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3 Apr 2003 : Column 873W—continued


Voting Rights

Lembit Öpik: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what discussions the Lord Chancellor has had with the Minister for Finance, Local Government and Communities in the Welsh Assembly Government on the introduction of votes for 16-year olds; and if he will make a statement. [106205]

Yvette Cooper: None. However, the Government welcomes the current review of voting age by the independent Electoral Commission, which will include a public consultation paper to be issued widely this summer. The Government will give serious and careful consideration to any recommendations arising from the review.

Child Contact Orders

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many orders for child contact are extant in relation to persons under the age of 18; and how many orders were made in each of the last three years for which information is available. [105579]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The information requested about the numbers of extant child contacts orders relating to persons under the age of 18 could be provided only at disproportionate cost. However, the numbers of child contact orders granted during the last three years are as follows:

2001 55,030

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Committee Members

Keith Vaz: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department, if he will list the members of the (a) Advisory Committee on Justices of the Peace, (b) Advisory Committees on General Commissioners of Income Tax, (c) Civil Procedure Rule Committee, (d) Advisory Committee on Legal Education and Conduct, (e) Judicial Studies Board and (f) Council on Tribunals. [106123]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The members are listed in a table which has been placed in the Library.

Conditional Fee Agreements

Mr. Kidney: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what research her Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated into the effect of conditional fee agreements on legal services, with particular reference to access to justice. [106198]

Ms Rosie Winterton: My Department has a comprehensive research programme into the impact of CFAs. The first report was published in July 2002 on the "The impact of conditional fees on the selection, handling and outcomes of personal injury cases" by Paul Fenn, Alistair Gray, Neil Rickman and Howard Carrier. This study analysed cases that closed prior to the introduction of the April 2000 Access Justice Reforms and produced baseline data for assessing the effects of changes in recoverability rules and for charting developments in the mechanisms being used to fund personal injury claims.

My Department recently commissioned further research that will consider the effects of making success fees and after-the-event insurance premiums recoverable. The study will also consider the handling of clinical negligence cases and investigate the role being played by funding mechanisms in these cases and review experience in relation to funding mechanisms in other European jurisdictions.

The research has started and is due to be completed in the summer of 2004.


Mr. Kaufman: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department when the Lord Chancellor intends to reply to the letter to him dated 20 February from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Mr. Ajmal Ali. [106180]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The letter to my right hon. Friend concerning his constituent, Mr Ali, was signed by my right hon. Friend the Lord Chancellor on Monday 31 March and sent the same day.