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EDITIONS
Wednesday, 13 November, 2002, 11:46 GMT
At a glance: Queen's Speech
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Mr Blair is determined to outlaw anti-social behaviour

The Queen's Speech includes 19 bills and three draft bills. Here is a round-up of the government's key proposals:
  • Reforming the criminal justice system:

    The bill will allow retrials for those acquitted of serious offences where new and compelling evidence emerges.

    For the first time, the judge and jury will be able to hear the defendant's relevant previous convictions.

  • Reforming the courts system:

    Legislation will bring together magistrates' courts and the crown court under a single organisation.

    The government says courts will be able to enforce the payment of fines more efficiently.

  • Combating anti-social behaviour:

    Intended to make it easier to evict anti-social tenants.

    The use of fixed penalty notices will be extended and the number of people enforcing them increased.

    Measures will be introduced to tackle graffiti, use of spray paints, fly-tipping, vandalism and dangerous use of airguns, fireworks and other anti-social behaviour.

  • Modernising laws on sexual offences:

    The bill will crackdown on paedophiles using the Internet.

    It will strengthen the Sex Offenders' Register by tightening notification requirements and broadening offences that trigger registration.

  • Tackling international crime:

    The bill is intended to improve international cooperation in tackling crime, including drugs trafficking and will modernise arrangements for international mutual assistance to catch criminals.

  • Calling time on pub laws:

    Legislation will end fixed opening hours and introduce a range of measures to reduce anti-social behaviour.

    It will also end ability of under-18s to buy alcohol on trains, boats and aircraft.

  • NHS reform:

    Power will be devolved and resources given to frontline staff.

    Successful hospitals will have greater freedom while increasing their accountability to local communities and an independent health inspectorate will be set up.

  • Ending bed blocking:

    The bill is intended to help local authorities support older people waiting to leave hospital.

  • University reform:

    Proposals will be published intending to improve access and build on excellence.

  • Employment:

    The importance of work as part of the social security system will be flagged up and proposals brought forward to tackle the problems of truancy.

  • Rail and transport safety:

    The bill will set up a Railway Accident Investigation Branch to investigate accidents on the railways, giving unfettered access to crash scenes and keep those affected by accidents informed of the investigation's progress.

    It will tackle safety at sea and in the air, giving police powers to tackle alcohol or drug abuse by staff.

  • Modernising local government:

    The bill will aim to improve local service delivery through better financial management and greater freedom for councils based on performance.

    Legislation will be introduced for referendums on regional governance of England.

  • Shaking up broadcasting and telecommunications:

    Legislation will promote competition and investment, giving powers to the Office of Communications.

  • Water conservation:

    The bill will promote greater water conservation by water companies, giving the Environment Agency new powers to manage licensing in the interests of the environment.

    Water companies will have to keep up-to-date drought plans and smaller abstractors will no longer need a licence.

  • Speeding up the planning system:

    The bill will simplify the planning system, speed up the handling of major infrastructure projects by central government, fast track developments in areas where jobs are needed most and make compulsory purchase faster and fairer.

  • Policing in Northern Ireland:

    The bill will follow on from the Police (Northern Ireland) Act 2000 and is intended to implement fully recommendations by the Patten Commission.

  • Health reform in Wales:

    The bill will enable the National Assembly for Wales to reform Community Health Councils, establish a Wales Centre for Health and Health Professions Wales.

  • Hunting with dogs:

    A bill will be brought forward once conclusions are reached to a consultation process from all sides of the debate.

  • Housing:

    The bill will introduce house seller's packs for potential purchasers.

    Controls on houses in multiple occupation will be modernised and local authorities will be given powers to deal with unscrupulous landlords and anti-social tenants.

  • Nuclear reform:

    The bill will ensure the legacy of nuclear sites and facilities developed in the 1940s, 50s and 60s is cleaned up at an estimated cost of 48bn.

  • House of Lords reform:

    The government "looks forward" to considering a report from the Joint Committee whose remit is to define the proposed composition, role and powers of a reformed House of Lords.

  • Euro:

    The government will make a decision on whether to recommend UK entry into the single currency based on the assessment of the chancellor's five economic tests next June.

  • Combating terrorism:

    The government will continue to work with the international community to deter, detain and disrupt international terrorist groups and to ensure the implementation of all United Nations Security Council Resolutions.

  • World Summit on Sustainable Development:

    Ministers will work for "rapid and effective" implementation of agreements reached at the summit in Johannesburg.

  • World poverty:

    The government will continue to work for more effective global effort to reduce poverty.

  • World trade negotiations:

    Ministers will work for a successful outcome to world trade negotiations that benefit industrialised and developing countries alike.


  • Key stories

    Blair's programme

    Analysis

    Queen's Speech quiz

    TALKING POINT

    AUDIO VIDEO

    FORUM
    See also:

    10 Nov 02 | Queen's Speech
    13 Nov 02 | Politics
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