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.

Find a briefing paper
  1. Close


    • 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 81-100 out of 2687

  • House Business Committee Published 30 July 2014 | Standard notes SN06394 In November 2009, the Select Committee on Reform of the House of Commons recommended the establishment of a House Business Committee to “assemble a draft agenda to put to the House in a weekly motion”. On 4 March 2010, the House approved the establishment of a House Business Committee in the current Parliament. However, in 2013 the Government decided not to bring forward proposals to do so. Topic: House of Commons, Parliamentary procedure
  • Anti-social behaviour- new provisions Published 30 July 2014 | Standard notes SN06950 Amended 06 August 2014 Substantial changes to the law on anti-social behaviour are due 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. Topic: Administration of justice, Crime
  • Local election petitions Published 30 July 2014 | Standard notes SN06937 A local election petition has been brought following the elections on 22 May 2014 in Tower Hamlets seeking to have the election of the mayor, Lutfur Rahman, declared void. This note gives details of the different electoral offences and the procedure for bringing a local election petition. It also gives brief details of previous allegations of electoral abuse in Tower Hamlets. Topic: Elections
  • Electoral offences since 2010 Published 30 July 2014 | Standard notes SN06255 This Standard Note provides information about electoral fraud since 2010 and includes details of the reports published by the Electoral Commission and the Associations of Chief Police Officers on cases of alleged electoral malpractice. The Note also gives details of the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into electoral conduct which published its report in October 2013. Topic: Elections, Electoral register
  • Public Expenditure by country and region Published 29 July 2014 | Standard notes SN04033 This note provides information on levels of public spending per head in the countries and regions of the UK. Topic: Public expenditure
  • Calling in a planning application Published 29 July 2014 | Standard notes SN00930 This note describes the Secretary of State's power to "call-in" a planning application, to determine it himself. Topic: Planning
  • Riot Damages Act Reform Published 28 July 2014 | Standard notes SN06949 Amended 29 August 2014 Home Office consultation on reform of the Riot Damages Act. This note explains some of the background. Topic: Crime, Financial services
  • Insurance Contract Law Bill Published 28 July 2014 | Standard notes SN06948 New Law Commission proposals to modernise aspects of existing insurance law. Topic: Financial services
  • Stamp prices Published 28 July 2014 | Standard notes SN06296 This note sets out the regulatory framework governing stamp prices used by Royal Mail. It sets out the current position on stamp prices and then includes some comparative and historical information on stamp prices. Topic: Postal services
  • The 0.7% aid target Published 28 July 2014 | Standard notes SN03714 In 2013, the Government achieved the target for the UK to contribute 0.7% of its national income in aid for the first time, when the UK’s total aid expenditure reached £11.4 billion, or 0.72% of national income. This is more than double the aid-to-national-income ratio that was achieved through most of the 1980s and 1990s. The UK has joined a very select group – as well as the UK, only Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Luxembourg and the United Arab Emirates spent more than 0.7% of their national income in aid in 2013. Topic: International development, International economic relations, Public expenditure
  • The Terrorism Act 2000 Proscribed Organisations Published 25 July 2014 | Standard notes SN00815 This note describes the recent history and present status of “proscribed organisations” under anti-terrorism legislation (particularly the Terrorism Act 2000). Topic: Intelligence services, Terrorism
  • NATO Summit Wales 2014 Published 25 July 2014 | Standard notes SN06947 The 2014 NATO Summit will be in Newport, Wales, in September. Topic: Afghanistan, Armed forces, Defence policy, NATO, Russia
  • Fixed odds betting terminals Published 25 July 2014 | Standard notes SN06946 Fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) have proved controversial since their introduction. Much of the ongoing debate focuses on the role, if any, of FOBTs in problem gambling. This note gives an overview of what has been said by some of the main participants in the debate. Topic: Gambling
  • Energy Storage R&D Published 24 July 2014 | Standard notes SN06936 There is a widely held view that electricity storage has a role to play in the future of energy, helping to integrate increasing levels of renewable generation into the UK generation mix Topic: Electricity, Energy, Renewable energy, Research and innovation
  • Carbon capture and storage Published 23 July 2014 | Standard notes SN05086 Amended 24 July 2014 Carbon capture and storage (CCS) generation is not yet proven on a large scale, and nor is storage long-term, despite a series of UK Government and EU initiatives aimed at incentivising its development. In March 2013 Peterhead (Aberdeenshire) and the White Rose Project (Yorkshire) were named as the two preferred bidders in the latest UK CCS Commercialisation Programme Competition. Topic: Climate change, Coal, Electricity, Energy
  • Government borrowing, debt and debt interest: historical statistics and forecasts Published 23 July 2014 | Standard notes SN05745 This note provides statistics on government borrowing, debt and debt interest payments. Historical figures and forecasts are shown. The note is purely statistical: there is no analysis. Topic: Economic policy, Economic situation, Public expenditure
  • Election addresses Published 23 July 2014 | Standard notes SN06434 Amended 28 July 2014 This note looks briefly at the current provisions covering the free postage of election addresses and the decision to make the election addresses of the candidates for the Police and Crime Commissioner elections in 2012 available on a central website instead of mailing them to households. Turnout at the PCC elections averaged 14.7% across all police areas. Following the death of the Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands a by-election is to be held on 21 August 2014. The Government has published a draft Order to allow booklets containing the candidates’ election addresses to be delivered to homes in the West Midlands. Topic: Elections, Police
  • Humanist marriage ceremonies Published 22 July 2014 | Standard notes SN05864 At present, humanist weddings do not have legal force. The Government is consulting on whether the law should be changed to permit non-religious belief marriage ceremonies. Topic: Family law, Marriage, Registration of births, deaths and marriages
  • Hostilities in Gaza: latest developments Published 22 July 2014 | Standard notes SN06945 An overview of the latest developments in the conflict between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza. Topic: International politics and government, Middle East, Military operations, Terrorism
  • Criminal legal aid contracting, residence test and other Ministry of Justice proposals for transforming legal aid Published 22 July 2014 | Standard notes SN06628 On 27 February 2014, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) published its final proposals for the procurement of legal aid services. Following much public debate, the final proposals did not feature price competitive tendering, which proved to be particularly controversial. The MoJ said that, combined with other confirmed reforms, the revised proposals would make savings of around £215 million per year by 2018/19. The High Court ruled that the proposed residence test for legal aid was unlawful on 15 July 2014. Topic: Legal aid

Related information

The House of Commons Library provides research, analysis and information services for MPs and their staff.

If you have any comments on briefings from the Commons Library, please contact

Please note, authors are not available to discuss the contents of papers with members of the general public. 

TwitterFollow House of Commons Library on Twitter

The House of Lords Library delivers research and information services to Members and staff of the House in support of parliamentary business.

Email with comments on Lords Library Notes.

Please note that authors are not available to discuss the contents of Library Notes with members of the general public.

POST produces independent, balanced and accessible briefings on public policy issues related to science and technology. You can leave feedback at