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Column 321wider than "management consultancy" as generally understood and includes, for example, software development in connection with new financial management information systems.)
"Technical consultancy" is not included in these figures, but is subsumed within the wide range of extra-mural research, technical and other assistance which NPL commissions in connection with its scientific programmes.
Mr. McLoughlin : The legislation controlling pyramid selling and similar trading schemes has been criticised on a number of grounds. We intend to consult soon on specific proposals to amend both the primary legislation and the current regulations.
Mr. Needham : The process by which panel reports are adopted will change under the World Trade Organisation, when responsibility for adoption will move from the council to the dispute settlement body. To allow members of the World Trade Organisation dispute settlement body time in which to consider panel reports, reports will not be considered by the body until 20 days after issue to members. Reports will be adopted by a meeting of the body within 60 days of issue, unless one of the parties to the dispute notifies its intention to appeal or unless all members of the body agree not to adopt.
Dr. Lynne Jones : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what will be the criteria for selecting members of the panel of experts who will comprise the dispute settlement body of the World Trade Organisation.
Mr. Needham : The dispute settlement body will consist of representatives of the members of the World Trade Organisation. Panelists shall be well-qualified individuals who have served on or presented a case to a panel ; served as a representative of a World Trade Organisation member or of a contracting party to GATT or as a representative to a council or committee of any covered agreement or its predecessor agreement, or in the World Trade Organisation secretariat ; taught or published on international trade law or policy ; or served as a senior trade policy official of a member. They shall be selected with a view to ensuring that the panel has independence, a sufficiently diverse background and a wide spectrum of experience. Citizens of members of the World Trade Organisation whose Governments are parties to the dispute or third parties shall not serve on a panel connected with that dispute, unless the parties to the dispute agree otherwise.
Column 322authority, with demonstrated expertise in law, international trade and the subject matter of the covered agreements. They shall be unaffiliated with any Government, although the body's membership shall be broadly representative of the WTO's membership. They shall be available at all times and at short notice, and shall stay abreast of dispute settlement and other relevant WTO activities. They shall not participate in consideration of disputes that would create a direct or indirect conflict of interest.
Dr. Lynne Jones : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what special assistance will be available from the GATT secretariat for developing countries in mounting or defending dispute settlement cases.
Mr. Needham : Under the present GATT, the secretariat may make available a qualified legal expert from its technical co-operation services at the request of any developing country involved in a dispute settlement panel. This will continue under the World Trade Organisation.
Dr. Lynne Jones : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what is the relationship between a collective view adopted by the GATT council on a trade issue and (a) domestic or (b) EU legislation pertinent to that trade issue.
Mr. Needham : There is no direct relationship between the collective view of the GATT council and the legislation of the United Kingdom or the European Union. With the exception of notification requirements, GATT rules do not lay down what governments must do. Although it is possible for the GATT council to take decisions to change GATT rules, contracting parties which do not accept such changes cannot be obliged to accept them.
Where GATT dispute settlement panels find that a measure of an individual contracting party breaches GATT obligations, that contracting party may bring its measure into conformity with GATT rules ; offer compensatory market access ; or accept retaliatory withdrawal of market access. This position will be unchanged under the agreement establishing the World Trade Organisation.
Dr. Lynne Jones : To ask the President of the Board of Trade how signatories of the GATT agreement will be able to bring about changes in (a) the membership of the dispute settlement body or (b) the panel of experts of the dispute settlement body of the World Trade Organisation.
Mr. Needham : The dispute settlement body shall be convened by the general council of the World Trade Organisation and will have the same membership as the general council, that is, representatives of all members of the World Trade Organisation. It will be for individual members to determine who their representatives shall be. Members of the World Trade Organisation may periodically suggest names of individuals for inclusion on the World Trade Organisation secretariat's list of potential panelists, and their names shall be added to the list upon approval by the dispute settlement body.
Column 323some of which are optional. However, after the initial period of consultations, unless otherwise agreed by the parties to the dispute, the period from establishment of a panel by the dispute settlement body until the body considers the panel or appellate report for adoption shall not exceed nine months where the report is not appealed or 12 months where the report is appealed.
|Swiss francs --------------------------------------- 1994 |5,748,978 1993 |5,575,393 1992 |5,454,835 1991 |4,939,530 1990 |4,761,920 1989 |4,057,044 1988 |3,587,324 1987 |3,599,990 1986 |3,842,740 1985 |4,333,550 1984 |3,944,460
Dr. Lynne Jones : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will outline the appeals procedure by which a contracting party to the GATT agreement may appeal against a collective view adopted by the GATT Council arising from a dispute settlement panel report.
Mr. Needham : There is no appeals procedure under the existing GATT. Under the World Trade Organisation, within 60 days of issuance of a dispute settlement panel report, the dispute settlement body shall adopt the report unless it agrees by consensus not to do so, or if a party has notified its intention to appeal. Appeals shall be limited to issues of law covered in the panel's report and legal interpretation developed by the panel. Three members of the appellate body shall hear each case. In general, the appellate body should issue its decision no more than 60 days after a party to a dispute notifies its intention to appeal. In no case shall proceedings exceed 90 days.
The appellate body's report shall be adopted by the dispute settlement body and unconditionally accepted by the parties to the dispute within 30 days of the issuance of the report to dispute settlement body members, unless the body decides by consensus not to do so.
Mr. Campbell-Savours : to ask the President of the Board of Trade on what date (a) he or (b) his officials were first made aware of interest being expressed by citizens of Russia or other east European states in the purchase of operations of the Insolvency Service.
Mr. Campbell-Savours : To ask the President of the Board of Trade on what date a summary of the Stoy Hayward report on the Insolvency Service was made available to (a) the trade unions, (b) Insolvency Service staff, (c) the DTI Library and (d) the Library of both Houses.
Mr. Heseltine : A summary of the Stoy Hayward report on the Insolvency Service was made available to the Library of both Houses on 7 February 1994, to Insolvency Service staff and the trade unions on 8 February and to the DTI Library on 9 February.
Mr. Campbell-Savours : To ask the President of the Board of Trade on what dates representatives of his Department met representatives of Stoy Hayward to discuss matters relating to official receivers.
Mr. Heseltine : In the course of both the first study carried out by them and the current feasibility study, Stoy Hayward will have been in almost daily contact with representatives of my Department, principally with officials in the Insolvency Service.
Mr. Campbell-Savours : To ask the President of the Board of Trade, pursuant to his answer of 23 May, Official Report , columns 74-75 , on what dates representatives of his Department met representatives of Ian Greer Associates and discussed the subject of private sector involvement in the work of the Insolvency Service.
Mr. Heseltine [holding answer 25 May 1994] : The first study undertaken by Stoy Hayward considered the ways in which official receivers could concentrate more on their investigatory role by involving the private sector more in the mechanical processing work in insolvencies. A summary of Stoy Hayward's report was placed in the Libraries of both Houses. The remit for the feasibility study now in progress was to carry out a more detailed analysis of the costs, benefits and value for money of options identified in the earlier work.
Mr. Campbell-Savours : To ask the President of the Board of Trade, pursuant to his answer of 23 May, Official Report, column 74, on what dates representatives of his Department met representatives of Ecocon Ventures.
Mr. Spearing : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will state his reasons for refusing each of the requests made by the Post Office for permission to pursue commercial initiatives listed in its supplementary memoranda to the Select Committee on Trade and Industry, which were published on pages 31-2 of its first report on the future of the Post Office, HC 207, 1993-94.
Mr. McLoughlin [holding answer 25 May 1994] : The Post Office's requests, some of which date back many years, were to expand its activities, often into areas already served by the private sector. As my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade explained in his evidence to the Select Committee reproduced in the same report as that cited by the hon. Member, the Government need to consider the effect that greater commercial freedom for a publicly owned business would have on other firms. A number of businesses made clear to the Select Committee their concerns about the fairness of competition, as the Committee recognised at paragraph 20 of its unanimous report.
Mr. Spearing : To ask the President of the Board of Trade where and by what means he has given his reasons for not choosing the option of maintaining the Royal Mail in public ownership but with enhanced commercial freedom.
Mr. McLoughlin [holding answer 25 May 1994] : The Government have reached no decisions on the Post Office review. The hon. Member's question does not therefore arise. A Green Paper will be published shortly setting out the issues in full and outlining the options for change.
Mrs. Peacock : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what steps he is taking to ensure that British Coal land which is leased to miners' welfares for sports and recreational facilities in coalfield communities is preserved for the future of those communities.
Mr. Heseltine [holding answer 25 May 1994] : As part of the wider process of deciding on the disposal of the corporation's assets, I have asked British Coal to identify land which it owns and which is currently used for coal industry social welfare purposes, including recreation.
I will take into account local needs when taking decisions on the disposal of the land so identified, on who should receive the benefit of the use of that land and on the safeguards which might be required.
representations he has received about the involvement of a police officer, whose name has been supplied to him, in the Stephen Lawrence murder case.
The Attorney-General : It is for the Commissioner of the Police of the Metropolis to consider whether the activities of any individual require investigation. Where allegations and complaints are made about the activities of a police officer the chief officer of the relevant force will have regard to the procedures established under part IX of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984.
The Attorney-General : The proceedings arising from the death of Stephen Lawrence were discontinued because the Crown Prosecution Service concluded, after a careful and detailed examination of the evidence, that there was no realistic prospect of conviction. Reconsideration of that decision would not be justified unless significant fresh evidence were to become available.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the Attorney-General how often the powers of the Treasury Solicitor Act 1876 have been used to create offshore bank accounts or conduct share transactions in the United Kingdom and overseas in the name of Government Departments and agencies ; and in what form the use of these powers is reported to Parliament.
The Attorney-General : Currently there are no offshore accounts which have been created under the powers in the Treasury Solicitor Act 1876. Information about such accounts which may previousy have been created since 1876 is not available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
The Treasury Solicitor has conducted share transactions as nominee of Government Departments or their agencies but principally on behalf of the Treasury for purposes connected with privatisations. Information identifying the number of such share transactions could only be provided at disproportionate cost.
Any reporting to Parliament of share transactions by the Treasury Solicitor as nominee for another Government Department will be the responsibility of that other Department.
Mr. Austin-Walker : To ask the Attorney-General if he will make a statement on the matters referred to him by the hon. Member for Woolwich in respect of the Rolan Adams and Stephen Lawrence murder cases.
The Attorney-General : The Treasury Solicitor's department has, since 1985, advised on the proceedings which have been brought by the Department of Economic Development in Northern Ireland in connection with the accounts of the DeLorean company. Currently, the Treasury Solicitor's department is liaising with the lawyers responsible for the litigation in the United States of America and is advising Government Departments in connection therewith.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Attorney-General when he plans to publish his departmental guidance on the implementation of the code of practice on access to Government information, as promised at paragraph 3(ii) of the code issued on 4 April ; and what has been the cause of the delay in publishing the departmental guidance.
The Attorney-General : In respect of the departments for which I have responsibility, the code of practice directly applies only to the Treasury Solicitor's department. I have announced the intention of the Crown Prosecution Service and the Serious Fraud Office to seek voluntarily to comply with the code so far as possible, 22 March, Official Report, column 218. Internal guidance is being drawn up within the Treasury Solicitor's department, the Crown Prosecution Service and the Serious Fraud Office. This will be made available once it has been finalised, in accordance with the provisions in the code of practice. In the meantime, each division of the Treasury Solicitor's department, all Crown Prosecution Service offices and the Serious Fraud Office have copies of the Cabinet Office guidance on interpretation of the code, which has already been placed in the House of Commons Library.
Mr. Boateng : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what plans his Department has to abolish the requirement that solicitors eligible for elevation to the High Court bench should hold additional advocacy qualifications.
Mr. John M. Taylor : The statutory requirements for appointment as a High Court judge are to have a 10-year High Court qualification within the meaning of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990--that is, a right of audience in relation to all proceedings in the High Court ; or to be a circuit judge who has held that office for at least two years. The Lord Chancellor has no plans to change these requirements.
Mr. Boateng : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what plans his Department has to improve the procedures by which appointments are made to the judiciary ; and what plans he has to publish a report on such improvements.
Column 328North-west (Mr. Richards) on 19 May, Official Report, column 529. The Lord Chancellor's proposals are set out in a consultation paper, copies of which have been placed in the Library.
Mr. Boateng : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many Queen's counsel refused the offer of appointment to (a) the High Court bench and (b) the circuit bench in (i) 1970, (ii) 1980 and (iii) in each of the last five years.
The numbers of Queen's counsel who have declined an offer to recommend their names to Her Majesty The Queen for immediate appointment to the High Court Bench and, on the basis of the information readily available, to the circuit bench in each of the last five years are as follows.
|High Court |Circuit bench -------------------------------------------------------- 1989-90 |- |- 1990-91 |- |1 1991-92 |1 |- 1992-93 |6 |- 1993-94 |2 |1
Ms Lynne : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department on what occasions since April 1992 Ministers from his Department have (a) requested Parliamentary Counsel to assist in preparing amendments to private Members' Bills on behalf of other private Members and (b) authorised officials to instruct Parliamentary Counsel to prepare amendments which were subsequently passed to private Members.
Mr. John M. Taylor : Parliamentary Counsel does not draft on behalf of private Members but on the instructions of Departments acting on the authority of Ministers. Since April 1992 neither the Lord Chancellor nor I have authorised officials to instruct Parliamentary Counsel to prepare amendments to private Members' Bills which were subsequently passed to private Members.
Mr. Boateng : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what (a) compulsory and (b) optional training for judges in the area of cases involving sex offences has been provided by the Judicial Studies Board since July 1993.
Mr. John M. Taylor : Once every five years, all judges attend Crown court refresher seminars run by the Judicial Studies Board. Some of the sessions in the seminars are devoted to the study of sex offences. In addition, judges who hear family cases attend a special residential seminar once a year. Since July 1993 there have been four Crown court refresher seminars and one special family seminar.
Name ---------------------------------------------------------------- Sir Brian Dillon |30 September 1982 Sir Brian Neill |11 January 1985 Sir Martin Nourse |3 June 1985 Sir Iain Glidewell |3 June 1985 Sir John Balcombe |11 June 1985 Sir Patrick Russell |12 January 1987 Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss |11 January 1988 Sir Murray Stuart-Smith |13 January 1988 Sir Christopher Staughton |13 January 1988 Sir Michael Mann |13 January 1988 Sir Donald Farquharson |12 June 1989 Sir Anthony McCowan |3 October 1989 Sir Roy Beldam |3 October 1989 Sir Andrew Leggatt |30 January 1990 Sir Richard Scott |1 October 1991 Sir Johan Steyn |10 January 1992 Sir Paul Kennedy |25 June 1992 Sir David Hirst |1 October 1992 Sir Simon Brown |1 October 1992 Sir Anthony Evans |1 October 1992 Sir Christopher Rose |1 October 1992 Sir Leonard Hoffman |1 October 1992 Sir John Waite |11 January 1993 Sir John Roch |11 January 1993 Sir Peter Gibson |23 March 1993 Sir John Hobhouse |1 October 1993 Sir Denis Henry |1 October 1993 Sir Mark Saville |11 January 1994 Sir Peter Millett |12 April 1994
Dr. Marek : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what is the present number of civil servants taking legal action against his Department as a result of work-related upper limb disorders.
Mr. Boateng : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what plans he has to publish the first results of the fundamental review of expenditure on the courts and legal services.
Mr. John M. Taylor : The fundamental review team will make its first report to the Lord Chancellor at the end of June 1994. It will not be published. Any change in policy resulting from the review will be announced in the usual way.
Mr. Boateng : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what research his Department has done into the effectiveness of the Bar Council's decision in October 1991 to set a quota of two representatives of the ethnic minorities in each set of chambers ; what percentage of chambers in (a) London and (b) the provinces have so far achieved this target ; and what plans he has to assist the Bar Council in increasing these percentages.
Mr. John M. Taylor : The Lord Chancellor's Department has not undertaken any research into the effectiveness of the Bar Council's race equality policy, adopted in October 1991, which anticipated that at least 5 per cent. of all chambers' membership would be barristers from ethnic minorities. This is a matter for the Bar Council.
Mr. Alton : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what is the estimated cost so far to the Legal Aid Board of franchising, including the full cost of recruiting and training quality auditors ; and what are the expected costs for the financial year 1994-95.
Mr. John M. Taylor : The cost of franchising to the Legal Aid Board in the years prior to 1993-94 is not available. At that time, the cost was relatively small and consisted largely of the time of senior officials at the board developing the policy behind franchising. In 1993-94 the board began to recruit and train staff for the implementation of franchising. The cost of franchising to the board in 1993-94 was £3.4 million. For 1994 -95 expenditure of £3.9 million has been budgeted.
Mrs. Roche : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what research he has commissioned in to the possibility of domestic violence cases being heard by family panels ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. John M. Taylor : No such research has been commissioned. Some domestic violence cases are currently heard by family proceedings courts. The Lord Chancellor has given detailed consideration to the Law Commission's report on civil remedies for domestic violence and the most appropriate venue for such cases to be heard has formed an important part of that consideration.