House of Lords pauses for summer recess

31 July 2013

Since the start of the new parliamentary session on 8 May, the House of Lords has been scrutinising new public bills. Catch up on the latest legislation news and get the latest updates on the work of Lords committees as they investigate public policy issues.

Care Bill

Members of the Lords have been considering the bill seeking to reform the law around care and support for adults. Among the issues under consideration is the establishment of Health Education England, an organisation to provide leadership for training and development in healthcare and measures to improve cooperation between local authorities and relevant health bodies.

The Care Bill begins report stage, a further chance for scrutiny in the Lords, after the summer recess on 9 October (business dates are subject to change). 

Financial Services (Banking Reform) Bill

The bill designed to bring about structural reform of the banking industry and make lasting changes to banking standards and culture, had its second reading, the chance to debate its main purpose and key principles, in the Lords on 24 July. It now moves to committee stage, the chance for line by line scrutiny, after the summer recess. No date is yet scheduled.

Children and Families Bill

Members of the Lords debated the main purpose and key principles of the bill, covering subjects including adoption, working rights for parents and education provision.

The Children and Families Bill enters committee stage, the chance for line by line scrutiny in the Lords, after the summer recess on 9 October (business dates are subject to change).

Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill

The bill allowing same sex couples to marry in England and Wales completed its journey through Parliament, receiving royal assent and becoming law, on 17 July.

Lords committee news

This session has seen the publication of several reports by the investigative committees in the Lords. The Communications Committee published its findings on media convergence, calling for the industry to do more to adapt to the rapidly changing marketplace and meet consumer expectations. Its inquiry into media plurality, making sure different voices and viewpoints are heard in the media, continues.

The Economic Affairs Committee concluded its inquiry on the economic implications for the UK of Scottish independence. Other committee highlights include a report on the potential of regenerative medicine and consideration of the constitutional arrangements for the use of armed force.

Among the inquiries recently announced are:

Several new committees were also established during this session. The Olympic and Paralympic Legacy Committee is considering the impact of London 2012, on sport and regeneration in the Olympic boroughs.

The Mental Health Capacity Act 2005 Committee is scrutinising the impact of the recent legislation to decide whether its aims and objectives have been successfully met.

The Soft Power and the UK's Influence Committee is hearing from a wide range of witnesses as it investigates the increasing significance of 'soft power' - 'the ability to get what you want through attraction rather than coercion or payments’ - in international relations.

Committee work continues into the recess with the publication of the Economic Affairs Committee's investigation into corporate taxation today (31 July).

Further information

Image: House of Lords 2013/Photography by Annabel Moeller

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