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New lord chancellor sworn in and Queen's speech analysis

26 June 2017

The new lord chancellor, the Rt Hon David Lidington MP, was sworn in on Monday 19 June. President of the Law Society, Robert Bourns, attended and spoke.  Read the President's speech .

This week the Queen's speech was made to both houses of parliament, setting out the government's legislative programme for the parliamentary session from 2017-2019. The government has said that there will be no Queen's speech in 2018 to ensure stability over the Brexit negotiation period and to give parliament more time to scrutinise the legislation for Brexit. 

We summarise the main bills of interest to the Law Society.  Read our press statement. There will be a number of debates in both houses this week. We have sent briefings to MPs and peers on those of most interest to the Society.

This week in Parliament

Monday 26 June

House of Commons

  • Queen's speech debate - Brexit and foreign affairs

House of Lords

  • Oral question: Action to bring to justice perpetrators of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, through the International Criminal Court or appropriate tribunals - Lord Alton of Liverpool
  • Queen's Speech Debate - Business, economic affairs, energy, transport, environment and agriculture

Tuesday 27 June

House of Commons

  • Oral questions for the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, including topical questions

House of Lords

  • Queen's speech debate - Home affairs, justice, constitutional affairs, devolved affairs, communities and local government

Wednesday 28 June

House of Commons

  • No business of interest

House of Lords

  • Oral question on the introduction of the government's industrial strategy - Lord Haskel
  • Queen's speech debate - Exiting the European Union

Thursday 29 June

House of Commons

  • Oral questions for the Attorney General

House of Lords

  • Oral question on commitment to equality in the light of the hung parliament - Baroness Burt of Solihull

Friday 30 June

  • No business in either House.

Last Week in Parliament

The Queen's speech took place on Wednesday 21 June. The main points of interest for the Law Society were:


Brexit will be the main priority of the government, who will work with both houses and the devolved administrations.

There will be a number of bills to support the delivery of Brexit, including:

  • A Repeal Bill to repeal the European Communities Act;
  • Bills on immigration (to tackle mass migration), the international sanctions regime, nuclear safeguards, agriculture and fisheries.
  • A Trade Bill and a Customs Bill to support the UK's delivery of an independent trade policy and to support exports.

The government will maintain a special partnership with the EU; the Government aims to build a more united country, including support for return to devolved government in Northern Ireland.

Courts and Justice

The government will:

  • Introduce a Courts Bill to modernise the courts system and a Civil Liabilities Bill to reduce whiplash claims and help reduce car insurance premiums.
  • Setup a public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire.
  • Introduce an independent public advocate for victims and families following disasters. Part of the role will be to represent victims and their families at inquests.

Equality and Human Rights

The government will:

  • Tackle the gender pay gap, and will introduce measure to end discrimination.
  • Legislate to tackle domestic violence and abuse.
  • Remain committed to eradicating modern slavery.

Employment and Skills

The government will:

  • Introduce a major reform of technical education.
  • Increase the National Living Wage to improve standards of living for the worst off in line with improvements for those in better paid jobs.
  • Legislate to ensure rights and protections are fit for the modern workplace


The government will:

  • Ban unfair tenant fees.
  • Increase transparency in housing market, and build more new homes.

Taxation and the economy

The government will:

  • Introduce measures to support job creation, to protect the tax revenue needed to invest in the NHS, schools and wider public services.
  • Maintain low taxes.
  • Produce a new model Industrial Strategy.

Consumer rights:

The government will:

  • Consult on measures to make markets fairer for consumers, including measure to tackle unfair practices in the energy market.
  • Legislate to protect our world class data protection regime.
  • Introduce a digital charter to ensure that the UK is the safest place to be online.

Other issues:

  • The government will reform mental health legislation, ensuring that mental health is prioritised in England.
  • A commission for countering extremism will be established, and the UK will strengthen its counter-terrorism strategy.

Read the full Queen's Speech. 


Tags: Theresa May | Westminster weekly update | Parliament

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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