The number of couples choosing to live together (cohabit) without getting married or entering a civil partnership, in what is often called “a common law marriage”, increased by 137% between 1996 and 2020.
Although cohabitating couples do have legal protection in several areas, such as under the law relating to domestic abuse, cohabitation gives no general legal status to a couple, unlike marriage and civil partnership from which many legal rights and responsibilities flow. Many people are unaware this is the case.
This briefing provides information about the number of cohabiting couples, how the law applies to them, the Law Commission’s proposals for reform, and other calls for reform.
You can find the briefing here: “Common law marriage” and cohabitation
What is the Privy Council?
The Privy Council is an advisory body to the Monarch; its members are known as Privy Counsellors. It is one of the oldest parts of the UK’s constitutional arrangements, with its origins dating back to at least the thirteenth century.
Find out more in this Commons Library Research Briefing which looks at the role and powers of the Privy Council: https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-7460/
This House of Commons Library Research Briefing considers the debate about who is responsible for paying for fire safety works on blocks of flats in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire. It covers progress in implementing the Government decision to fund remediation work for affected blocks with ACM cladding in the social and private sectors. In March 2020, a £1 billion Building Safety Fund was announced to fund the removal of unsafe non-ACM cladding on high-rise blocks in the social and private sectors. Ongoing issues include the adequacy of the funding available and how historic defects, such as a lack of fire stopping measures, will be paid for.
Leasehold high-rise flats: who pays for fire safety work?
Cash remains a key payment method for more vulnerable people, but its wider use is in decline, accelerated by the pandemic. How will Government and industry protect access to cash?
Read the House of Commons Library Briefing here: https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-9054/
Another research briefing from the House of Commons Library: Loot Boxes in Video Games
In September 2020, the Government launched a call for evidence into the impact of loot boxes on gambling-like behaviour. This Library Paper gives a brief overview of loot boxes, what the law says, and concerns that have been raised.
You can find it here: https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-8498/
The House of Commons Library has produced a research briefing for MPs and their staff to help them to deal with casework involving dissatisfaction with the police including:
- understanding the police complaints system
- where to find further information about police complaints
- how to help constituents make complaints
- how to help constituents who have already made complaints
- and much more
You can find it here: https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-9053/
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Find the podcast here: https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/category/podcast/
House of Commons Library
POST provides balanced and accessible overviews of research from across the biological, physical and social sciences, and engineering and technology. It places the findings of this research in a policy context for Parliamentary use.
The best known format for these briefings are ‘POSTnotes’: four page summaries of public policy issues based on reviews of the research literature and interviews with stakeholders from across academia, industry, government and the third sector; they are peer reviewed by external experts. POSTnotes are often produced proactively, so that parliamentarians have advance knowledge of key issues before they reach the top of the political agenda.
Find out more here: https://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/offices/bicameral/post/publications/
Supply of Medical Radioisotopes
This POSTnote highlights the critical role of radioactive isotopes used in medicine, and outlines the challenges for the UK in ensuring their future supply.
You can find other POSTnotes here: http://bit.ly/2xxZSwI