Thursday, 21st December 2000.
Asylum Applicant Interviews, Liverpool
asked Her Majesty's Government:How many asylum applicants accommodated in the south-east of England have been required by the Immigration and Nationality Department to attend interviews in Liverpool; and in how many instances has:
The information available is that between 13 November and 4 December, 2,883 asylum interviews were booked for the Liverpool and Leeds offices of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) These include interviews for applicants from the South East as well as the North East, Scotland and South Wales. For the same period, the National Asylum Support Service (NASS) provided 20 travel warrants for travel from the South-East to Liverpool. NASS has provided overnight accommodation in a few instances where applicants encourtered rail difficulties. I regret that it is not possible to separate travel costs for interview purposes from overall NASS dispersal travel costs.During the week commencing 13 November, 43 interviews were cancelled because of disruption to the rail network. This number has fallen subsequently, with five interviews being cancelled for this reason during the week commencing 4 December.The majority of asylum interviews are held at the IND offices in Croydon. This is where the main casework operation is located. Effort is made to take account of the applicant's location when booking an asylum interview where possible, but consideration of the location and scheduled start time is very much based on facilities and optimising available resources. This is essential if IND is to deliver the White Paper target to take most initial asylum decisions within two months from April 2001.Given the volume of interviews booked for the Liverpool and Leeds office, it is not always possible or practicable to book interviews later in the day for applicants travelling long distances. It is inevitable therefore that a proportion of applicants will be required to travel during peak travel periods at some stage of their journey.
Asylum Seekers, Feltham Young Offenders Institution
asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether any asylum seekers are at present held in Feltham Young Offenders Institution; and, if so, how many. [HL164]
There are currently three immigration detainees held in Feltham Young Offenders Institution, all of whom were initially detained in dedicated immigration detention accommodation. Whilst there, they were all involved in incidents which indicated that they were unsuitable to remain in immigration detention centres because of the risk they posed to safety and security.Young persons aged between 18 and 21 are detained in Young Offenders Institutions only in circumstances where they pose a high risk to security and control.
asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will give an undertaking not to detain asylum seekers in Feltham Young Offenders Institution in future. [HL165]
The Government accept that in a minority of cases it is necessary to detain immigration offenders in prisons because they present a high risk to security and control to a degree which is not appropriate to the current immigration detention estate. Occasionally, individuals requiring this additional security and control will be over 18 but under 21 and are more appropriately detained in young offenders institutions than in prisons. We are not therefore able to give the undertaking which is sought.The ongoing strategic expansion of the dedicated immigration detention estate will see a gradual reduction in the need to use prisons and YOIs for this purpose.
Volunteers Working With Children: Criminal Record Checks
asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether now that it has been decided that essential criminal records checks for volunteers working with children are to be free in Scotland, they will reconsider the decision not to make such checks free in England and Wales. [HL189]
We have noted with interest the decision which our Scottish colleagues have taken. We have yet to announce the precise arrangements which will apply to checks on volunteers in England and Wales, but when we do so we will certainly take into account the representations from noble Lords, honourable Members of the other place, and the voluntary sector.
Football Disorder Prevention
asked Her Majesty's Government:How many hooligans have recieved football banning orders since the enactment of the Football (Disorder) Act 2000; what impact the Act is having on the behaviour of English football fans overseas; and when the working group on football disorder will report its findings. [HL269]
The courts have imposed 122 football banning orders under the measures contained in the 2000 Act. Whilst there are no grounds for complacency, there has been no significant disorder involving English football supporters overseas since the Act came into force. The early indications are that the new measures are helping to deter disorder and encouraging the vast majority of travelling supporters to rid English football of its hooligan reputation. A copy fo the interim report of the Working Group on Football Disorder has today been placed in the Library. It outlines the group's provisional findings and the work upon which it has embarked. The group has been tasked to produce by April of next year a collective and cohesive plan for improving the image of English football, the behaviour of its followers and the role of football at all levels in promoting social inclusion. Measures aimed at tackling the racist and xenophobic attitudes that so often prompt football violence and disorder will feature in the plan.
Supply Teaching By Working Holidaymakers
asked Her Majesty's Government:What plans they have to amend the policy in respect of working holidaymakers employed as supply teachers. [HL270]
The purpose of the working holidaymaker scheme is not to meet skills shortages, or enable teachers to secure employment in the United Kingdom, but as a concession to the normal arrangements working holidaymakers who are qualified teachers are allowed to undertake supply teaching during their stay. In keeping with the ethos of the scheme, any teaching work should be incidental to a holiday and they should not be working for the whole of their time here. For those non-European Economic Area (EEA) nationals who wish to engage in full-time teaching employment in the United Kingdom there are already provisions under the work permit scheme, and provisions in the Immigration Rules enabling approved exchange schemes for teachers and language assistants.We have nonetheless considered representations about the particular staffing difficulties and disruption faced by schools when supply teachers in their employ leave during the course of a school term because their leave to enter or remain as working holidaymakers has expired. In the interests of schools and their pupils, and in the light of the unique considerations which apply to the completion of school terms, we have agreed to amend the policy instructions in respect of working holidaymakers. This change will enable a short extension of leave to remain in the United Kingdom to a working holidaymaker who is already employed as a supply teacher, and whom the school wishes to retain, to enable them to complete the school term during which their leave to remain as a working holidaymaker has expired. Such leave will be granted on an exceptional basis outside the Immigration Rules in order to benefit those whose leave will expire during the course of a term but will not permit extensions to cover a whole term or more. Schools wishing to employ working holidaymakers as supply teachers will be expected to take account of the date upon which such a teacher's leave to enter or remain is due to expire when planning the coverage of vacant posts over the school year.
Hm Prison, Brixton: Chief Inspector's Report
asked Her Majesty's Government:When the Home Office received the Report of the Chief Inspector of Prisons on HM Prison Brixton; and when it will be published. [HL215]
Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons sent the draft report to my right honourable friend the Home Secretary on 27 September 2000. The report has been checked for factual accuracy and my right honourable friend the Minister of State wrote to the Chief Inspector on 18 December approving its publication. We expect the report to be published early in the new year.
Export Of Works Of Art Reviewing Committee: Annual Report
asked Her Majesty's Government:When they expect to publish the 1999–2000 Annual Report of the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art. [HL231]
The Reviewing Committee's Annual Report for 1999–2000 was published yesterday and copies have been laid before Parliament.
House Of Lords Smoking Policy
asked the Chairman of Committees:Whether he believes that the current smoking policy in the Library and Refreshment Department accords with the House of Lords' Staff Handbook. [HL97]
Yes. Smoking policy for staff outside the Refreshment Department, approved by the Whitley Committee, is set out in Appendix G of the Staff Handbook. The basic principle behind the policy is that staff are entitled to work in a smoke-free atmosphere if they want to, and that staff who smoke should have the facilities to enable them to do so. Refreshment Department staff are covered by rules set out in paragraph 166 of the Handbook. Staff smoking policy is distinct from the rules on smoking applicable to Members.
asked the Chairman of Committees:Whether the Library and Computers Sub-Committee has undertaken a study into the feasibility of making the Salisbury Room a smoking room, with the remainder of the Library becoming a no-smoking area; and, if not, whether it will do so. [HL96]
An informal working group on the House's smoking policy, chaired by Lord McIntosh of Haringey, surveyed the views of all Members on where smoking should be permitted, and reported in May 1999. There was no mandate to change the current arrangements in the Library, under which smoking is permitted in the Brougham and Derby Rooms but prohibited elsewhere. In June 1999 the Library and Computers Sub-Committee agreed that the ultimate aim should be that "the Library should he an entirely smoke-free area as soon as possible". The Sub-Committee rejected a proposal to make the Salisbury room a smoking room, as it was supported by neither the present occupants of the room nor smokers. The Sub-Committee recommended that a conveniently placed "club" room for smokers should be identified, in which smoking would be permitted. It has not yet been possible to identify such a room.The question of smoking will next be considered by the Library and Computers Sub-Committee on 13 February 2001.
asked the Chairman of Committees:What steps the House authorities are taking to reduce the risk of passive smoking within the House of Lords. [HL98]
Smoking policy for Members is a matter for the Offices Committee and its sub-committees, and I intend to invite the Offices Committee and its sub-comittees to reconsider the matter. The smoking policy for staff of the House outside the Refreshment Department already provides that staff are entitled to work in a smoke-free environment if they wish to. Refreshment Department staff are only permitted to smoke during their authorised breaks and in the designated smoking room. The Health and Safety Commission has proposed the issue of an approved code of practice on passive smoking at work and staff smoking policy will be reviewed in the light of any such code.
asked the Chairman of Committees:Whether the Administration and Works Sub-Committee has had any recent discussions with the authorities of the House of Commons about the recent changes made by that House with regard to smoking policy. [HL99]
No. Any recent changes to House of Commons smoking policy will be taken into account by the Offices Committee and its sub-committees when they next consider smoking policy.
asked the Chairman of Committees:Whether he will seek to obtain from the House of Commons authorities and place in the Library of the House any information about the recent changes made by that House with regard to smoking policy. [HL100]
I have written to the Chairman of the House of Commons Administration Committee requesting information about any recent changes made by the House of Commons to their smoking policy, and will place a copy of my letter, together with the response, in the Library of the House.
London Underground: Delay Incidents
asked Her Majesty's Government:For each line of the London Underground, on how many instances in each of the last five years passengers were significantly delayed [HL115]
This is an operational matter for London Underground (LUL) but they have provided the following information.
|Train delays of 15 minutes or over|
|Line||1996–97 Year Total||1997–98 Year Total||1998–99 Year Total||1999–2000 Year Total||2000–01 Qtr 1 & Qtr 2|
|Central (inc. Waterloo & City)||547||710||563||478||283|
|Jubilee (inc. East London)||95||107||414||444||124|
|Circle & Hammersmith||110||193||196||210||113|
|Train delays of 15 minutes or over|
1996–97 Year Total
1997–98 Year Total
1998–99 Year Total
1999–2000 Year Total
2000–01 Qtr 1 & Qtr 2
Nato Parliamentary Assembly: Uk Delegation
asked Her Majesty's Government:What changes have been made to the composition of the United Kingdom Delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. [HL268]
My honourable friend the Member for Barnsley West and Penistone (Mr Clapham) has replaced my honourable friend the Member for Halesowen and Rowley Regis (Mrs Heal) as a member of the delegation.
Common Agricultural Policy
asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will place in the Library of the House the Treasury figures and analyses which confirm that further common agricultural policy reform is "not necessary for enlargement to take place", as stated by the Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean (H.L. Deb., 12th December, col. 347).[HL150]
At the Berlin European Council in March last year, the EU agreed to reforms of certain aspects of the common agricultural policy and to a financial perspective for 2000–06. Together these helped pave the way for enlargement. The Government welcomed the CAP reform agreement as a step in the right direction but continue to advance the case for further reform, which many consider to be both desirable and inevitable. The accession process needs to take account of the fact that the CAP is constantly evolving, but it is not necessary to complete the CAP reform process before enlargement takes place.The precise nature of the new member states' integration into the acquis will depend on the outcome of negotiations with those countries. As in all previous enlargements, transitional arrangements, in which EU policies are phased in over a fixed period of time, are likely to be necessary in a number of areas, including agriculture. The Government are committed to securing early enlargement without breaching the financial ceilings established at Berlin.
asked Her Majesty's Government:What cost analysis they have done of the application of the common agricultural policy to (a) Poland and (b) Hungary.[HL151]
The actual cost of applying the CAP to Poland and Hungary would depend upon many factors, but would be constrained by the limits on enlargement-related spending agreed at the Berlin European Council in March last year.The Government are concerned that applying the CAP in its present form to countries such as Hungary and Poland would have an adverse impact upon their economies. The UK believes that using available funds for structural improvements in applicant countries would be more beneficial to them.
asked Her Majesty's Government:What proportion of the workforce in (a) Poland and (b) Hungary is employed in agriculture. [HL152]
Poland's Central Statistical Office's Statistical Yearbook for 1998 states that 27 per cent of the total working population is employed in agriculture. There are a further 2 million people in rural areas whose main source of income is not agriculture, but who may be involved in some agricultural activity. In Hungary, 6.7 per cent of the total working population is employed in agriculture. A further 500,000 people are involved in agriculture, but have an alternative main source of employment.
asked Her Majesty's Government:What is their assessment of the cost to the British taxpayer of the application of the Common Agricultural Policy to (a) Hungary and (b) Poland; and whether they will place any relevant analyses in the Library of the House. [HL153]Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The actual cost to the UK of applying the CAP to Poland and Hungary would depend upon many factors, but it would be limited in two ways. First, the financial perspective for 2000–06 agreed at the Berlin European Council in March last year set limits on enlargement-related spending. These limits leave the overall ceiling on spending in an enlarged EU well beneath the current Own Resources ceiling (1.27 per cent of Community GNP). Secondly, also at Berlin, the Government succeeded in retaining the UK abatement for the duration of the financial perspective. The abatement will apply to the bulk of spending in the new member states.
asked Her Majesty's Government:What is the current budget of the common agricultural policy; and what they predict the budget of the CAP will be at the time of accession of (a) Hungary and (b) Poland to the European Union. [HL154]
At the Berlin European Council in March last year, the EU agreed a financial perspective for 2000–06. This contained annual ceilings on agricultural expenditure for the current 15 member states. From 2002 onwards, and for the first time ever, the ceilings on CAP spending in the existing member states decline in real terms.At the time of accession, the agricultural budget will have to increase to reflect the cost of the new member states. The additional cost will depend upon a number of factors, including the terms of accession, but will be limited by the ceilings on enlargement-related spending agreed at Berlin.
asked Her Majesty's Government:Further to the statement by Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean on 12 December (H.L. Deb., col. 347), whether it is their policy that further common agricultural policy reform is not necessary for enlargement to take place. [HL155]
The Government are fully committed to EU enlargement and to CAP reform. We are pursuing both objectives in parallel. Further CAP reform is clearly desirable, both for its own sake and to ease enlargement negotiations with candidate countries. The accession process needs to take account of the fact that the CAP is constantly evolving, but it is not necessary to complete the CAP reform process before enlargement takes place.
Iraq: Export Of Demining Equipment
asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether any goods subject to strategic export controls have recently been approved for export to Iraq. [HL62]
Following consultation with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Ministry of Defence, the Department of Trade and Industry recently approved a licence to export 12 electronic exploders, controlled under the Export of Goods (Control) Order 1994, as amended, to the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS) for use in demining activities in Iraq under the UN Oil for Food Programme. The export of these goods to Iraq has been approved by the UN Sanctions Committee.
Wilton Park Executive Agency
asked Her Majesty's Government:What are the conclusions of the current Quinquennial Review of Wilton Park Executive Agency. [HL251]
The first stage of the review of Wilton Park has recommended that Wilton Park should retain its status as an Executive Agency of the FCO. Ministers have accepted this recommendation. The review has been conducted by Sir Robin Fearn KCMG. The first stage of his report is available on the FCO's and Wilton Park's websites. Copies have been placed in the Libraries of the House.
Palestinian Schools: Damage And Closure
asked Her Majesty's Government:What information they have received from diplomatic and other sources about the number of Palestinian schools (a) damaged by Israeli military firing, (b) requisitioned or closed by curfew orders from Israeli Occupation Authorities. [HL2]
I will write to the noble Lord shortly and place a copy of the letter in the Libraries of the House.
European Union: Community Incentive Measures
asked Her Majesty's Government:What are the "Community incentive measures" referred to in the new draft paragraph 2 of Article 13 of the Treaty Establishing the European Community. [HL77]
The new second paragraph of Article 13 makes clear that Community incentive measures must support action in the member states and cannot lead to any harmonisation of the regulations or laws of the member states. In practice, any such incentive measures are likely to mean pilot projects and programmes on, for example, the exchange of best practice or information between the member states.
Iraq: Forcible Expulsions
asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they received information from Human Rights Watch, or other sources, about expulsions of Kurds and Turcomans from the Kirkuk region by the Government of Iraq, and about the increased population at refugee camps at Kani Shaiton and Chamchamal, in the Kurdish Autonomous Zone; and in what ways they consider that the situation can be improved. [HL113]
Her Majesty's Government have received information from a variety of sources about the Iraqi Government's repressive practice of deporting Kurds, Turcomen and Assyrians from the regions of Kirkuk and Khanaqin. This practice continues to create heavy refugee flows in the region. Together with our EU partners, we continue to condemn the appalling violations of human rights in Iraq through EU-sponsored resolutions at the UN General Assembly and Commission on Human Rights. The most recent resolution, adopted at the General Assembly earlier this month, called on Iraq to cease immediately its practice of forcible expulsions.
asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they consider that undertakings by the Government of the Irish Republic in the Belfast agreement of 1998 concerning human rights and equality are being honoured. [HL130]
The Irish Government is fully committed to the Belfast agreement and all of the principles contained within it.
Pakistan: Election Undertakings
asked Her Majesty's Government:Further to the Written Answer by Baroness Scotland of Asthal on 16 November (
WA 41), what assurances Pakistan gave to the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group in New York on 15 September; and what further measures or sanctions are now proposed. [HL186]
At the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group on 15 September, Pakistan's Foreign Minister gave imprecise and ambiguous assurances about Pakistan's timetable for provincial and national elections.Should Pakistan fail to announce a date for elections before CMAG's meeting in September 2001, we would expect that the group will be forced to consider further possible measures against Pakistan, including a recommendation to the Brisbane Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in October 2001, that Pakistan be suspended from the Commonwealth.
Cameroon: Local Elections
asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will consult other members of the Commonwealth about the one year postponement of the local elections in Cameroon and the lack of consultation with the political parties on the National Elections Observatory Law, with a view to referring these matters to the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group; and whether they will also draw these matters to the attention of M Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Secretary-General of La Francophonie. [HL161]
We welcome the law on the National Elections Observatory as a step towards greater transparency in Cameroon. We have strongly urged the Government of Cameroon to ensure the independence of the National Elections Observatory and to consult fully with other political parties over its creation. We are making clear our view that the government of Cameroon should stick to the election timetable as closely as possible. We regularly discuss Cameroon with our partners.
General Pinochet: Judge Garzon's Diary
asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they intend to make representations to the Spanish Government about the publication in Chile of the diary of Judge Garzon relating to the extradition of Senator Pinochet. [HL174]
We are not aware of any diaries of Judge Garzon having been published.
Overseas Territories: Adult Homosexual Acts
asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether measures have been taken or are being contemplated in each of the Overseas Territories to abolish criminal liability for adult homosexual acts done in private. [HL183]
Consensual homosexual acts between adults in private remains a criminal offence in Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Monserrat and the Turks and Caicos Islands. No measures to de-criminalise these acts have been taken or are being contemplated in those Territories. However, an Order in Council to do so was made by Her Majesty at the Privy Council meeting on the 13 December 2000 and will come into force on 1 January 2001.
asked Her Majesty's Government:In which Overseas Territories adult homosexual acts remain illegal. [HL185]
None after 1 January 2001. I refer the noble Lord to the Answer I gave today to his earlier question (HL183).
Rosyth: Proposed Continental Ferry Service
asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they would support in principle an application for funding under the European Commission's Pilot Action for Combined Transport for start-up funding for a proposed ferry service from Rosyth to a continental port, for which a Greek company achieved preferred operator status. [HL49]
The Government would support in principle any application meeting the requirements of the Pilot Action for Combined Transport (PACT) scheme. Proposed operators should make initial applications for PACT support direct to the European Commission for an assessment of a potential scheme's eligibility.
Internet Protocol Version 6
asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they support the proposed introduction of the new industry-wide Internet protocol standard, IP version 6. [HL141]
Each device that is connected to the Internet needs a unique numerical address. The introduction of Internet Protocol (IP) version 6 will vastly increase the number of addresses available and allow more devices to be connected. The introduction of this standard is a matter for the relevant industry bodies and the industry itself.
Lawful Business Practice Regulations And Data Protection Act
asked Her Majesty's Government:What implications, if any, the announcement by the Data Protection Commissioner that she will, from March 2001, actively seek out breaches of the Data Protection Act 1998 will have on the provisions of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, in particular the Lawful Business Practice regulations [HL144]
I understand from the Data Protection Commissioner that she has not made any such announcement and that she does not currently have any plans to change her approach to enforcement of the Data Protection Act 1998. She has confirmed that when her Code of Practice on the Use of Personal Data in Employer/Employee Relationships is published, which she expects to be in Spring 2001, she will provide comprehensive guidance on the implications of both the Data Protection Act and the Lawful Business Practice Regulations for practice in the workplace.
Public Guardianship Office
asked Her Majesty's Government:What was the response to the April policy statement "Making Changes: the future of the Public Trust Office", and what action they intend to take to give effect to the proposals contained in the statement. [HL252]
Following publication of the "Making Changes" policy statement on 11 April 2000. much work has been done to take forward its proposals. I have today placed in the Libraries of both Houses a summary and analysis of the responses received to "Making Changes". As proposed in "Making Changes". and informed by the response to consultation, I will create a new body which is to be called the Public Guardianship Office. It will discharge the Court of Protection's decisions on behalf of mentally incapacitated people, a role at present undertaken by the Public Trust Office. The new body is being explored as a candidate for agency status. It will be set demanding targets to provide a high quality service to its clients.
Appeals Against Conviction
asked Her Majesty's Government:How many appeals were heard against conviction (including conviction and sentence) in England and Wales in the latest year for which figures are available; in how many cases the conviction was quashed; of the number quashed how many were ordinary appeals and Criminal Cases Review Commission referrals respectively; and in how many cases in each category was the appellant currently serving a custodial sentence; and what was the breakdown of the sentence lengths. [HL88]
During the period 1 November 1999 to 31 October 2000 inclusive, 556 appeals against conviction were heard; 180 appeals were allowed, 376 appeals against conviction were dismissed; of the 180 allowed, 14 were referrals from the Criminal Cases Review Commission and 166 were ordinary appeals; of the 166 ordinary appeals, 105 had received a custodial sentence. Of the 180 appeals against conviction allowed, 70 retrials were ordered; of that 70, 58 had received a custodial sentence. Of the 376 appeals dismissed, 288 had received a custodial sentence.
Serving Judges: Publication Of Memoirs
asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether English judges are allowed to profit from the publication of case-related memoirs while in office. [HL173]
The revised guidance on the outside activities and interests of the judiciary which I introduced, and placed in the Libraries of both Houses, on 15 June 2000 states that judges should as a general principle avoid activities which may be seen to undermine their judicial independence and impartiality or which could conflict with judicial office. The guidance states that the writing of books is not, of itself, incompatible with judicial office, but I would expect a serving judge to exercise due circumspection in relation to any case with which he has dealt judicially.
Northern Ireland: Legal Aid Budget Increase
asked Her Majesty's Government:In the light of the additional £39 million added to the annual legal aid budget of the Legal Services Commission, what additional funds have been allocated in Northern Ireland in anticipation of litigation arising from the coming into force of the Human Rights Act 1998. [HL112]
The additional funds fur legal aid allocated to the Northern Ireland Court Service in anticipation of litigation arising from the coming into force of the Human Rights Act 1998 amounted to an additional annual £1 million.
Disqualifications Act 2000: Irish Government Support
asked Her Majesty's Government:On what date and in what form the Government of the Irish Republic indicated that they supported the Disqualifications Act 2000. [HL128]
Discussions have taken place with Irish officials on several occasions on the issue of the Disqualification Acts of 1975. They indicated that the Irish Government would warmly welcome the changes which have now been brought into effect by the Disqualifications Act 2000.
Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission
asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will list those organisations representing prisoners groups which the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission has consulted. [HL179]
It is for the commission to decide whom it consults. The Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission has been asked to write to the noble Lord. A copy of his letter will be placed in the Library.
asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will list by geographical location and organisation all members of the committees appointed by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission to consider a draft Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland.[HLI81]
It is for the commission to decide who will consider the draft Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland. The Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission has been asked to write to the noble Lord. A copy of his letter will be placed in the Library.
Irish Commission Of Human Rights
asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will identify those nominees for the new Irish Commission of Human Rights whom they have proposed or supported. [HL180]
Her Majesty's Government has neither proposed nor supported any nominees for the new Irish Commission of Human Rights. Appointments to the Irish Commission of Human Rights are a matter for the Irish Government to decide.
European Defence Force
asked Her Majesty's Government:Which countries have agreed to contribute to the European Defence Force; and which armed forces they have designated. [HL12]
Countries are not allocating forces to a European Defence Force.The EU, with the assistance of NATO, has identified the required pool of forces and capabilities to carry out the full range of Petersberg tasks. EU member states have nominated those elements of their own national forces they believe could contribute to this requirement and have committed themselves to make further improvements to meet a defined level of capability (the "Headline Goal") by 2003. In addition, non EU European states have made supplementary offers.It is not appropriate for the UK to disclose the offers of other nations. The assembled information on nations' offers is classified as confidential.The following countries have identified relevant deployable military forces and capabilities:Austria, Belgium. Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, UK, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Romania, Slovakia, Turkey, Norway.
Chinook Helicopter Zd 576
asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether on 2 June 1994 the Chinook helicopter ZD 576 carried out an early morning sortie over Northern Ireland; and, if so, whether, following that flight, engineers made a check of the FADEC engine control system. [HL71]
Chinook ZD 576 had carried out a morning sortie that day, returning to RAF Aldergrove at approximately 12.00 midday. The engineers would not have made a check of the FADEC before the subsequent flight; however, before leaving for Scotland the pilots would have carried out all the normal start up checks and procedures, which include FADEC checks.
asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether, in the light of the recent report by the Public Accounts Committee on the Chinook helicopter crash in Scotland, they are prepared to reexamine the findings of the Royal Air Force Inquiry. [HL74]
The Government have said that, if new evidence were to come to light, it would be examined with scrupulous care, thoroughness and compassion. To date, we have seen nothing that causes us to doubt the integrity of the RAF Board of Inquiry, or would prompt us to hold a new inquiry. The Ministry of Defence will, of course, be sending a formal response to the Public Accounts Committee's recently published 45th Report on the acceptance of the Chinook Mk2 into service, in the usual way.
European Court Of Justice: Judgments In Proceedings Against Uk
asked Her Majesty's Government:How many occasions in each year since 1975 have actions been brought against United Kingdom authorities and appeals made from rulings in United Kingdom courts of law to the European Court of Justice; and how many are still outstanding. [HL81]
A table showing the number of cases in each year since 1975 in which the ECJ has given judgment in proceedings brought against the United Kingdom is annexed.Applications are outstanding in six cases.The EC Treaty does not provide any mechanism for appeals from rulings in the United Kingdom courts to the European Court of Justice.
|Judgments given by the ECJ in proceedings brought against the UK|