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Prisons and Courts Bill falls

24 April 2017

Last Tuesday, the prime minister announced that she will be asking Parliament to vote for a general election on 8 June. On Wednesday, the House of Commons surpassed the two thirds majority needed to approve the motion by 522 to 13.


Since then it has been announced that Parliament will be dissolved on 3 May. This means that many of the bills passing through Parliament will ‘fall’. Whilst the government will fast track the legislative process for a number of Bills, including the Criminal Finances Bill, the Prisons and Courts Bill will fall. If the Conservatives win the general election the Bill is likely to be reintroduced but will start its passage through Parliament from the beginning.

The Queen’s Speech, which was to take place in May, will now be postponed until after the election when the new government will set out its legislative priorities. If the Conservatives are successful we could see a number of Bills resurface along with the planned Great Repeal Bill. 

The Ministry of Justice has announced that plans to raise probate fees will be scrapped, as the Statutory Instrument will not have time to complete its passage through Parliament before the general glection. 

The President has written a blog on what the election could mean for the profession. Over the next seven weeks, the Law Society will be engaging with the main parties to ensure the voice of solicitors and the significance of the profession’s role is heard and acknowledged. This will include priorities on Brexit, access to justice and the rule of law. 

This week in Parliament

Monday 24 April

House of Lords

Oral questions - Principal Brexit negotiation issues following the invoking of Article 50 - Lord Dykes

Tuesday 25 April

House of Lords

EU Lords Justice Sub-Committee – Oral evidence on Brexit: consumer protection rights. Witnesses include:

  • Mr Pete Moorey, Head of Campaigns, Which?
  • Mr Matt Upton, Head of Consumer Policy, Citizens Advice

House of Commons

Justice oral questions  

Westminster Hall debate on grandparents’ rights to access to grandchildren

Wednesday 26 April

House of Commons

Wales oral questions 

Criminal Finances Bill - Consideration of Lords amendments

Thursday 27 April

House of Commons

Exiting the EU oral questions

Last week in Parliament

Monday 17 April

The House of Commons was on recess until 18 April. The House of Lords will return on Monday 24 April. 

Tuesday 18 April

Prime Minister announces snap election

On Tuesday, the Prime Minister announced that she would be tabling a motion in the House of Commons to call for a General Election on 8 June. Read her full speech

Wednesday 19 April

House of Commons

Commons votes for General Election

The House of Commons approved a motion for a General Election on 8 June by 522 to 13. A two third majority was needed.  

Thursday 20 April

House of Commons

Prisons and Courts Bill falls due to upcoming dissolution of Parliament

The Government whips tabled a motion which means that Parliament will not proceed with further consideration of the Prisons and Courts Bill. It was noted that there was not sufficient time in Parliament for the Bill to complete its passage before Parliament is dissolved on Wednesday 3 May.

Friday 21 April

Houses not sitting.

Tags: Theresa May | Westminster weekly update | Brexit | courts

About the author

Alexandra Cardenas is Head of Public Affairs and Campaigns at the Law Society. Public Affairs manages the relationships with parliament and government. She is a dual qualified solicitor in England and Wales (2014), and Colombia (2002). Prior to the Society, she practised as a human rights lawyer and worked at Macmillan Cancer Support and Animal Defenders International.

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