Second reading of Protection of Freedoms Bill, have your say

03 March 2011

Secretary of State for the Home Department, Theresa May, introduced the second reading of the Protection of Freedoms Bill on Tuesday 1 March in the House of Commons.

The Bill passed without a vote and will now be considered by a Public Bill Committee. Watch and read the views of MPs who took part in the debate.

Have your say

The Bill has now been sent to a Public Bill Committee for scrutiny and there is a call for written evidence.

Do you have relevant expertise and experience or a special interest in the Protection of Freedoms Bill? If so, you can submit your views in writing to the House of Commons Public Bill Committee which is going to consider this Bill.

Guidance for submitting written evidence

Deadline for submissions

The Committee is able to receive written evidence from Wednesday 2 March, when the Bill passes the Second Reading Stage; and will stop receiving written evidence at the end of the Committee stage on Tuesday 17 May. The sooner you send in your submission, the more time the Committee will have to take it into consideration. The Public Bill Committee is expected to meet for the first time on Tuesday 22 March.

Key areas of the Bill

  • brings in a new framework for police retention of fingerprints and DNA data, and requires schools to get parents’ consent before processing children’s biometric information
  • introduces a code of practice for surveillance camera systems and provides for judicial approval of certain surveillance activities by local authorities
  • provides for a code of practice to cover officials’ powers of entry, with these powers being subject to review and repeal
  • outlaws wheel-clamping on private land
  • introduces a new regime for police stops and searches under the Terrorism Act 2000 and reduces the maximum pre-charge detention period under that Act from 28 to 14 days
  • restricts the scope of the 'vetting and barring' scheme for protecting vulnerable groups and makes changes to the system of criminal records checks
  • enables those with convictions for consensual sexual relations between men aged 16 or over (which have since been decriminalised) to apply to have them disregarded
  • extends Freedom of Information rights by requiring datasets to be available in a re-usable format
  • repeals provisions (never brought into force) which would have allowed trial without a jury in complex fraud cases
  • removes time restrictions on when marriage or civil partnership ceremonies may take place.

Keep up to date with all the proceedings on the Protection of Freedoms Bill and find out how a Bill becomes an Act of Parliament.

House of Commons Library analysis

The House of Commons Library regularly produce briefing papers which inform MPs about key issues. The Library has produced a Research paper on the Protection of Freedoms Bill.

Second reading

Second reading is the first opportunity for MPs to debate the main principles of the Bill. It usually takes place no sooner than two weekends after first reading.

What happens at second reading?

The Government minister, spokesperson or MP responsible for the Bill opens the second reading debate. The official Opposition spokesperson responds with their views on the Bill.

The debate continues with other Opposition parties and backbench MPs giving their opinions.

At the end of the debate, the Commons decides whether the Bill should be given its second reading by voting, meaning it can proceed to the next stage.

What happens after second reading?

The Bill proceeds to committee stage and will be considered in a Public Bill Committee. Each clause (part) and any amendments (proposals for change) to the Bill may be debated.

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More news on: Crime, civil law, justice and rights, Parliament, government and politics, Parliament, Crime, Public order offences, Criminal law, Freedom of information, Privacy, Terrorism, Commons news, Bill news

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