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Friday, 1 December, 2000, 12:12 GMT
A year's parliamentary labour
House of Commons
The government has had a busy session in Parliament
The government has introduced a total of 38 Bills in this Parliamentary session.

All but two, the controversial Criminal Justice (Mode of Trial) Bills, have been given royal assent and have passed into law.

Below is a list of all the Bills introduced by the government, together with the date they became law and a brief summary of what the Bill does.

Northern Ireland Act (10 February) Allowed for the suspension of the operation of devolved government in Northern Ireland.

Representation of the People Act (9 March) Allows people to put themselves on the electoral register at any time of the year, making it easier for the homeless to register to vote.

Armed Forces Discipline Act (25 May) Reforms aspects of the Armed Forces' system for administering discipline and gives members of the Armed Forces fresh legal rights.

Electronic Communications Act (25 May) Facilitates electronic commerce and electronic government; makes sending information electronically more secure and makes electronic signatures admissible in a new contract law.

Nuclear Safeguards Act (25 May) Allows the UK to comply with its obligations to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act (25 May) Simplifies sentencing law into one act by bringing together 14 previous sentencing Bills.

Financial Services and Markets Act (14 June) Creates one big financial regulator - the Financial Services Authority - to regulate banks, building societies, insurance companies, investment and pensions advisers, stockbrokers, fund managers and derivatives traders.

Care Standards Act (20 July) Sets up the new National Care Standards Commission; establishes new, independent Councils to register and set standards for social care workers; provides for the maintenance of a list of individuals considered unsuitable to work with vulnerable adults and reforms the regulation of childminders and day care provision for young children.

Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate Act (20 July) Sets up an independent inspectorate for the Crown Prosecution Service, reporting directly to the Attorney General.

Limited Liability Partnerships Act (20 July) Creates a new form of legal entity, the limited liability partnership, combining the organisational and tax status of a partnership with limited liability for its members.

Royal Parks (Trading) Act (20 July) Increases the maximum penalty for illegal trading in the Royal Parks and certain other open spaces.

Television Licences (Disclosure of Information) Act (20 July) Allows the introduction of free TV licences for people aged 75 years and above from 1 November.

Terrorism Act (20 July) Broadens the reach of current terrorism legislation to include new groups and makes permanent certain legislation which normally has to be renewed annually.

Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act (28 July) Reforms the Child Support Agency, introduces the State Second Pension, and allows the removal of benefits from offenders who do not obey their community sentences.

Finance Act (28 July) Legislates the Chancellor's Budget proposals and gives final authority to the taxation proposals in the Budget.

Football (Disorder) Act (28 July) Gave the police new powers in advance of the England international in Paris in September 2000 to prevent British citizens from travelling abroad to attend football matches if they are thought likely to cause trouble.

Government Resources and Accounts Act (28 July) Brings in new measures to ensure that the full economic cost of government activities is measured.

Learning and Skills Act (28 July) Sets up the Learning and Skills Council to improve standards for post-16 education and training, and introduces new guidelines for sex education in schools.

Local Government Act (28 July) New measures allow the possibility of directly elected local mayors and introduces a code of conduct for councillors, but does not repeal Section 28 of the 1988 Local Government Act, as the government had wished, after the Lords voted it down on two separate occasions.

Postal Services Act (28 July) Makes the Post Office a plc, wholly owned by the government; sets up the new Postal Services Commission and restructures the Post Office Users' National Council.

Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (28 July) Ensures that investigatory powers are used in accordance with human rights, covering areas such as the interception of communications, intrusive and covert surveillance, and access to encrypted data.

Sea Fishing Grants Act (28 July) Regulates the charges levied by the Sea Fish Industry Authority when processing aid applications.

Utilities Act (28 July) Establishes a single regulator for gas and electricity, OFGEM, and gives regulators powers to fine utility companies. Also gives regulators a new primary duty to protect consumer interest and establishes independent consumer councils for the gas and electricity sectors.

Fur Farming (Prohibition) Act (23 November) Makes it a criminal offence to keep animals solely or primarily for slaughter for the value of their fur, but provides for a winding-down period. Also allows compensation for certain categories of loss.

Police (Northern Ireland) Act (23 November) Reforms policing in Northern Ireland, implementing many of the proposals set out in the Patten Report. This includes the establishment of a new Northern Ireland Policing Board, district policing partnerships, a new code of ethics for officers and a new name and symbols for the force.

Trustee Act (23 November) Amends the law in relation to trustees, as recommended in the Law Commission's report "The Law of Trusts: Delegation by Individual Trustees".

Children (Leaving Care) Act (30 November) Places a duty on local authorities to assess and meet the needs of children leaving their care, including education, training, career plans and support needed until the age of 21.

Countryside and Rights of Way Act (30 November) Creates a new statutory right of public access - 'right to roam' - to some four million acres of land, and extends legislation regarding the protection of wildlife and Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs).

Criminal Justice and Court Services Act (30 November) Introduces measures including the expansion of drug testing of offenders and the use of electronic tagging, creates a new National Probation Service for England and Wales and introduces new measures to look after the welfare of children in the justice system. Also introduces fines of up to 5000 for the parents of persistent truants.

Disqualifications Act (30 November) Allows members of the Irish legislature to sit in the House of Commons and/or the Northern Ireland Assembly and prohibits anyone from holding Ministerial office in both Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.

Freedom of Information Act (30 November) Creates for the first time a statutory right for people to obtain internal documents held by public authorities, although a number of exemptions have angered freedom of information campaigners.

Insolvency Act (30 November) Assists the rescue of viable businesses in short term difficulties, and improves the procedure for disqualifying unfit company directors.

Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act (30 November) Legislates for many of the Neill Committee recommendations on party funding and elections/referendums. This includes banning foreign donations, making the disclosure of large donations to parties a legal requirement, setting spending limits for parties during election periods and regulating referendums.

Race Relations (Amendment) Act (30 November) Extends the provisions of the 1976 Race Relations Act to public bodies, including the police, prisons and immigration service, making it unlawful for public bodies to discriminate on racial grounds in relation to employment, training and education and the provision of goods, facilities and services.

Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act (30 November) Reduces the homosexual age of consent from 18 to 16, making it equal with the heterosexual age of consent. Despite Lords opposition, the Bill went directly for royal assent, since the Commons voted for it in two successive sessions.

Transport Act (30 November) Legislates for much of the government's integrated transport strategy by creating the Strategic Rail Authority, introducing congestion charging and part-privatising the National Air Traffic Control Service (NATS).

Criminal Justice (Mode of Trial) Bill Would have abolished the automatic right of a defendant to elect trial by jury in certain circumstances, allowing magistrates to decide where the case would be heard. The House of Lords effectively voted the Bill down at Committee Stage, and it was withdrawn by the government.

Criminal Justice (Mode of Trial) (No 2) Bill As the above Bill, but it included a requirement for magistrates to explain their reasons if they reject a defendant's request for a jury trial. This Bill was also withdrawn by the government.

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