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Written Statements

Volume 451: debated on Wednesday 8 November 2006

Written MinisterialStatements

Wednesday 8 November 2006

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Sanctions Regimes (Revised)

The Government have committed themselves to informing Parliament on an annual basis of the sanctions regimes being implemented by the United Kingdom. Currently the United Kingdom implements United Nations sanctions in relation to al-Qaeda and the Taliban, Côte d'Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Liberia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Sudan and Somalia. The UK also implements sanctions regimes imposed autonomously by the EU in relation to Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burma, China, the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (in connection with individuals indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia), Moldova, Sudan, Uzbekistan and Zimbabwe. In accordance with a decision of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the United Kingdom implements arms embargoes on Armenia and Azerbaijan. The Government also take full account of the Economic Community of West African States moratorium on certain exports of small arms and light weapons to Economic Community of West African States members. A full list of sanctions regimes and restrictive measures implemented by the UK has been published on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website at: www.fco.gov.uk/sanctions.

Home Department

Criminal Justice

The Government are committed to rebalancing the criminal justice system in favour of victims and the law-abiding majority.

It is wrong for convicted criminals to profit from their crimes now or in the future, whether directly from the proceeds of the crime itself or indirectly through cashing in on the story of their crime. It is contrary to the principles of natural justice that they should be able to exploit for financial gain crimes which have devastated the lives of victims and their families.

Together with the Scottish Executive and my ministerial colleague at the Northern Ireland Office, the hon. Member for Delyn (Mr. Hanson), we will be publishing on Friday 10 November a consultation paper setting out a range of possible options for tackling this problem.

I will be placing copies of the consultation in the House Libraries. We would welcome comments on the proposals it contains.

Sentencing Consultation

I am informing the House of my intention to publish shortly a consultation document entitled “Making Sentencing Clearer”. This document meets the commitment I made in July, in the review of the criminal justice system, to bring forward with the Lord Chancellor and the Attorney-General a consultation on a number of sentencing and related issues.

The consultation outlines proposals for building better public understanding and confidence in the way sentences are handed down by judges and magistrates. The consultation also makes proposals for providing sentencers with more flexibility in sentencing dangerous offenders and proposals designed to focus probation resources on the more serious offenders.

Copies of the consultation will be placed in the Library and on the Home Office website.

Transport

Aircrafts Registers

On 1 August 2005 the Department launched a consultation paper seeking views on the principle of whether foreign registered aircraft based in the UK being used for non-commercial purposes should be required to be placed on the UK or another EU register. This would ensure that the safety of such aircraft was overseen by the Civil Aviation Authority or another EU aviation authority and that they were operated to European safety standards.

The Government have considered the responses to the consultation carefully and have decided that it would not be appropriate at this time to introduce a requirement to place such aircraft on the UK register.

The Government response to the consultation has today been published and is available on the Department’s website at: www.dft.gov.uk. Copies have also been placed in the House Libraries.

The response explains that the Government’s objective remains that aircraft based in the UK should be required to meet safety standards acceptable within Europe and be subject to checking by the UK and other European aviation authorities.

European proposals published in November 2005 to extend the scope of common European aviation safety rules may provide scope for a better means of achieving that objective in a proportionate way. Stakeholders have been consulted generally on the proposal “To amend Regulation (EC) No 1592/2002 on common rules in the field of civil aviation and establishing a European Aviation Safety Agency”. This proposal specifically amends the scope of the EASA Regulation to include a category of aircraft registered in a third country and used into, within or out of the Community by an operator established or residing in the Community. Detailed implementing rules will be needed to give force to this amendment and we would expect the agency to consult stakeholders on the details of their proposals at the appropriate time.