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 1-20 out of 5474

  • Advertising of e-cigarettes Published 22 October 2014 | Standard notes SN07001 The purpose of this note is to set out in detail information on recent developments in the ASA’s regulation of advertising of e-cigarettes. There has, of course, been widespread debate in the UK amongst policy makers, health professionals, charities and business about the role and safety of e-cigarettes. A wide range of views exist from the public health benefits of e-cigarettes to their potential to re-normalise smoking. It is not the purpose of this note to provide an account of the arguments for and against the use of e-cigarettes. Topic: Consumers
  • The prescription charge and other NHS charges Published 22 October 2014 | Standard notes SN07000 This notes provides information on the prescription charge and other NHS charges. Topic: Health finance, Health services
  • Domestic violence Published 22 October 2014 | Standard notes SN06337 In February 2014, the police’s response to domestic abuse was described by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) as "not good enough". In response, the Home Secretary announced that every police force would have an action plan for improving their response in place by September 2014 and that she would establish a national oversight group to monitor progress. On 19 August 2014 the Home Secretarylaunched an 8 week consultation on strengthening current laws on domestic violence. Topic: Crime, Crimes of violence
  • Directly-elected mayors Published 22 October 2014 | Standard notes SN05000 Directly-elected mayors were first introduced by the Local Government Act 2000. A directly elected mayor and a cabinet is one of three different ‘governance arrangements’ or ‘political management arrangements’ available to local authorities: the others are a leader and cabinet, and the traditional ‘committee system’, where decisions are made by policy committees and approved by full council. This note contains details of the procedures for introducing a mayor, plus lists of the current mayors and referendum results. Topic: Elections, Local government
  • Judicial complaints Published 22 October 2014 | Standard notes SN04912 This note provides details of the procedures to follow where an individual has a complaint about a judge’s conduct or behaviour. Topic: Legal profession
  • Seabass fishing Published 22 October 2014 | Standard notes SN00745 Seabass - an important fish species for commercial fishermen and recreational anglers. This note covers addresses issues around seabass Minnimum Landing Size, stock management and current Government policy. Topic: Environmental protection, Fisheries, Fisheries, Marine environment, Sports and Olympic Games
  • Making EU law into UK law Published 22 October 2014 | Standard notes SN07002 EU law becomes part of UK law by means of primary or secondary legislation (Act of Parliament, Order or Statutory Instrument) or by administrative rules. This note looks at the procedures for transposing EU law in the UK. Topic: EU law and treaties, Parliamentary procedure
  • Chilcot Inquiry: an update Published 22 October 2014 | Standard notes SN06215 The Iraq Inquiry, chaired by Sir John Chilcot, was originally expected to have reported by now but the broad scope of the inquiry and the amount of evidence have led to delays in publication, which is now not expected until towards the end of 2014 at the earliest. This note provides a brief update on progress. Topic: Iraq, Middle East, Military operations, Public inquiries
  • Televised debates between party leaders Published 22 October 2014 | Standard notes SN05241 This note sets out the background to the current debate about televised debates between party leaders during a general election campaign. Three debates were held for the first time in the UK during the 2010 general election. The BBC, ITV News, Sky News and Channel 4 have put forward proposals to change the format of the televised leaders’ debates to be held before the 2015 general election. Topic: Elections, General elections
  • Homelessness in England Published 22 October 2014 | Standard notes SN01164 This note provides statistics on statutory homelessness and explains local authorities' duties to assist homeless households. The note gives an overview of Government policy in this area. Topic: Homelessness, Housing
  • Homeless households in temporary accommodation (England) Published 22 October 2014 | Standard notes SN02110 This note provides background to the increase in the number of homeless households placed in temporary accommodation by local authorities and outlines various initiatives to reduce those numbers. Topic: Homelessness, Housing
  • Public Finances Published 22 October 2014 | Standard notes SN02812 At the end of September 2014, both the deficit and debt are larger compared with the same period in 2013/14. Topic: Economic situation, Public expenditure
  • Ebola Outbreak 2014 Published 22 October 2014 | Standard notes SN06999 The 2014 Ebola outbreak started in Guinea in December 2013 and now Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia are all severely affected. It is the largest outbreak to date, at the time of writing there were over 9,000 confirmed or suspected cases. This note provides an overview of the disease, the international and UK responses to the 2014 outbreak and an outline of some of the experimental treatments being considered for use. Topic:
  • Obtaining a copy of a will Published 21 October 2014 | Standard notes SN03194 This note sets out information about obtaining a copy of a will. In general, a will is a private document unless and until a grant of probate is issued. Once a grant of probate has been issued, a will becomes a public document and anyone can apply to have a copy. In this note “testator” means the person who has written a will; “personal representatives” means the people who administer the estate of the deceased; and “beneficiary” means a person who receives property under the will. Topic: Wills and intestacy
  • Self-build and custom build housing sector Published 21 October 2014 | Standard notes SN06784 This note provides information on the support, including financial support, available from Government to individuals or groups wishing to build or commission their own homes. It includes information on the development of the self-build and custom build sector and the main challenges the sector faces in securing land and finance. Topic: Housing, Housing supply, Owner occupation
  • Shale gas and fracking Published 21 October 2014 | Standard notes SN06073 Drilling for shale gas is at only the exploratory phase in the UK. But the rapid development of shale gas resources in North America has transformed the world gas-market outlook. This note includes new tables showing petroleum exploration licences by constituency. Topic: Energy, Environmental protection, Oil, petrol and natural gas, Planning
  • The Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Bill 2014-15 Published 20 October 2014 | Standard notes SN06998 Amended 23 October 2014 This Private Member's Bill builds on existing Government initiatives, particularly the proposed ‘Right to Build’, with the aim of increasing the number of self/custom built properties in England and Wales. This note explains existing intiatives to promote the self/custom build sector and provides an overview of the Bill's provisions. Topic: Housing, Housing supply, Owner occupation
  • Websites charging for government services Published 20 October 2014 | Standard notes SN06826 Searching on the internet in order to apply for a European Health Card (EHIC), booking a driving theory test or renewing a passport, brings up websites for businesses which offer to check, review and forward applications for a fee. Advertisements for these businesses may feature prominently in search results. Topic: Consumers
  • UK-USA Mutual Defence Agreement Published 20 October 2014 | Standard notes SN03147 The Mutual Defence Agreement allows the US and UK to exchange nuclear materials, technology and information in order to improve their atomic weapon design, development and fabrication capabilities. The most important part of the MDA is due to expire at the end of 2014 and therefore an amendment treaty, which will extend this deadline to 2024, must be ratified by both States and brought into force by the end of this year. Topic: Arms control, Defence policy, International law, North America
  • Employment: key economic indicators Published 17 October 2014 | Standard notes SN02796 Employment: data on employment in the UK. Topic: Economic situation, Employment

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