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Laeken Summit

Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if she will make a statement on her policy towards paragraph 43 of the Laeken conclusions, on a European network for training magistrates. [39644]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Council document referred to was a discussion document prepared by the Belgian presidency in November 2001. It has been superseded by the presidency conclusions of the European Council in Laeken held on 14 and 15 December 2001.

The European judicial training network (EJTN) is a network of the national institutions responsible for judicial training in the member states of the European Union, set up by the institutions themselves. The Judicial Studies

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Board (which has responsibility for the training of judges in England and Wales) has been a member since its establishment in October 2000.

The Laeken conclusions refer to a proposal made by the French Government in December 2000 to put the network on a legal footing, enabling it to receive financial and administrative support from the European Commission. No discussions of this proposal are scheduled at present.

Private Offices

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what the running costs were of (a) her Ministers' private offices, separately identifying expenditure on staff and (b) her Department in each year from May 1997 to the nearest date for which the information is available. [40978]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Expenditure on running costs for Ministers' private offices at the Lord Chancellor's Department, and for the whole Department over the periods requested is set out in the table.

Total admin. expenditure—cash £000

Ministers' private officesLord Chancellor's Department
January 2001–021,292395,541

(28) Data not readily available without disproportionate cost

Gravesend County Court

Mr. Pond: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many fee exemptions and remissions were issued by Gravesend county court in each six-month period beginning from January 1999. [41795]

Mr. Wills: Figures concerning the numbers of applications for fee exemption and remission are collected as a single figure and are provided in the table.

Applications for fee exemption/remission made at Gravesend County Court during the selected periods during

PeriodNumber of applications
January-June 199946
July-December 199991
January-June 200064
July-December 200070
January-June 200189
July-December 200191