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Wednesday, 6 December, 2000, 13:59 GMT
Queen's speech: At a glance

The details of this year's Queen's speech are listed below.

  • Finance Bill - this is introduced every year in anticipation of new measures proposed in the chancellor's annual budget speech.

  • Criminal Justice and Police Bill - a bid to reduce both crime and the fear of crime. The legislation will aim to modernise law enforcement by tackling issues like disorderly conduct. It will allow police to force the immediate closure of licensed premises where there is disorder, and issue fixed penalty measures for a range of offences.

  • Private Security Industry Bill - legislation to regulate the ever-growing private security industry by mandatory checks to see if potential security guards, bouncers etc. are free of a criminal record.

  • Vehicles (Crime) Bill - if passed will provide statutory regulation of vehicles to make it harder for criminals to dispose of stolen cars etc. The Bill proposes to regulate the motor salvage industry forcing operators to register with local authorities and give police right of access without search warrant.

  • Criminal Justice (Mode of Trial) Bill - reintroduction of controversial proposals to remove the right of jury trial in either way cases where traditionally defendants have had the right to elect to be tried either in magistrates or crown courts. The Lords defeated similar proposals in the last session.

  • Social Security Fraud Bill - a bid by the government to further tackle fraud in the social security system which, if passed, will allow the withdrawal of benefit payments to someone with more than two convictions for benefit fraud in under three years.

  • Health and Social Care Bill - to establish a NHS performance fund with a budget of 500m a year by 2003/4 to reward good performance directly from health service funds. It also introduces a proposal that the NHS will be responsible for paying nursing care costs in homes for the elderly.

  • Tobacco Advertising and Promotion Bill - legislation to ban the advertising of tobacco. Tobacco kills 120,000 people a year in the UK and is a huge cause of both coronary disease and cancer.

  • Special Educational Needs (SEN) and Disability Bill - a two pronged piece of legislation that would aim to ensure the education of SEN children in mainstream skills and give them anti-discrimination rights.

  • Children's Commissioner for Wales Bill - an example of Westminster legislating specifically for devolved Wales. Would provide for the commissioner to represent children in hospitals and schools - at the moment his power to intervene is constrained to children in care.

  • Regulatory Reform Bill - a wide-ranging series of measures to reduce inappropriate red tape that, if passed, will apply to anything from fire regulations to opening hours for restaurants, and for pubs on News Year's Eve.

  • Homes Bill - legislation will be introduced to ease the process of buying and selling homes and to improve the protection given to homeless people by granting them a right to council accommodation. It would include a statutory requirement that anyone selling a home should put together a pack of standard, essential information for buyers.

  • Hunting Bill - the government will introduce a bill that will allow a free vote on the contentious issue of hunting with dogs, including fox hunting. Three options will be presented to MPs: a total ban, a compulsory regulatory system or a voluntary system of regulation.

  • Armed Forces Bill - this bill is introduced every five years so existing legislation relating to the armed forces can be re-established. It also allows for an up-dating of military law in line with civil law.

  • International Criminal Court Bill- this will ratify the statute of the International Criminal Court which will be the first permanent international body to try alleged war criminals. The ICC "would allow the international community to try individuals responsible for the worst crimes known to humanity".

    In addition to the 15 Bills outlined in the Queen's speech at least four are due to be published in draft. These include:

  • Proceeds of Crime Bill - which would increase powers against money laundering and establish a national confiscation agency with operational powers.

  • Safety Bill - to address issues of safety on trains, in the air, at sea and on the roads. This includes tackling alcohol and drug use by transport workers.

  • Export Control Bill and Non-proliferation (draft) - would address issues of transparency around exports control particularly relating to defence exports. It could also introduce official regulation over the export of weapons technology on the internet for the first time.

  • Justice (Northern Ireland) - draft bill on the implementation of the review of the criminal justice system in Northern Ireland.

    Other government initiatives mentioned in the speech:

  • Proposals to reform the commonhold and leasehold methods of owning property and a white paper on eliminating world poverty.


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