Courts

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on the courts. 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

DateDescription
12.06.2014Criminal Justice and Courts Bill: Commons stages
The Criminal Justice and Courts Bill 2013-14 had its second reading on 24 February 2014 and was carried over to 2014-15 session. Library Research Paper 14/8 The Criminal Justice and Courts Bill provides background on the proposals in the Bill. There are four parts covering criminal justice, including offences relating to extreme pornographic images and release and recall of prisoners, young offenders, secure colleges and youth cautions, changes to courts and tribunals, including strict liability and jury misconduct, and judicial review changes, which attracted much written and oral evidence.
14.02.2014The Military Justice System: an introduction
The Service Justice System provides a legal framework that ensures Service personnel are subject to a single disciplinary code that applies wherever they are serving.
28.02.2013The Special Immigration Appeals Commission
The Special Immigration Appeals Commission Tribunal (SIAC) deals with appeals against some immigration, citizenship and asylum decisions that are made on national security, diplomatic, or other public interest grounds.
23.11.2012Mental Health (Discrimination) (No. 2) Bill: Committee Stage Report
This briefing has been prepared for the Report Stage of the Mental Health (Discrimination) (No 2) Bill on 30 November 2012. The Bill is sponsored by Gavin Barwell MP, who was fourth in the 2012-13 ballot for Private Members' Bills.
30.04.2012The UK and Reform of the European Court of Human Rights
The UK holds the Chairmanship of the Council of Europe until mid-May 2012. The UK has Government supported proposals to reform the European Court of Human Rights contained in the Interlaken and Izmir Declarations and has proposed in the draft Brighton Declaration that more account be taken of the principles of subsidiarity and the margin of appreciation.

Research Papers

DateDescription
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.
08.03.2013Crime and Courts Bill [HL]: Committee Stage Report
The Crime and Courts Bill would, amongst other things, establish a new National Crime Agency, change the law on self defence for householders defending themselves from intruders, make changes to community sentences and immigration appeal rights and introduce a new drug driving offence. The Government made a number of substantive amendments in Committee, including on bailiffs, proceeds of crime and extradition.
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.
16.12.2009Children, Schools and Families Bill. Bill 8 2009-10.
This Bill provides 'guarantees' for pupils and parents in the school system, underpinned by new Home School Agreements, and makes provision for parental satisfaction surveys. It also makes changes to the powers of governing bodies of maintained schools; extends the remit of School Improvement Partners; provides greater powers for local authorities and the Secretary of State in relation to failing schools; paves the way for the introduction of School Report Cards; and makes provision to introduce a licence to practise for teachers. The Bill also seeks to implement the recommendations of several major reports. These changes affect the school curriculum; provide a registration system for home educators; and provide an additional right of appeal for parents of children with special educational needs. The Bill would also make changes to the reporting of information relating to family proceedings. Other provisions relate to Local Safeguarding Children Boards, Youth Offending Teams, the charitable status of academies, and the fees system for the inspection of independent schools.

Select Committee Reports

DateDescription
17.06.2009The administration of the Crown Court.
Public Accounts Committee report [Commons]
05.05.2009Procedural rights in EU criminal proceedings.
European Union Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]

Early Day Motions

DateDescription
23.11.2011AMENDMENT OF THE ROME STATUTE OF THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT
That this House notes the amendment to the 1998 Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court (ICC) adopted on 12 June 2010 in Kampala defining the Crime of Aggression; further ...
19.10.2011EXPERT EVIDENCE PARLIAMENTARY INQUIRY
That this House notes the comments of Sir Nicholas Wall, President of the Family Division, that `Nothing annoys me as much as the nostrum peddled by opponents of the system that experts ...
07.09.2011MAGISTRATES' COURTS (S.I., 2011, No. 1721)
<p>That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying thatthe Justices of the Peace Act 1949 (Compensation) (Revocation) Regulations 2011 (S.I., 2011, No. 1721), dated 13 July ...
07.09.2011ROLE OF LANCASHIRE POLICE IN THE EMPRESS COURT DISPUTE
That this House notes the dispute between residents and Empress Court (Morecambe) Limited; further notes that CPSO Laura Jolly and PC Ian Nickson intervened after residents became upset ...
11.08.2011EQUALITY AND HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION APPLICATION TO THE EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
That this House welcomes the application by the Equality and Human Rights Commission to intervene in four cases at the European Court of Human Rights which involve alleged religious ...

Lords Library Notes

DateDescription
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.
16.05.2013Offender Rehabilitation Bill [HL] (HL Bill 2 of 2013-14)
The Offender Rehabilitation Bill would provide increased support and supervision upon release for those serving prison sentences of up to two years, and would make changes to the arrangements for community orders and suspended sentence orders. This Library Note provides background reading in advance of the Bill's second reading in the House of Lords.
04.10.2012Defamation Bill (HL Bill 41 of 2012-13)
This Library Note is published in advance of the second reading in the House of Lords of the Defamation Bill on 9 October 2012.
14.06.2012Justice and Security Bill [HL] (HL Bill 27 of 2012-13)
This Library Note provides background reading in advance of the second reading in the House of Lords of the Justice and Security Bill on 19 June 2012.
24.05.2012Crime and Courts Bill (HL Bill 4 of 2012-13)
The Crime and Courts Bill would establish a new National Crime Agency to combat organised crime, and contains provisions for reforms of the courts system (including judicial appointments and to allow broadcasting of certain court proceedings) as well as provisions on immigration, drug driving and community sentencing. This Library Note provides background reading in advance of the Bill's second reading in the House of Lords.
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.

Glossary

  • 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