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Departmental Reviews

Mr. Allan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list, for each of the last four years, all departmental inquiries and reviews instigated by ministers which have been chaired by

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individuals outside his Department; and in each case if he will give the date of establishment and the name of the chairman. [46832]

Mr. Fatchett: I list in the table those inquiries and reviews set up by Ministers in the last four years and chaired by someone from outside Government. The list excludes advisory committees established to provide on-going advice (such as those advisory Non- Departmental Public Bodies listed in "Public Bodies 1997") and inquiries set up routinely in pursuance of responsibilities under statutory requirement.

Review of Overseas Allowances26 January 1996Sir Derek Hornby
Sierra Leone arms investigation18 May 1998Sir Thomas Legg


Mr. McNulty: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the persecution of Christians in Pakistan. [46920]

Mr. Fatchett: Although the rights of religious minorities are protected by Pakistan's Constitution, there are reports of abuses against minorities by groups and individuals, and concerns about the implementation of the blasphemy laws.

Our High Commission in Islamabad led an EU demarche to the Pakistan authorities on 14 May about the situation of religious minorities. We made clear the EU's concern about the death penalty imposed on Ayub Masih, a Christian, for blasphemy, and the negative effect such cases can have on inter-faith relations in Pakistan.

Departmental Cash Limits

Mr. Woolas: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what changes he proposes to make in his Department's cash limits and running costs limits for 1998-99. [47551]

Mr. Fatchett: Subject to Parliamentary approval of the necessary Revised Estimate, the cash limit for Class II, Vote 1 (Overseas Representation) will be reduced by £2,261,000 from £590,265,000 to £588,004,000. This reduction takes account of transfers of responsibility to the newly established Department for International Development (Class III, Vote 1). It also reflects the movement of the Wilton Park executive agency from a net running cost regime to a gross running cost regime. This does not change the overall cash limit.

The gross running costs limit on Class II, Vote 1 will be reduced by £509,000 from £511,044,000 to £510,535,000.

The changes will not add to the planned total of public expenditure.

International Criminal Court

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on Her Majesty's Government's policy towards

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the creation of the International Criminal Court, indicating those areas of jurisdiction for such a Court which it is the policy of Her Majesty's Government to support. [45780]

Mr. Tony Lloyd: We continue to support the establishment of an effective International Criminal Court, and will do all we can to ensure a successful outcome to the Diplomatic Conference which is currently taking place in Rome. In my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Nuneaton (Mr. Olner) of 24 February 1998, Official Report, column 191, I drew attention to a paper on Government policy towards the proposed Court which we had placed in the Libraries of the House. My noble Friend Lord Whitty also made a detailed statement of our policy on the Court in a debate in another place on 11 June 1998, Official Report, House of Lords, columns 947-62. We believe that the Court should have jurisdiction over genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. We also believe that the Court should have jurisdiction over the crime of aggression where the UN Security Council has determined that an act of aggression has taken place, and provided that the crime is properly defined in the Statute.

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is Her Majesty's Government's policy on the appointment of an international prosecutor to investigate independently crime within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court in circumstances where (a) the UN Security Council and (b) individual members of the national Government have not given their consent. [45781]

Mr. Tony Lloyd: We have reserved our position on whether the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court should have the power to initiate investigations on his or her own authority in circumstances in which a situation has not been referred either by the UN Security Council or by a State Party to the Court. Irrespective of how an investigation is initiated, however, we believe that the Prosecutor should be independent of Governments in the conduct of his investigations. The consent of the State where an alleged crime had taken place should not be required before an investigation or prosecution in respect of that crime can take place, if that State is a Party to the Treaty establishing the Court. Nor should the approval of the Security Council be necessary for an investigation or a prosecution to take place.


Dr. Marek: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what proposals he has for the granting of full civil rights to inhabitants of the sovereign bases in Cyprus. [45818]

Dr. Reid: I have been asked to reply.

There are no plans to change the arrangements for the administration of the Sovereign Base Areas.

The Sovereign Base Areas are administered in accordance with the "Declaration by Her Majesty's Government regarding the Administration of the Sovereign Base Areas", included as Appendix O to Command 1093, in which HMG published the Treaty of

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Establishment and other documents concerning the 1960 Cyprus settlement. In accordance with Appendix O, the "main objects to be achieved" in the administration of the Areas are:

    2. Full cooperation with the Republic of Cyprus.

    3. Protection of the interest of those resident in the Sovereign Base Areas.

Appendix O makes provision for freedom of access and communications to and through the Sovereign Base Areas; freedom of employment and cultivation in the Sovereign Base Areas; full protection of the rights of Cypriots (and others resident in the Republic) and Cypriot communities and corporations in regard to property; arrangements for legal proceedings concerning civil rights and obligations in which all parties are Cypriots to take place in the Courts of the Republic; and for the enforcement within the Sovereign Base Areas of the judgments and orders of such Courts in such proceedings.

Dr. Marek: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what arrests have been made of civilians in the sovereign bases in Cyprus in the last year; and if he will make a statement. [45819]

Dr. Reid: I have been asked to reply.

The Sovereign Base Areas are a British Overseas Territory of 98 square miles on the island of Cyprus and operate under British civil law. The laws of the Sovereign Base Areas are as far as possible the same as the laws of the Republic of Cyprus. SBA laws are enforced by the SBA Police, a civilian force comprising mainly of Cypriot officers. The Areas have their own properly constituted civilian court, with an independent civil judiciary.

Some seven thousand Cypriot civilians live in the Areas, and many other civilians travel through them by road, especially during the summer tourist season.

In the year to 31 March 1998, the number of arrests of civilians in the Sovereign Base Areas was 236.


Schools (Capital Works)

Mr. Walker: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland which schools are under consideration for major capital works; what the estimated cost is of each project; on what dates the Department of Education recognised that each school satisfied categories 1, 2 or 3 of the school capital priorities schedule or equivalent; and on what dates her Department approved in principle the appointment of an architect to put in place a suitable scheme. [46282]

Mr. Worthington: There are over 200 major works projects in the Schools Capital Priorities Planning List and I will write to the hon. Member giving details of these schemes. Estimated costs are not available for many of the schemes which are at a very early stage of planning or where planning has been suspended.

There are 125 projects in priority Categories 1, 2 and 3. All projects in these categories have received approval to take forward detailed planning. Information is not

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readily available about the dates each project entered the Planning List or when approval was given to the appointment of consultant architects in each case, and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

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