Legislation / Legal

Defra: The Government intends to introduce provisions to the proposed Decentralisation and Localism Bill, amending the Climate Change Act 2008 to remove the powers that allow Local Authorities to pilot waste reduction schemes – including charging householders based on how much they throw away. 

She also announced that Defra will not be further considering Bristol City Council’s current proposal to pilot a waste reduction scheme under the Climate Change Act.
Press release ~ Proposed Decentralisation and Localism Bill
 
MoJ: The UK ‘will reinforce its reputation as one of the least corrupt countries in the world, when the Bribery Act comes into force in April 2011’In September 2010 the Government will launch a short consultation exercise on the guidance about procedures which commercial organisations can put in place to prevent bribery on their behalf. 

This will be published early in 2011 to allow businesses an adequate familiarisation period before the Act commences. The consultation will be followed by a series of awareness-raising events to ensure everyone is aware of the changes the Bribery Act makes to the current law.
Press release ~ The Bribery Act ~ BIS: Combating international corruption ~ Overseas Anti-Corruption Unit ~ Law Commission's report: Reforming Bribery ~ ECGD - Anti-Bribery and Corruption ~ BIS leaflet ~ UK Anti-Corruption Forum ~ Transparency International ~ Online broadcast on the OFT investigation into the construction industry
 
MoJ: The Government is proposing new rules about how courts in England & Wales deal with people accused of serious human rights violations. There are a small number of offences over which the UK has 'universal jurisdiction'.  That means that a suspect can be prosecuted in the UK regardless of where the crime was committed, or the nationality of the perpetrator or victim.
 
At the moment anyone can apply to the courts for an arrest warrant.  However, because the evidence necessary to issue an arrest warrant may be far less than would be needed for a prosecution, the system is open to possible abuse by people trying to obtain arrest warrants for grave crimes on the basis of flimsy evidence to make a political statement or to cause embarrassment.
 
In the past, attempts have been made to obtain warrants to arrest visiting foreign dignitaries such as Henry Kissinger, Chinese Trade Minister Bo Xilai and Tzipi Livni, former Foreign Minister and now leader of the Opposition in Israel.
Press release ~ Related FCO press release ~ Arrest warrants: universal jurisdiction ~ Human Rights
 
Newswire – EC: The Electoral Commission – the independent elections watchdog – has welcomed the publication of the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill as an important step in setting out the rules under which a referendum on voting reform will take place
 
The Commission has published a paper setting out its position on the timing of the referendum, which is due to take place on 5 May 2011, the same day as scheduled elections to the Scottish Parliament, National Assembly for Wales, Northern Ireland Assembly, 280 local authorities in England and possible local elections in Northern Ireland.
Press release ~ Voting at different polls on 5 May 2011 – the Electoral Commission’s position ~ Commission’s role in the running referendums ~ Commission’s approach to assessing the intelligibility of referendum questions ~ Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill
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