[JURIST] The Labour Party government of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown Tuesday unveiled its new legislative agenda [PM materials; BBC backgrounder] for the 2007-2008 session of Parliament, pledging to "seek a consensus on changes to the law on terrorism ... to protect the public, whilst preserving essential rights and liberties." In the Queen's Speech [text; recorded video], read by Queen Elizabeth II at the annual ceremonial opening of Parliament [British Monarchy backgrounder], the government announced proposals to raise the compulsory education age to 18, to increase the availability of affordable housing, and to create the world's first legally binding framework to reduce carbon dioxide emissions [BBC bill backgrounders]. Mention was also made of continuing reforms to the criminal justice system, a theme of last year's speech [text; JURIST report].
Altogether, the government laid out 29 individual bills for this session of Parliament, which will end in November 2008. This Queen's Speech was the first delivered on behalf of Brown's government since he took over from former PM Tony Blair [JURIST news archive] in June. BBC News has more.