MPs debate Social Action, Responsibility and Heroism Bill

MPs debate Social Action, Responsibility and Heroism Bill
21 July 2014

MPs debated the second reading of the Social Action, Responsibility and Heroism Bill in the House of Commons on Monday 21 July 2014. The Bill passed second reading without division and will now be considered in a Public Bill Committee.

The Secretary of State for Justice, Chris Grayling, opened the debate. Shadow Secretary of State for Justice, Sadiq Khan, responded for the Opposition.

Related information

Summary of the Social Action, Responsibility and Heroism Bill

The Coalition Agreement included a commitment to encourage volunteering and involvement in social action.

The Government intends that the Social Action, Responsibility and Heroism Bill will help to fulfil this commitment by reassuring volunteers (and others) that the courts will consider the context of their actions in the event that they are sued for negligence or breach of statutory duty.

The Bill is one of a number of initiatives being pursued by the Government to tackle the perception of a "compensation culture" which, among other things, may deter people from volunteering or getting involved in activities of benefit to the community.

Progress of the Bill

The Bill was introduced into the House of Commons on 12 June 2014. This is known as the first reading and there was no debate on the Bill at this stage.

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

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.

What happens at 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 after second reading?

If the motion at second reading is agreed to, the Bill will go to a Public Bill Committee for consideration.

The programme motion would also schedule the report and third reading stages to take place over one day. If the carry over motion is agreed the Bill will be resumed in the next session of Parliament if not previously concluded in this session.

Watching proceedings from the public gallery

UK residents and overseas visitors can watch proceedings in the House of Commons by visiting the public gallery.

Image: iStock

This article was produced by the Commons Digital Outreach Team. Follow the @HouseofCommons on Twitter for updates on the UK House of Commons Chamber.

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