Commons second reading of Justice and Security Bill

18 December 2012

Minister without Portfolio, Kenneth Clarke, introduced the second reading of the Justice and Security Bill in the House of Commons on Tuesday 18 December 2012

Shadow Secretary of State for Justice, Sadiq Khan, responded on behalf of the Opposition.

The Bill passed second reading on division (262 votes to 18). The Bill will now be considered by a public bill committee.

About the Justice and Security Bill [HL]

The Bill proposes:

  • Strengthened oversight by the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) of the Security Service, the Secret Intelligence Service, the Government Communications Headquarters and other activities relating to intelligence or security matters.
  • To expand the statutory remit of the ISC and allow Parliament to have a more substantial role in ISC appointments.
  • To provide for closed material procedure in relation to certain civil proceedings in the High Court, the Court of Session or the Court of Appeal. Also to extend closed material procedure for cases containing sensitive information and connected purposes.

Progress of the Bill

The Bill completed its passage through the House of Lords and was introduced into the House of Commons on 28 November 2012.

Keep up to date with all the proceedings and documentation, including amendment papers, on the Justice and Security Bill and find out how a bill becomes an Act of Parliament.

Report by Joint Committee on Human Rights

The Joint Committee on Human Rights scrutinises all Government Bills for their human rights implications. The Committee identified the Justice and Security Bill as one of their priorities for legislative scrutiny. Their report on the Bill was published on 6 November 2012.

House of Commons Library analysis

The House of Commons Library produces briefing papers to inform MPs and their staff of key issues. The papers contain factual information and a range of opinions on each subject, and aim to be politically impartial. The Library has published a briefing paper for second reading.

Second reading

At second reading the House debates the whole principle of a bill. It usually takes place no sooner than two weekends after first reading. The Member in charge or the Minister moves the motion 'that the bill be now read a second time'. MPs then debate the bill.

At the end of the debate the Speaker determines whether there are any objections to the motion being debated and asks for the Ayes and Noes. 

Members voice their opinion, and if no objections are made, the bill passes second reading without a vote. If the Speaker believes Members have voiced disagreement a division is called and a vote taken.

What happens following second reading?

The Justice and Security Bill will now be considered by a Public Bill Committee. Each clause (part) and any amendments (proposals for change) to the Bill may be debated.

Proceedings in the Public Bill Committee are expected to conclude by Thursday 14 February 2013. Two days will be allocated for the report and third reading stages (programme order agreed 18 December 2012 item 5).

MPs table amendments they wish to be considered. These amendments, together with explanatory notes and other papers are listed in the Bill documents for the Justice and Security Bill.

The selection of amendments that will be considered in committee, rests with the Chair. 

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