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Lords concludes detailed check of Victims and Prisoners Bill

26 March 2024

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Members of the House of Lords finished their line by line examination of the Victims and Prisoners Bill at committee stage on Monday 25 March.

The Victims and Prisoners Bill aims to improve the support and guidance offered to victims of crime and major incidents, and those suffering bereavement, including through the appointment of specialist advocates. 

The bill will also implement planned government reforms of the parole system, including preventing life-term inmates from marrying and greater ministerial oversight of the Parole Board and the early release of dangerous offenders.

Line by line examination 

Committee stage is a thorough examination of the individual parts (clauses) of the bill.

Starting from the front of the bill, members work through the clauses in order, considering changes (amendments) to the wording or proposals for new clauses.

Proposed changes   

Members speaking on day eight of committee stage put forward amendments (PDF) to the bill on a range of subjects, including:

  • the role of the Chair of the Parole Board
  • improving transparency and accountability of the Parole Board
  • data on the children of prisoners.

Catch up

Explore further information

Find out more about the issues to be discussed in the House of Lords Library Victims and Prisoners Bill briefing.

Next steps

Report stage, a further chance to closely scrutinise elements of the bill and make changes,is scheduled for Tuesday 16 April. 

What's happened so far?

Committee stage day seven: Tuesday 12 March

Members speaking on day seven of committee stage put forward amendments (PDF) to the bill on a range of subjects, including:

  • resentencing individuals serving a sentence of imprisonment for public protection
  • capacity of probation services
  • membership and independence of the Parole Board.

Catch up

Committee stage day six: Monday 26 February

Members speaking on day six of committee stage put forward amendments (PDF) to the bill on a range of subjects, including:

  • requiring public authorities and officials to act in the public interest during major incidents
  • providing a timescale for Post Office Horizon scandal compensation payments
  • public protection systems for prisoners.

Catch up

Committee stage day five: Tuesday 13 February

Proposed changes   

Members speaking on day five of committee stage put forward amendments  to the bill on a range of subjects, including reviewing the effectiveness of the advocate appointed in respect of major incidents.

Catch up

Committee stage day four: Wednesday 7 February

Members speaking on day four of committee stage put forward amendments (PDF) to the bill on a range of subjects, including:

  • free legal advocates for victims of rape
  • compensation for victims of fraud
  • assessing the number of specialist support services available.

Catch up

Committee stage day three: Monday 5 February

Members speaking on day three of committee stage put forward amendments (PDF) to the bill on a range of subjects, including:

  • the role of independent domestic violence advisors
  • information used by criminal justice agencies
  • training requirements for certain police officers and Crown Prosecution Service employees regarding violence against women and girls.

Catch up

Committee stage day two: Wednesday 31 January

Members speaking on day two of committee stage put forward amendments (PDF) to the bill on a range of subjects, including the principles of the victims' code and the use of restorative justice.

Catch up

Committee stage day one: Wednesday 24 January

Members speaking on day one of committee stage  put forward amendments (PDF) to the bill on subjects including:

  • the definition of child criminal exploitation
  • including those who care for victims of sexual and violent crimes under the definition of 'victim'.

Catch up

Second reading

Second reading, a full debate on the key principles of the bill, took place on Monday 18 December 2023.

Explore further information

Find out more about the issues to be discussed in the House of Lords Library Victims and Prisoners Bill briefing.

Image: William Cho / Pixabay

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