|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
18 Dec 2003 : Column 1110Wcontinued
Mr. Beith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the Pitcairn Island criminal cases which are to be tried in New Zealand are expected to be heard; what discussions his Department have held with the Pitcairn (a) Chief Justice and (b) Supreme Court on this matter; and if he will list those who occupy the positions of (i) Lord Chief Justice and (ii) judges of the Pitcairn Supreme Court. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: No date has yet been fixed for the trials, and no discussions have taken place between the Governor and the Chief Justice on their timing. It would be inappropriate to do so at present since the Supreme Court is still hearing preliminary arguments.
Mr. Mike O'Brien: A memorial service was held in Istanbul this week for Roger Short, and services for all those who lost their lives will be held in Istanbul early in the new year. We are discussing separately with Mr. Short's family and the families of the other members of staff who were killed what other forms of commemoration would be appropriate.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to his answer of 8 December 2003, Official Report, column 239W, on student visas, what research he has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the reasons for the increased number of (i) applications for student visas and (ii) refusals; and if he will make a statement. 
18 Dec 2003 : Column 1111W
Mr. Mullin: The Government have not directly commissioned any research into the increase in student applications. However, the British Council, which is partly funded by the FCO, has recently carried out research on the results of the Prime Minister's Initiative for international student recruitment which was launched in June 1999. Current indications are that the increases in the number of foreign student visa applications result from the success of the PMI marketing campaign aimed at attracting foreign nationals to study in the United Kingdom.
All visa applications are assessed individually on their own merits so it is not possible to draw any general conclusions for the rise in the refusal rate. Possible factors might include the abolition of pre-assessment by UK visas (under which applicants who were unlikely to be successful were given the option to withdraw before the application was formally made) and improved methods of detecting forged documents.
Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list countries which he considers to be in breach of Article 18 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights; in which respects each country is in breach; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: We condemn instances where individuals or groups are persecuted because of their religion or belief. Where we believe a state to be in breach of its obligations in international human rights law, such as the obligation in Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to ensure the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, we take action, either alone or with our EU partners, on a case by case basis. Through our biannual Freedom of Religion Panel we work closely with NGOs and representatives of religious groups to identify countries and cases of particular concern. Our Annual Report on Human Rights highlights states which we believe to be the worst violators of the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This list is by no means exhaustive, but we do not believe that a league-table approach to human rights violations would add value to the important work already undertaken by NGOs in this field. A copy of our Annual Report on Human Rights has been placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Mike O'Brien: Yemen has never been a member of the modern Commonwealth. At their Meeting in Edinburgh in 1997, Commonwealth Heads of Government considered an application from Yemen. They agreed it would be kept under review in the light of the criteria endorsed by the Commonwealth Heads of
18 Dec 2003 : Column 1112W
Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs pursuant to his Answer of 10 December, Official Report, column 457W, on the Census (1911), what powers the Lord Chancellor has under the Public Records Act 1958 to release details from the 1911 census before 2011; and what conditions concerning confidentiality were agreed to by those who participated in this census. 
Mr. Leslie: Section 5(1) of the 1958 Public Records Act provided for the general release of records after 50 years, and this was reduced in 1967 to 30 years. This section of the Public Records Act gives the Lord Chancellor the power to vary the normal closure period in relation to specific classes of records with the approval, or at the request, of the relevant minister.
In 1966 the Lord Chancellor approved Instrument No.12, which sanctioned the closure of Decennial records for 100 years on the grounds that the information supplied by householders was given in strict confidence. The Open Government White paper (Cm 2290) of July 1993 recommended the retention of the 100 year closure period.
The conditions quoted on the 1911 Census Householder's Schedule give the following assurance of confidentiality: "The contents of the Schedule will be treated as confidential. Strict care will be taken that no information is disclosed with regard to individual persons. The returns are not to be used for proof of age, as in connection with Old Age Pensions, or for any other purpose than the preparation of Statistical Tables".
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs what steps he is taking to ensure that British data protection requirements apply to customer information used by call centres outside this country operated by (a) UK banks and (b) other UK financial institutions. 
Mr. Leslie: Where a company established in the UK either processes personal data itself in another country or has personal data processed on its behalf under contract by a company in another country, the UK company retains full responsibility for ensuring that the processing complies with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998.
Mr. Oaten: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs what (a) the total number and (b) the total value of compensation orders awarded by (i) magistrates' courts and (ii) Crown courts was in each criminal justice area in 2002. 
18 Dec 2003 : Column 1113W
The total number and the value of compensation orders made by the Crown court in each criminal justice area for 2002 is given in the following table entitled 'Compensation Orders made and total amount, by LCJB, 2002'.
In addition, attached the Home Office Criminal Statistics Publication (Table SI, 6(A)), which shows that in 2002, a total of 106,881 offenders were ordered to pay compensation at magistrates courts (excluding summary motoring offences).
|Local Criminal Justice Board||Number of compensation orders made||Total amount (£)|
|Avon and Somerset||192||221,299.70|
|Devon and Cornwall||237||387,890.73|
Figures for Dyfed Powys and North Wales LCJB's are combined in the South Wales and Cheshire LCJB figures respectively
18 Dec 2003 : Column 1114W
|Amount of compensation|
|Offence group||Total||£25 and under||£26 up to and including £50||£51 up to and including £100||£101 up to and including £150||£151 up to and including £200||£201 up to and including £250|
|Violence against the person||7,754||152||948||909||669||250||371|
|Theft and handling stolen goods||16,667||534||1,349||1,003||592||5,321||513|
|Fraud and forgery||4,110||357||292||229||198||937||185|
|Other indictable offences (excluding motoring offences)||1,044||41||95||78||59||63||28|
|Total indictable offences||38,750||1,257||3,675||3,137||2,111||7,590||1,487|
|Summary offences (excluding motoring offences)||68,131||427||4,831||3,482||1,862||26,490||1,363|
|Total all offences (excluding summary motoring offences)||106,881||1,684||8,506||6,619||3,973||34,080||2,850|
|As sole or main penalty for all offences (excluding summary motoring offences)||7,144||127||762||640||359||866||292|
|£251 up to and including £300||£301 up to and including £500||£501 up to and including £750||£751 up to and including £1,000||Over£1,000||Average comp £|
|Violence against the person||1,076||770||196||2,206||207||231|
|Theft and handling stolen goods||2,789||922||412||2,955||277||186|
|Fraud and forgery||614||358||193||602||145||349|
|Other indictable offences(excluding motoring offences)||227||68||26||336||23||253|
|Total indictable offences||6,393||2,853||1,099||8,330||818||217|
|Summary offences (excluding motoring offences)||12,164||2,134||682||14,354||342||99|
|Total all offences (excluding summary motoring offences)||18,557||4,987||1,781||22,684||1,160||142|
|As sole or main penalty for all offences (excluding summary motoring offences)||1,379||530||202||1,872||115||187|
(18) Excluding summary motoring offences
18 Dec 2003 : Column 1115W
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|