Research briefings

This page provides access to research briefings produced by the House of Commons Library, the House of Lords Library and the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST). You can filter the research briefings by date, type, or one of 350 topics. Pick your options from the dropdown menus.

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    Glossary

    • Commons Briefing papers: 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.
    • Lords Library Notes: 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.
    • POSTbriefs: Responsive policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on mini-literature reviews and peer review, typically commissioned by select committees and library research services.
    • POSTnotes: 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.
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    Topics

    Topics: Research material can be filtered by subject using the topic terms. The topics are arranged in a taxonomy (a hierarchical classification) and can be further filtered using sub-topics.

Displaying 1-20 out of 36

Legal help: where to go and how to pay
Published Thursday, August 1, 2019 | Commons Briefing papers SN03207
This Commons Library briefing paper provides information about where to seek legal help and advice.
Legal Aid and Advice Act 1949: 70th Anniversary
Published Tuesday, July 23, 2019 | Lords Library notes LLN-2019-0099
This House of Lords Library Briefing has been prepared to mark the 70th anniversary of the passing of the Legal Aid and Advice Act 1949 on 30 July 1949. The Act meant that, for the first time, there was a consistent approach to providing assistance to people who could not afford to access the courts or pay for advice from a lawyer.
Legal aid for representation at an inquest.
Published Tuesday, April 9, 2019 | Commons Briefing papers SN04358
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.
The future of legal aid
Published Wednesday, October 31, 2018 | Commons Debate packs CDP-2018-0230
A Westminster Hall debate on the future of legal aid has been scheduled for 1 November, at 1.20pm. This debate is sponsored by Andy Slaughter and Mr Alistair Carmichael MPs.

Topic: Legal aid

Legal aid and the post-implementation review
Published Monday, August 20, 2018 | Commons Debate packs CDP-2018-0193
A Westminster Hall debate on Legal aid and the post-implementation review is to take place on Tuesday 4 September 2018 at 6.30pm. The Member leading the debate is Karen Buck MP.
Estimates day: Ministry of Justice spending
Published Friday, June 29, 2018 | Commons Debate packs CDP-2018-0162
Overview of MoJ spending with detailed statistics on prisons and probation, courts, and legal aid.
Housing and access to legal aid
Published Tuesday, May 15, 2018 | Commons Debate packs CDP-2018-0120
A Westminster Hall debate on Housing and access to legal aid is scheduled for Wednesday 16 May 2018 at 2.30pm. The Member leading the debate is Ruth Cadbury MP.

Topics: Housing, Legal aid

Refugees (Family Reunion) Bill [HL]: Briefing for Lords Stages
Published Monday, December 11, 2017 | Lords Library notes LLN-2017-0097
This House of Lords Library briefing provides information on the Refugees (Family Reunion) Bill [HL] 2017–19, a private member’s bill introduced by Baroness Hamwee (Liberal Democrat), ahead of its second reading in the House of Lords on 15 December 2017.
Bach Commission Report: The Right to Justice
Published Thursday, December 7, 2017 | Lords Library notes LLN-2017-0093
This House of Lords Library briefing provides information on the final report of the Bach Commission on Access to Justice ahead of a debate on this topic scheduled to take place in the House of Lords on Thursday 14 December 2017.
Provision of legal aid
Published Tuesday, November 28, 2017 | Commons Debate packs CDP-2017-0239
A Westminster Hall debate on the Provision of legal aid is scheduled for Wednesday 29 November 2017 at 2.30pm. The Member leading the debate is Paul Sweeney MP.

Topic: Legal aid

The UN Inquiry into the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the UK
Published Monday, March 6, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-7367
This Commons Library briefing paper provides information on the inquiry by the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities into the impact of Government policies on the rights of disabled people since 2010.
Access to Justice
Published Monday, January 9, 2017 | Commons Debate packs CDP-2017-0001
This Commons Library debate pack has been prepared for the Westminster Hall debate on access to justice on Wednesday 11 January 2017. The debate has been tabled by Rob Marris MP.
Civil Legal Aid: England & Wales, Scotland and N Ireland compared
Published Friday, June 10, 2016 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-7603
A comparison of the different legal aid schemes in England & Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
No win, no fee funding arrangements
Published Tuesday, May 31, 2016 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-7607
This Commons Library briefing paper looks at 'no win, no fee' funding arrangements in the UK. Following the withdrawal of civil legal aid, many litigants are reliant on such arrangements for access to justice. Unable to afford lawyers' fees, they enter into agreements whereby they will not pay their lawyers should they lose but must pay an extra success fee in the event that they are successful.
Changes to criminal legal aid
Published Thursday, May 12, 2016 | Commons Briefing papers SN06628
On 28 January 2016 the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Michael Gove, told the House of Commons that his department would no longer pursue the introduction of the ‘dual contracting’ scheme for the provision of criminal litigation services in England and Wales. He also announced the suspension of a second reduction in solicitors’ fees. The change in policy ended the long-running dispute between the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and the legal profession over changes to criminal legal aid.
Commons Library analysis: Legal aid for victims of domestic abuse
Published Thursday, April 14, 2016 | Commons Briefing papers SN05839
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.
Commons Library analysis: Legal aid in England and Wales for civil claims against UK armed forces
Published Friday, January 22, 2016 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-7477
Controversy surrounds the availability of legal aid, which (subject to the usual eligibility criteria) may be available in England and Wales for people outside the UK to make civil claims against UK armed forces.
Access to Justice for Vulnerable People
Published Friday, January 15, 2016 | Commons Debate packs CDP-2016-0013
A Westminster Hall debate on access to justice for vulnerable people has been scheduled for Tuesday 19 January 2016 at 0930hrs. The Member in charge of the debate is Stephen Kinnock.

Topic: Legal aid

Litigants in person: the rise of the self-represented litigant in civil and family cases in England and Wales
Published Thursday, January 14, 2016 | Commons Briefing papers SN07113
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?
Civil legal aid changes since 2013: the impact on people seeking help with legal problems
Published Thursday, January 14, 2016 | Commons Briefing papers SN06645
Changes to civil legal aid have reduced spending, but whether they have increased costs elsewhere or added to the difficulties people may face in obtaining help with legal problems remains controversial.

Topics: Civil law, Legal aid

Displaying 1-20 out of 36

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The House of Commons Library provides research, analysis and information services for MPs and their staff.

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The House of Lords Library delivers research and information services to Members and staff of the House in support of parliamentary business.

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The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology produces independent, balanced and accessible briefings on public policy issues related to science and technology.

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