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Queen's Counsel

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department (1) in each of the last 10 years, how many Queen's Counsel there were, broken down by (a) regional circuit and (b) field of practice; [137332]

Mr. Lock: The information requested on the number of Queen's Counsel appointed is set out in the table:

Year Total in silkNumber appointed each year

Information relating to the number of Queen's Counsel in practice was provided by the General Council of the Bar. They are unable to provide details regarding the Circuit or the field of practice of Queen's Counsel.

The information regarding Queen's Counsel appointed in the last five years by a) circuit and b) field of practice is listed below. Information before 1996 is not available.

Queen's Counsel appointed by circuit and field of practice

Midland and Oxford51554
North Eastern44345
Wales and Chester2--144
Practice types
Administrative and Public Law--326
Banking and Financial Services11--21
Commercial and Admiralty610665
Common Law1111976
Employment and Industrial Relations--3115
European and International Law--415--
Human Rights--------1
Intellectual Property333--1
Landlord and Tenant--2----2
Parliament Planning and Local Government21--14
Technology and Construction24123

13 Nov 2000 : Column: 546W

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department which specialist Bar (a) groups and (b) associations he consults over the appointment of Queen's Counsel. [137342]

Mr. Lock: My noble and learned Friend the Lord Chancellor consults the following Bar and solicitors' associations during the consultation process for the appointment of Queen's Counsel:

Bar Associations
Administrative Law Bar Association
Chancery Bar Association
Commercial Bar Association
London Common Law and Commercial Bar Association
Criminal Bar Association
Employment Law Bar Association
Family Law Bar Association
Intellectual Property Bar Association
Local Government and Planning and Environmental Law Bar Association
Technology and Construction Bar Association
Parliamentary Bar Mess
Personal Injury Bar Association
Professional Negligence Bar Association
Revenue Bar Association
Bar Race Relations Committee
Bar Sex Discrimination Committee
Specialist Solicitors Associations
Law Society Equal Opportunities Committee
Admiralty Solicitors Group
Association of Personal Injury Lawyers
Association of Pension Lawyers
Commerce and Industry Group
Criminal Law Solicitors Association
Educational Law Association
Employment Lawyers Association
Housing Law Practitioners Association
Insolvency Lawyers Association
Intellectual Property Lawyers Association
Legal Aid Practitioners Group
London Maritime Arbitrators Association
Local Government Group
London Criminal Courts Solicitors Association
London Solicitors Litigation Association
Technology and Construction Solicitors Association
Solicitors Association of High Court Advocates
Solicitors European Group
Solicitors Family Law Association.

13 Nov 2000 : Column: 547W

Barristers and Solicitors

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department in each of the last 10 years, how many (a) barristers qualified to practise in court and (b) solicitors there were. [137341]

Mr. Lock: My Department does not record the information requested but has obtained it from the Bar Council and the Law Society. The number of (a) barristers, who may practise in all courts, and (b) solicitors, who may practise in the lower courts, and (c) the number of solicitors with rights of audience in the higher courts, in each of the last 10 years, is as follows:

Barristers in independent practice Solicitors holding practising certificatesSolicitors granted rights of audience in the higher courts each of the years specified


The figures for solicitors with higher rights of audience (column c) relate to the number granted rights in each year. The figures are not cumulative as in the preceding columns.

Magistrates Courts Committees

Mr. Gill: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what funding his Department provides for magistrates courts committees. [137571]

Jane Kennedy: The Lord Chancellor's Department provides separate grants for revenue and capital (buildings and IT) to local authorities for magistrates courts costs.

Revenue grant is paid at 80 per cent. of expenditure, with the remaining 20 per cent. met by local authorities. In 1999-2000 £329.2 million of grant was provided.

Capital grant is paid at 80 per cent. of the costs of the scheme or item, with the remainder met by local authorities. In 1999-2000, £26.4 million was paid (£16 million for buildings and £10.4 million for IT).

Court Houses (Human Rights Act)

Mr. Gill: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what additional funding he proposes to make available to magistrates courts committees to enable them to make court houses compliant with the provision of the Human Rights Act 1998. [137570]

13 Nov 2000 : Column: 548W

Jane Kennedy: The Department makes capital resources available for work on court houses and it is open to magistrates courts committees and their paying authorities to apply for such funding in order to make court houses compliant with the Human Rights Act 1998.

Mr. Gill: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what representations he has received from magistrates courts committees regarding the impact of the Human Rights Act 1998 upon court houses. [137569]

Jane Kennedy: We have received representations from one magistrates courts committee on the impact of the Human Rights Act upon court houses. A further 13 letters have been received from hon. Members, local authorities and solicitors. The Department has also received a number of requests for funding assistance in 2001-02 to improve facilities in court houses.


Mr. Flynn: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if the Lord Chancellor will mark next year's International Year of Volunteers by spending a day working as a volunteer. [137432]

Mr. Lock: I refer my hon. Friend to the written answer given to him today by my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary, Official Report, column 531W.

The Lord Chancellor fully supports the aims of the International Year of Volunteers. Everyone benefits from volunteering and the Prime Minister has issued a challenge to employers to give their employees paid time off to work in the community. From 1 August 2000 staff of the Lord Chancellor's Department and its executive agency, the Court Service, may take an additional day's paid leave for unspecified general voluntary work. The Lord Chancellor is himself considering possible voluntary activities during 2001.

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