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  • This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on the courts. 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

    22.06.2016Employment tribunal fees
    Employment tribunal fees were introduced in July 2013. This note summarises developments since.
    21.03.2016Court and tribunal closures
    This briefing paper analyses court and tribunal closures in England and Wales.
    14.01.2016Litigants in person: the rise of the self-represented litigant in civil and family cases in England and Wales
    The available evidence indicates that the proportion of litigants appearing before the civil and family courts in England and Wales without legal representation (litigants in person, also sometimes called self-represented litigants) has increased since the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 took many civil and private law children and family cases out of scope for legal aid from 1 April 2013. What does this mean, both for the litigants and for the courts?
    07.01.2016Criminal Cases Review Commission
    The CCRC was created to prevent a repeat of the notorious miscarriages of justice of the 1970s and 1980s.This Commons briefing paper provides an overview of the commission's approach to applications, its history and of the debate as to whether it is fit for purpose.
    18.09.2015Confidentiality and openness in the family courts: current rules and history of their reform
    This briefing paper considers transparency in the family courts, including communication of information and media attendance, and background on recent changes in this area.
    04.12.2014Protocol No.15 to the European Convention on Human Rights: subsidiarity and the margin of appreciation
    This note looks briefly at the Brighton reform conference in 2012 and reforms implemented before and since. It considers two of the reforms in Protocol 15 that the UK Government particularly wanted, in the light of the European Court of Human Rights judgments in Hirst and Abu Qatada, concerning subsidiarity and the margin of appreciation.
    12.06.2014Criminal Justice and Courts Bill: Commons stages
    The Criminal Justice and Courts Bill 2013-14 had its second reading on 24 February 2014 and was carried over to 2014-15 session. Library Research Paper 14/8 The Criminal Justice and Courts Bill provides background on the proposals in the Bill. There are four parts covering criminal justice, including offences relating to extreme pornographic images and release and recall of prisoners, young offenders, secure colleges and youth cautions, changes to courts and tribunals, including strict liability and jury misconduct, and judicial review changes, which attracted much written and oral evidence.
    20.02.2014Criminal Justice and Courts Bill
    The Criminal Justice and Courts Bill would make a number of changes to the criminal justice system including sentencing; cautions; prisoners' release and recall; and the detention of young offenders. It would also reform court proceedings and costs; establish a new system of strict liability in contempt proceedings; create new offences for juror misconduct; make changes to the conduct and funding of judicial review claims; and amend the law on extreme pornography.
    14.02.2014The Military Justice System: an introduction
    The Service Justice System provides a legal framework that ensures Service personnel are subject to a single disciplinary code that applies wherever they are serving.
    08.03.2013Crime and Courts Bill [HL]: Committee Stage Report
    The Crime and Courts Bill would, amongst other things, establish a new National Crime Agency, change the law on self defence for householders defending themselves from intruders, make changes to community sentences and immigration appeal rights and introduce a new drug driving offence. The Government made a number of substantive amendments in Committee, including on bailiffs, proceeds of crime and extradition.

    Lords Library Notes

    11.07.2016Resourcing and Staffing of the Courts
    This Lords Library briefing has been prepared for the debate to take place in the House of Lords on Thursday 14 July, about staffing and resourcing of the courts. It provides an overview of HM courts reform, in particular it focuses on the proposed closure of further courts but also touches upon the move to a digitised and more flexible court system and issues that have been raised in response to the proposed reform.
    07.12.2015Future of Legal Aid
    This Library Note has been prepared in advance of the debate in the House of Lords on 10 December 2015 on the future of legal aid.
    25.06.2014Criminal Justice and Courts Bill (HL Bill 30 of 2014-15)
    The Criminal Justice and Courts Bill contains a range of proposals across four areas: criminal justice; young offenders; courts and tribunals; and judicial review. This Library Note summarises the key debates that took place on the Bill at report stage and third reading in the House of Commons, highlighting amendments made to the Bill, and refers to some of the other issues raised by MPs.
    16.05.2013Offender Rehabilitation Bill [HL] (HL Bill 2 of 2013-14)
    The Offender Rehabilitation Bill would provide increased support and supervision upon release for those serving prison sentences of up to two years, and would make changes to the arrangements for community orders and suspended sentence orders. This Library Note provides background reading in advance of the Bill's second reading in the House of Lords.
    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.
    14.06.2012Justice and Security Bill [HL] (HL Bill 27 of 2012-13)
    This Library Note provides background reading in advance of the second reading in the House of Lords of the Justice and Security Bill on 19 June 2012.

    Select Committee Reports

    17.06.2009The administration of the Crown Court.
    Public Accounts Committee report [Commons]
    05.05.2009Procedural rights in EU criminal proceedings.
    European Union Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]

    Early Day Motions

    That this House notes the amendment to the 1998 Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court (ICC) adopted on 12 June 2010 in Kampala defining the Crime of Aggression; further ...
    That this House notes the comments of Sir Nicholas Wall, President of the Family Division, that `Nothing annoys me as much as the nostrum peddled by opponents of the system that experts ...
    07.09.2011MAGISTRATES' COURTS (S.I., 2011, No. 1721)
    That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying thatthe Justices of the Peace Act 1949 (Compensation) (Revocation) Regulations 2011 (S.I., 2011, No. 1721), dated 13 July ...
    That this House notes the dispute between residents and Empress Court (Morecambe) Limited; further notes that CPSO Laura Jolly and PC Ian Nickson intervened after residents became upset ...
    That this House welcomes the application by the Equality and Human Rights Commission to intervene in four cases at the European Court of Human Rights which involve alleged religious ...


    • 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