Second reading of Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill, have your say

30 June 2011

Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Kenneth Clarke, introduced the second reading of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill in the House of Commons on Wednesday 29 June

The Bill passed with a vote (Ayes 295; Noes 212) and will now be considered by a Public Bill Committee.

Watch and read the debate and the views expressed by MPs on Parliament TV and in Commons Hansard. Shadow Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Sadiq Khan, responded on behalf of the Opposition.

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 Government's Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders 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 29 June, when the Bill passes the Second Reading Stage; and will stop receiving written evidence at the end of the Committee stage on Thursday 13 October. 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 12 July.

Summary of the Bill

The Bill covers a wide range of issues. It comprises four parts and 16 schedules. Part 1 makes provisions on legal aid, Part 2 deals with litigation funding and costs, and Part 3 covers sentencing and the punishment of offenders.

The House of Commons Library have produced a briefing paper which provides detailed analysis of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill.

Keep up to date with all the proceedings on the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill. Also find out how a Bill becomes an Act of Parliament.

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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