the law on anti-social behaviour have come into force as a result of the Anti-social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014. The Government is replacing a number of the legal remedies currently available. This Note gives a summary of the new powers.
01.08.2014The Law Officers
Information about the role of the Law Officers in England and Wales (the Attorney General and Solicitor General).
31.07.2014Prisoners: Incentives and Earned Privileges Scheme
In November 2013, the National Offender Management Service revised the Incentives and Earned Privileges scheme for prisoners. The changes have been controversial, particularly in relation to prisoners' ability to have steel-stringed guitars or to receive books sent from outside prison. It was reported on 29 July 2014 that, in response to feedback from prison governors, the ban on steel-stringed guitars had been reversed, although the ban on receiving books would remain.

Research Papers

20.02.2014Criminal Justice and Courts Bill
The Criminal Justice and Courts Bill would make a number of changes to the criminal justice system including sentencing; cautions; prisoners' release and recall; and the detention of young offenders. It would also reform court proceedings and costs; establish a new system of strict liability in contempt proceedings; create new offences for juror misconduct; make changes to the conduct and funding of judicial review claims; and amend the law on extreme pornography.
09.01.2013Crime and Courts Bill [HL]
The Bill would establish a new National Crime Agency and make a number of changes to the administration of justice. It also deals with the law of self defence as it applies to householders defending themselves from intruders; makes changes to community sentences and to immigration appeal rights; and introduces a new drug driving offence.
14.12.2012Justice and Security Bill
This paper has been prepared for the Second Reading of the Justice and Security Bill in the House of Commons, which is due to take place on 18 December 2012. The Bill, which has proved contentious, was originally introduced in the House of Lords on 28 May 2012. It is aimed at modernising and strengthening the oversight of the intelligence and security services and would allow the civil courts to use closed material procedures to hear sensitive evidence in cases that raised national security concerns. It would also preclude the courts from ordering the disclosure of sensitive information in certain circumstances. The Bill was revised significantly in the Lords and was introduced in the House of Commons on 28 November 2012.
29.11.2012Police and Crime Commissioner Elections, 2012
On Thursday 15 November 2012 the first ever elections for Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) took place in England and Wales, outside of London. The Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 replaced police authorities with directly elected PCCs. The 41 police areas each elected one PCC. The supplementary vote system was used for the elections. This Research Paper analyses the results
20.10.2011Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill Committee Stage Report

Select Committee Reports

17.05.2011Appointment of the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman for England and Wales.
Justice Select Committee report [Commons]
27.10.2010Justice issues in Europe.
Government response. Ministry of Justice; Justice Select Committee report [Commons]
23.03.2010Justice issues in Europe.
Justice Select Committee report [Commons]
16.03.2010Cutting crime: the case for justice reinvestment.
Government response. Ministry of Justice report [Commons]
26.01.2010Appointment of HM CPS Chief Inspector.
Justice Select Committee report [Commons]

Early Day Motions

That this House notes the imprisonment of Stuart Syvret; believes that the public authorities of the island of Jersey do not operate in a manner compliant with the requirements of the ...
That this House believes that victims should be at the heart of the justice system; recognises that many victims of dangerous drivers are left with horrendous injuries, some have been ...
That this House expresses deep concern following the decision made by the Moscow City Court in the appeal of political prisoners Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev; notes that ...
That this House is deeply concerned that Asiya Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman, has been sentenced to death in Pakistan under the blasphemy laws; notes that she is the first woman ...
That this House regards with deep revulsion the decision of the Iraqi regime to carry out a death by hanging sentence on Tariq Aziz; and points out that British servicemen and women ...

Lords Library Notes

25.06.2014Criminal Justice and Courts Bill (HL Bill 30 of 2014-15)
The Criminal Justice and Courts Bill contains a range of proposals across four areas: criminal justice; young offenders; courts and tribunals; and judicial review. This Library Note summarises the key debates that took place on the Bill at report stage and third reading in the House of Commons, highlighting amendments made to the Bill, and refers to some of the other issues raised by MPs.
15.11.2011Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill (HL Bill 109 of 2010-12)
This Library Note provides background information in advance of the second reading in the House of Lords of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill.
24.03.2010Crime and Security Bill (HL Bill 45 of 2009-10). LLN 2010/010
Crime and Security Bill (HL Bill 45 of 2009-10) The Crime and Security Bill is wide-ranging. It contains provisions to reduce the reporting requirements on the police when they stop and search individuals; to set out a statutory framework for the retention and destruction of biometric material, including DNA data; to provide the police with the power to issue 'go' notices to alleged perpetrators of domestic violence; to extend injunctions for gang-related violence to 14-17 year-olds; to require courts to make parenting orders when a young person breaches an ASBO; to introduce a licensing scheme for wheel-clamping businesses; to create a new criminal offence of possessing a mobile phone in prison; to create a new offence of failing to take reasonable precautions to prevent a person under 18 from having unauthorised access to an air weapon; to compensate the victims of overseas terrorism; to enable licensing authorities to restrict the sale of alcohol between 3am and 6am; and to give the police new powers to search a person subject to a control order. The Bill has completed its passage through the House of Commons and is due for a second reading debate in the House of Lords on 29th March 2010. This House of Lords Library Note focuses on the debates on the retention and destruction of DNA data on the National DNA Database. It also gives brief details of the other parts of the Bill that were discussed at report stage in the Commons.
20.11.2009The Appellate Jurisdiction of the House of Lords (Updated November 2009). LLN 2009/010
The Appellate Jurisdiction of the House of Lords (Updated November 2009). House of Lords Library Note 2009/010 From 1st October 2009 the appellate jurisdiction of the House of Lords was transferred to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom under the Constitutional Reform Act 2005. This Library Note gives an account of the history of the appellate jurisdiction, its functioning in practice and describes the Supreme Court.
20.04.2009Coroners and Justice Bill (HL Bill 33 of 2008-09). LLN 2009/004
Coroners and Justice Bill. House of Lords Library Note 2009/004
17.01.2008Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill (HL Bill 16, 2007-08). LLN 2008/001
Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill. House of Lords Library Note 2008/001


  • Research Papers (RP) - briefings produced by the House of Commons Library on Bills, topical issues and regular statistics
  • Standard Notes (SN) - shorter, topical briefings from the Commons Library
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POST Notes - short briefing notes produced by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - papers compiled by the House of Lords Library on Bills and for debates in the Lords
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses