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19 May 2004 : Column 1081W—continued


Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development when he next plans to visit Yemen. [173779R]

Hilary Benn: I have no plans at present to visit Yemen. I will consider a visit when the DFID programme there is further developed.



Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many magistrates are aged (a) 25 to 30, (b) 30 to 40, (c) 40 to 50, (d) 50 to 60, (e) 60 to 65 and (f) 65 to 70 in (i) Lancashire and (ii) Chorley magistrates' courts, broken down by sex. [173768]

Mr. Alexander: At 31 March 2004 the available figures show that there were 616 men and 526 women serving as Active Magistrates in the Lancashire Commission Area. Of this number, the Chorley Bench comprises of 37 men and 36 women. These statistics are broken down into age categories as shown in the following table.
Under 300012

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Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office who is responsible for selecting new magistrates in Lancashire; and what process is used. [173769]

Mr. Alexander: As Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancashire, I have the responsibility for the appointment of magistrates in Lancashire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside.

In the Lancashire area, I am aided by the Lancashire Advisory Committee and its five Sub-Committees, who interview and then recommend to me those found suitable for appointment as magistrates. These Sub-Committees generally comprise of six magistrate members and three individuals who are not magistrates.

Throughout the selection process, the Advisory Committees adhere to the guidance set out in the Directions for Advisory Committees. The guidance offered in these Directions is identical to that issued by the Lord Chancellor to his Advisory Committees in the remainder of England and Wales.

Generally, candidates must demonstrate six key qualities to be found suitable for appointment:

These qualities are tested during a two-stage interview process by a panel of a Committee or Sub-Committee comprising of two magistrate and one non-magistrate members.

Departmental Annual Report

Norman Lamb: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how much the production of the Cabinet Office's latest annual report cost; how many copies were printed; how many copies of it were sold at its cover price; to whom copies of the report have been provided free of charge; and how many copies were provided free of charge. [171142]

Mr. Alexander: The Stationery Office Ltd. (TSO) produced the latest Cabinet Office Departmental Report (Cm 6226) . TSO determines the number of copies printed for retail sale and meets the costs of printing and publication. TSO does not charge these costs to departments. Since its publication on 28 April, TSO has sold 306 copies of the 2004 Cabinet Office Departmental Report and has provided the Cabinet Office with 150 copies. The cost to the Cabinet Office is £5,905, covering the design, typesetting, production and printing of this year's Report, as well as for the 150 copies received. The Cabinet Office copies were mainly distributed within the Department and to some other Government Departments. The Report can be
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downloaded free of charge from the Cabinet Office website at

Emergency Communications Network

Patrick Mercer: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how much has been spent in each of the last three years on maintaining and utilising the Emergency Communications Network. [172749]

Mr. Alexander: In each of the last three years the Emergency Communications Network budget has been £5.2 million. This sum is accounted for in the costs of system maintenance, provision of private line connections and location moves required by the users.



Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make it his policy to ensure that any new plan for the Cyprus problem will not impose a financial burden on the Greek Cypriots that they find unacceptable. [174137]

Mr. MacShane: The Government, EU, UN and international donor community have worked hard to ensure that fears of financial insecurity may not reasonably be adduced as grounds for opposing a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus problem.

At the European Commission's international donors' conference for Cyprus on 15 April 2004, the international community and the international financial institutions signalled their strong support for the UN Secretary-General's plan. The IMF explained that much of its advice on fiscal and other economic matters had been reflected in the plan, which it would help the parties implement with technical assistance, and—if necessary—balance of payments support. The IMF's considered view was that the Annan Plan was "economically and financially viable", and would deliver a higher rate of growth for the United Cyprus Republic than was likely to be achieved under the status quo. The World Bank also signalled its intention to support implementation of the plan, including to help address income disparities. The EIB and the Council of Europe Development Bank supported this analysis. Representatives from many countries, with the UK to the fore, made financial and political commitments to support the UNSG's proposals.

European Convention on Human Rights

Sir Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the implications of the Loizidou case, concerning Turkey's acts in Northern Cyprus, in relation to the applicability of the European Convention on Human Rights to the actions of UK personnel in Iraq. [171556]

Mr. Straw [holding answer 17 May 2004]: The applicability of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) to the actions of UK personnel in Iraq is a matter which is in issue in the current cases before
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the High Court brought by the families of 13 Iraqi civilians. The Government's position in those cases is that ECHR rights have no application in Iraq. The citizens of Cyprus, prior to invasion by Turkey, were the beneficiaries of rights under the ECHR, by virtue of Cyprus' membership of the Council of Europe. The decision of the European Court of Human Rights in Loizidou was to the effect that they did not lose those rights when Turkey assumed sole effective control of part of the territory of Cyprus. The position in Iraq, of course, is critically different. The citizens of Iraq had no rights at all under the ECHR prior to military action by the coalition forces; furthermore, the UK does not exercise the same degree of control over Iraq as existed in relation to the Turkish occupation of northern Cyprus.


Andy King: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Indonesian authorities concerning the recent resurgence of violence in Ambon, with particular reference to (a) the steps needed to stop the violence, (b) the need for the security forces to act in an impartial and professional manner and (c) the process by which the perpetrators of the violence will be brought to justice. [173760]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: We have consistently made clear to the Indonesian authorities our view that long-term solutions to regional conflicts can only be achieved through negotiation and consultation. While we have not made any representations to the Indonesian Government about the recent violence in Ambon, our embassy has kept in close contact with the UN and NGOs in Ambon and is continuing to monitor the situation there. On 29 April the Acting Coordinating Minister for Politics and Security, Hari Sabarno, visited Ambon with the National Police Chief, Da'i Bachtiar and agreed to increase security personnel there in order to restore order. Additional personnel have since arrived in Ambon.

We fully support the Malino Peace Agreement for Sulawesi and Maluku, which brought an end to large-scale inter-communal violence.

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