Civil law

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The page will automatically redirect to Civil Law Research Briefings produced by the Commons Library, Lords Library and POST

Content published before December 2016

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on civil law. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Commons Briefing Papers

08.09.2016Referral fees in personal injury cases
The Commons Library has published a briefing paper which deals with the treatment of the payment or receipt of referral fees in personal injury cases in England and Wales and in Scotland.
26.08.2016Brexit: impact across policy areas
This Commons Library briefing paper looks at the current situation in a range of policy areas and considers what impact Brexit might have. This will depend, among other things, on the Brexit negotiations, whether the UK stays in the European Economic Area and how the Government fills any policy gaps left by withdrawal.
11.08.2016Legal claims for pleural plaques
This Commons Library briefing explains why those in England and Wales with pleural plaques are not entitled to compensation whilst in Scotland and Northern Ireland those with the condition are able to claim damages.
10.08.2016Constituency Casework: Judicial Review
Judicial review is a procedure that enables individuals to challenge the legality of decisions, acts and omissions of public bodies. This constituency casework briefing is designed to provide an introduction to the procedure.
27.07.2016The Supreme Court on Devolution
This House of Commons Library Briefing Paper provides information on the Supreme Court's role in devolution. The paper explains how cases on devolution reach the Supreme Court and summarises some of the most important cases since 2009.
21.06.2016Legal aid for representation at an inquest.
Legal aid for representation at an inquest is generally only available through the 'exceptional funding' criteria of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, which came into force on 1 April 2013.
18.05.2016A British Bill of Rights?
The Conservative Party went into the 2015 General Election with a manifesto commitment to 'scrap the Human Rights Act and curtail the role of the European Court of Human Rights.' This note provides a brief introduction to the Human Rights Act 1998; the European Convention on Human Rights and the work of the European Court of Human Rights.
16.05.2016The Protection from Harassment Act 1997
This Commons Library Briefing Paper gives a brief overview of the criminal and civil remedies available in the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.
14.04.2016Commons Library analysis: Legal aid for victims of domestic abuse
The LASPO Act 2012 reduced the scope of civil legal aid. Controversy still surrounds its provision for private family law cases where, to be eligible, people seeking legal aid must provide evidence of domestic abuse.
23.03.2016Regulation of will writers
The Commons Library has published a briefing paper which considers arguments for and against statutory regulation of will writing. In May 2013, the then Government decided not extend regulation to this area.

Lords Library Notes

20.01.2016Work of the Ad Hoc Committees in 2013-14
This House of Lords Library briefing provides an overview of the work of the five ad hoc Lords Select Committees which reported in the 2013-14 session.
30.10.2014Social Action, Responsibility and Heroism Bill (HL Bill 47 of 2014-15)
The Social Responsibility, Action and Heroism Bill (the SARAH Bill) sets out various factors that the court 'must have regard to' in determining the steps a defendant was required to take to meet a standard of care in claims for negligence or breach of statutory duty.
30.05.2013Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill (HL Bill 29 of 2013-14)
The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill would extend civil marriage to include same-sex couples and allow those religious organisations who wished to do so to conduct same-sex marriage ceremonies. This Library Note provides background reading in advance of the Bill's second reading in the House of Lords on 3 June 2013.
04.10.2012Defamation Bill (HL Bill 41 of 2012-13)
This Library Note is published in advance of the second reading in the House of Lords of the Defamation Bill on 9 October 2012.

Select Committee Reports

23.03.2010Pre-legislative scrutiny of the draft Civil Law Reform Bill.
Justice Select Committee report [Commons]
21.07.2009Green paper on the Brussels I Regulation.
European Union Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]
19.05.2009European contract law: the draft common frame of reference.
European Union Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]

Early Day Motions

That this House expresses concern that the Government's proposals for reform to the costs regime for civil litigation will have particularly devastating consequences for human rights ...
21.03.2011LIBEL REFORM
That this House welcomes the publication of the draft Defamation Bill as an essential step towards the necessary and urgent reform of the UK's outdated and unbalanced libel laws; notes ...
That this House recognises that people who are victimised in the workplace or treated unfairly in the recruitment process need to be able to challenge employers and seek redress; understands ...
That this House notes that human rights activists, scientists, writers and journalists are prevented from publishing, and the public prevented from reading, matters of strong public ...
20.07.2009SUPREME COURT OF ENGLAND AND WALES (S.I., 2009, No. 1498)
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Civil Proceedings Fees (Amendment) Order 2009 (S.I., 2009, No. 1498), dated 10 June 2009, a copy of which was laid ...


  • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POSTnotes (POST PN) - proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses