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Ms Rosie Winterton: The Lord Chancellor appoints to judicial office exclusively on merit. The number of people from ethnic minorities holding judicial office substantially reflects the number of ethnic minority practitioners in the legal profession with the appropriate period of experience, which is usually not less than 20 years.
The Lord Chancellor has already introduced a number of initiatives to encourage greater numbers to apply for judicial office and to secure equality of opportunity in the appointments process. For example, he has made information about the appointments procedures widely available, particularly through his website and the publication of the Judicial Appointments Annual Report; he applies the procedures flexibly in relation to age and sitting arrangements; he has introduced a work shadowing scheme which has proved to be very successful; he has reviewed the detailed criteria for appointment against which assessments of suitability are made; he is piloting a scheme to encourage applications from those who may think that their career progress to date understates their
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judicial potential; and has appointed a Commissioner for Judicial Appointments to audit and make recommendations about the appointments procedures and handle complaints.
Preparatory work for a pilot assessment centre is under way with a view to running the pilot later this year. A video about the appointments process will be produced soon. These efforts will continue and be developed with a view to increasing the numbers from ethnic minorities who apply for and are appointed to judicial office.
Mr. Edward Davey: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if she will publish the tender specification prepared by the Public Record Office for contracting process for the design and build of the website for the 1901 Census online; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The online service for the 1901 Census is available at the Family Records Centre in Islington, at the Kew site of the Public Record Office, and at a number of local public library and archive services. The website was temporarily closed to general internet access on 7 January 2002 so that enhancements could be introduced. General internet access will be re-introduced gradually as these enhancements are achieved.
Mr. Edward Davey: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what consultations took place between QinetiQ and professional genealogists in the process of designing and building the website for the 1901 Census. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: In order to take full account of user views in the development of the 1901 Census website, the Public Record Office set up an Advisory Panel, which comprised professional genealogists and representatives of the main user groups, as well as staff from QinetiQ Ltd. The panel provided valuable feedback both on the pilot project relating to the 1891 Census for the county of Norfolk, which ran from May to the end of July 2001, and in the run-up to the launch of the 1901 online service.
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genealogists in the preparation of the tender specification for the design and build of the website for the 1901 Census. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Public Record Office consulted on a regular basis regular basis with professional genealogists and other family history user groups as it prepared the tender specification. The final specification incorporated suggestions from these groups.
Mr. Edward Davey: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what representations the Public Record Office received on the proposal for and construction of the website for the 1901 Census. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Public Record Office consulted widely about, and received many comments on, the proposal for the 1901 Census online service. An Advisory Panel, comprising all the main user groups, met on 10 occasions and provided valuable feedback on the online pilot project relating to the 1891 Census for the County of Norfolk, concerning which over 2,000 responses were received. Many of these suggestions were incorporated into the final design for the 1901 Census online service. PRO staff also attended numerous family history fairs in the UK to seek the views of family historians.
Mr. Lilley: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department in how many cases referred by magistrates to the Crown court for sentencing the defendant had pleaded (a) guilty and (b) not guilty in the latest year for which figures are available. 
Mr. Wills: In 2000, the latest year for which figures are available, the Crown court disposed of 28,713 cases referred from magistrates courts for sentencing. Figures are not available on how the defendant had pleaded in these cases. However information collected in the magistrates courts Time Intervals Survey shows that 87 per cent. of defendants committed to the Crown court for sentencing in 2000 had pleaded guilty and 13 per cent. had pleaded not guilty.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what plans she has to review the procedures for the application of legal aid with particular reference to the costs and benefits of a likely prosecution in order to avoid the possibility of any later withdrawal of a certificate. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: We have no plans to review the cost benefit criteria for public funding in civil cases, to which I understand the question refers. Funding is available subject to satisfying the financial conditions for funding and a funding assessment under the funding code. The funding assessment (or merits test) that has to be passed before funding can be granted already includes an assessment of the case's cost-benefit ratio. That is the applicant's own case; the merits of his or her opponent's case cannot be taken into account. However, it is inevitable that cost-benefit will change in some cases as matters develop, and an applicant's case needs to satisfy the funding assessment at all stages for funding to be retained. It would be impossible to devise a test that
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Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many individuals in receipt of state benefits or state retirement pensions have had their benefits or pensions withheld as a result of them being in hospital in each of the last four years. 
Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what the status is of the targets for reducing the consumption of class A drugs, as set out in the 10-year plan for tackling drugs misuse; what plans he has to change the targets; and if he will make a statement; 
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