Page last updated at 22:12 GMT, Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Crime and Courts Bill part two

Peers concluded committee-stage scrutiny of the Crime and Courts Bill on 13 November 2012, focusing on government plans to overhaul community sentences.

The Crime and Courts Bill was introduced into the House of Lords on 10 May 2012. Subject to parliamentary progress, it is expected to receive royal assent by spring 2013.

The bill aims to enhance the national response to serious, organised and complex crime; strengthen border security; and improve road safety by introducing a new drug-driving offence.

It sets up a National Crime Agency to take over all of the work of Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) and cover sexual abuse and exploitation of children and cyber crime.

The bill will also reform courts and tribunals in England and Wales to increase efficiency, transparency and judicial diversity.

Proposals include changing the way judges are appointed and establishing a single system for family courts; judges will also be allowed to move more easily between different courts.

The package of measures apply to England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, with some exceptions.

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