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 5615

  • Harassment: “Police Information Notices” Published 02 March 2015 | Standard notes SN06411 Constituents sometimes ask about the status of Police Information Notices (PINs) which the police may issue where there are allegations of harassment. These notices (sometimes called Harassment Warning Notices) are not covered by legislation, and don’t themselves constitute any kind of formal legal action. Topic: Crime
  • Household Debt Published 02 March 2015 | Standard notes SN02885 Household debt: Data on the latest household debt statistics, including net lending, mortgage interest rates and insolvencies. Topic: Economic situation, Financial services
  • Ethiopia: DFID ends support for the Promotion of Basic Services Programme Published 02 March 2015 | Standard notes SN07116 On 26 February 2015, the Department for International Development (DFID) announced that it was reconfiguring important elements of its bilateral aid programme with Ethiopia. A key element of this reconfiguration is ending its support for the ‘Promotion of Basic Services Programme’ (PBS), a large multi-donor programme that also receives support from the World Bank and the African Development Bank. DFID’s announcement is striking in that it makes no reference to the controversy that has surrounded the PBS in recent years. Some have implicated it in the Ethiopian Government's 'villagisation programme', which has allegedly involved forced resettlement and human rights abuses. This briefing seeks to place DFID’s announcement in context. Topic: Africa, Human rights, International development, International politics and government
  • Licensing Act 2003: objecting to a licence Published 02 March 2015 | Standard notes SN03788 Under the Licensing Act 2003 objections can be raised against an application for a new premises licence or a variation of an existing licence. It is also possible to trigger a review of an existing licence. Objections must relate to one of the licensing objectives: the prevention of crime and disorder; public safety; the prevention of public nuisance; the protection of children from harm. Topic: Licensing
  • Fixed odds betting terminals Published 02 March 2015 | Standard notes SN06946 Fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) are electronic machines, sited in betting shops, which contain a variety of games, including roulette. Each machine accepts bets for amounts up to a pre-set maximum and pays out according to fixed odds on the simulated outcomes of games. The maximum stake on a single bet is £100, the maximum prize is £500. Critics of the machines claim that they have a causal role in problem gambling. Topic: Gambling
  • Japan: Abe's constitutional and security agenda Published 02 March 2015 | Standard notes SN07115 Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (the LDP) won a decisive victory in snap elections held in December 2014. One of the reasons for holding early elections was Abe’s desire to amend Japan’s ‘peace Constitution’ so that in future it expressly permits the country’s armed forces to come to the aid of allies under attack. This is known in Japan as the right of ‘collective self-defence’. In mid- 2014 the Japanese Cabinet approved interpreting the Constitution in this way. Abe is now seeking to give this new interpretation legal and constitutional underpinning. Important as it is, amending Article 9 of the Constitution is just one part of Abe’s plans on the defence and security front. Japan is now looking to enhance its defence capabilities so that it can play a greater role in promoting international “peace, stability and prosperity”. It will also increase its ability to respond effectively to any attack on the Senkaku Islands (as Japan calls them) in the East China Sea. Topic: Asia, Constitution, Defence expenditure, Defence policy, International politics and government
  • Housing Market Published 02 March 2015 | Standard notes SN02820 Housing Market: Data on house prices from the Nationwide and Halifax, mortgage approvals and house-building. Topic: Economic situation, Housing
  • Home education Published 27 February 2015 | Standard notes SN05108 This note provides an outline of the current position relating to home education. It covers England only. Topic: Children and families, Local authorities: education
  • Women’s Economic Empowerment Published 27 February 2015 | Library notes LLN 2015/006 Amended 02 March 2015 This Library Note provides background reading for Members in advance of the debate to be held on 5 March 2015 on 'Women’s Economic Empowerment both Nationally and Internationally'. Topic: Child care, Economic policy, Employment, Equality
  • GDP - international comparisons: key economic indicators Published 27 February 2015 | Standard notes SN02784 GDP International Comparisons: data and forecasts for the UK and the world's largest economies. Topic: Economic situation, International economic relations, World economy
  • Components of GDP Published 27 February 2015 | Standard notes SN02787 Components of GDP: data on the components that make up GDP, including household consumption, government spending, investment, net trade and output by sector. Topic: Economic situation
  • Greek debt crisis: developments in 2015 Published 27 February 2015 | Standard notes SN07114 Summary and analysis of developments in the Greek debt crisis. What does the extension to the current bailout mean? This briefing provides a review of what has been agreed between the new Greek government and the other Eurozone member states; an examination of how the deal will be implemented; and an overview of the weak state of Greek banks and their reliance on the European Central Bank for funding. Topic: Economic and monetary union, Economic situation, EU grants and loans, Europe, International economic relations, World economy
  • Litigants in person: the rise of the self-represented litigant in civil and family cases Published 27 February 2015 | Standard notes SN07113 The available evidence indicates that the proportion of litigants appearing before the civil and family courts without legal representation (litigants in person, also sometimes called self-represented litigants) has increased since the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 took many civil and private law children and family cases out of scope for legal aid from 1 April 2013. What does this mean, both for the litigants and for the courts? Topic: Civil law, Courts, Family law, Legal aid
  • Service industries Published 27 February 2015 | Standard notes SN02786 Service industries: Data incorporating the retail sector, the financial sector, the public sector, business administration and cultural activities . Topic: Economic situation, Service industries
  • NHS Winter Pressures 2014/15 Published 27 February 2015 | Standard notes SN07057 During the winter months, NHS England publishes daily situation reports on winter pressures facing acute hospital trusts. These cover pressures such as accident and emergency diverts, ambulances queueing, bed days lost to norovirus closures, delayed transfers of care, cancelled operations, and trolley waits. This note summarises figures for 2014/15 (up to 22nd February) and compares them with the equivalent periods in 2013/14 and 2012/13. Data for individual hospital trusts or areas is available on the NHS statistical website and can be compiled or analysed by the Library on request. Topic: Ambulance services, Health services
  • Business and Consumer Confidence Published 27 February 2015 | Standard notes SN02817 Business and Consumer Confidence: Information on business and consumer confidence surveys, which is generally released ahead of official statistical data and can indicate changes to the economic outlook as well as turning points in the economic cycle. Topic: Consumers, Economic situation, Manufacturing industries
  • Financial Indicators Published 27 February 2015 | Standard notes SN05207 Financial Indicators: Data from FTSE100, as well as oil prices and gold prices. Topic: Economic situation
  • 2014 Research Excellence Framework Published 26 February 2015 | Standard notes SN07112 Since 1986 block grant funding for university researrch has been selectively distributed to institutions using data obtained in some form of research assessment process. Results of the most recent process - the Research Excellence Framework (REF) were announced in December 2014. This note discusses the REF and issues around it. Topic: Higher education
  • Council tax: local referendums Published 26 February 2015 | Standard notes SN05682 Since 2012-13 local authorities have been required to hold a referendum if they wish to increase their council tax by more than a pre-set percentage. This note explains how the system works and gives details of its effects since its introduction. Topic: Local government
  • Armed Forces (Service Complaints and Financial Assistance) Bill (HL): Progress of the Bill Published 26 February 2015 | Standard notes SN07111 The Armed Forces (Service Complaints and Financial Assistance) Bill (HL) 2013-14 has its Report Stage and Third Reading on 9 March 2015. Topic: Armed forces, Armed forces welfare, Defence policy

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