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Mr. Dismore: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many (a) High Court judges, (b) circuit judges, (c) recorders or assistant recorders, (d) district judges (including family division) and (e) deputy district judges (including family division),

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have been appointed in each of the last six years; and how many were (i) solicitors or former solicitors, (ii) women and (iii) people from ethnic minorities. [135127]

Mr. Lock [holding answer 31 October 2000]: The first table gives the requested breakdown for appointments to each level of judge requested for the last three financial years, and for the principal categories from April 1 this year. Another table provides the figures which are readily available for appointments in the calendar years 1994, 1995 and 1996. A further table gives statistics for all professional judicial appointments through the main open competitions in 1999-2000, and shows that of those appointments, 47 per cent. were solicitors, 27 per cent. women and 4 per cent. from ethnic minorities.

Appointments in the last three financial years

TotalSolicitorsWomenEthnic minority
High Court Judges9000
Circuit Judges(18)34360
Assistant Recorders(19)9312204
District Judges(18),(20)373681
Deputy District Judges(20)6357202
High Court Judges7000
Circuit Judges(18)15121
Assistant Recorders15010224
District Judges(18),(20)433983
Deputy District Judges(20)10086321
High Court Judges8030
Circuit Judges(18)31830
Assistant Recorders(19)1139216
District Judges(18),(20)2724101
Deputy District Judges(20)125102392

(18) The figures for Circuit Judges and District Judges are for those who were approved for appointment, although they did not take up their appointments until the following year

(19) Appointments in the full competition completed in the year concerned (which usually spans two financial years) rather than the appointments made in that financial year which would be from parts of two competitions

(20) Including Family Division

Appointments 1 April 2000 to 31 October 2000

TotalSolicitorsWomenEthnic minority
High Court Judges11100
Circuit Judges(21)8620
District Judges(21),(22)3200

(21) Candidates who were interviewed in the competitions in 1999-2000, were originally on the reserve list, and were subsequently appointed. The total figures for those who have taken up post since 1 April 2000 are, therefore, the figures in table 1 plus those in table 2.

(22) Including Family Division

Appointments in the calendar years shown

TotalSolicitorsWomenEthnic minority
High Court Judges(23)8010
Circuit Judges35420
Assistant Recorders(24)501363
District Judges(24),(25)3128100
Deputy District Judges(24),(25)201740
High Court Judges12010
Circuit Judges481641
Assistant Recorders(24)58991
District Judges(24),(25)313040
Deputy District Judges(24),(25)6356164
High Court Judges9000
Circuit Judges45510
Assistant Recorders(24)9816172
District Judges(24),(25)242230
Deputy District Judges(24),(25)7600

(23) The figures of six High Court Judges appointed in 1994 which was given in answer to a written question on 9 February 1999 was incorrect

(24) These figures are those that are the most readily available from existing records but may not be wholly comprehensive because of changes in recording procedures

(25) Including Family Division

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Total appointments through the main judicial appointments competitions in 1999-2000

Ethnic minority194.2
Not known276
Barrister (not QC)17238
Solicitor (not QC)21146.6

(26) If appointments to the Appeals Service are included, the proportion of women appointed in 1999-2000 was 33.4 per cent.


British-Irish Council

Mr. Geraint Davies: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what progress has been made during the summer in relation to the British-Irish Council. [135617]

Marjorie Mowlam: Over the summer, the participants in the British-Irish Council have been taking forward in a number of the areas identified as priorities at the first BIC summit meeting last December. The second BIC summit was due to take place in Dublin on Wednesday 18 October, hosted by the Irish Government. Regrettably, the summit had to be postponed following the death of the right hon. Donald Dewar MP MSP, First Minister of the Scottish Executive. Action is in hand to identify a new date for the summit.

Civil Servants (Stakeholder Pensions)

Mrs. Lait: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what plans she has to offer stakeholder pensions to (a) new civil servants, (b) existing civil servants and (c) staff of executive agencies. [134376]

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Mr. Stringer: As required under the legislation, from October 2001, designated stakeholder pension arrangements will be made available to all civil servants who cannot be covered by the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme (PCSPS). Civil service stakeholder pension arrangements will also be made available to civil servants who are covered by the PCSPS but who earn less than £30,000 a year, and who wish to top up their PCSPS benefits.

These arrangements will be for (a) new civil servants, (b) existing civil servants, and (c) staff of executive agencies while they are employed within the civil service.

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Departmental Websites

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what assessment she has made of the advantages and disadvantages of establishing chat rooms on departmental websites. [136925]

Mr. Ian McCartney: My Department has issued guidelines for Government websites. In paragraph 3.7 of this document there is a summary of the advantages and disadvantages of chat rooms. These guidelines are available on the web at websites/websites.htm.

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