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Mr. Heald: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs if she will make a statement on the Department's plans to reform the law relating to bailiffs and the enforcement of fines. 
The collection of fines is a priority in increasing confidence in the Criminal Justice System (CJS). Progress has been made through a combination of
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legislative and non-legislative measures. The payment rate for financial impositions in 200405 was 80 per cent. compared to a baseline of 69 per cent. at the end of the first quarter of 200304.
Ms Harman: The ineffective and cracked trial rate is a CJS performance indicator. Since June 2002, the national rate has improved from 24 per cent. to 14.0 per cent. in the Crown court and by 31 per cent. to 22.1 per cent. in the magistrates courts. This represents approximately a 42 per cent. and 28 per cent. improvement in the Crown court and magistrates courts respectively
Mr. Heald: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs if she will make a statement on the Department's plans to reform provisions relating to jury research and impropriety. 
Ms Harman: My Department currently has no plans to reform provisions relating to jury research and impropriety. In January 2005 my Department published a Consultation Paper"Jury Research and Impropriety" and the relevant consultation period finished on 15 April. The responses are currently being analysed and an announcement of the Government's intentions for any change will be made in due course.
Mr. Allen: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many magistrates there are in each commission area, broken down by constituency; and what assessment she has made of trends in recruitment. 
|Advisory committee area||Total|
|Batley and Dewsbury||86|
|Hereford and Worcester||438|
|Isle of Wight||69|
|Kingston upon Hull||167|
|Newcastle upon Tyne||210|
Mr. Allen: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what assessment she has made of the proportion of magistrates from each socio-economic group in each year since 1997. 
From 1 April 2005, Her Majesty's Court Service, an executive agency of my Department, is now responsible for the administration of all magistrates' courts in England and Wales. For the last 10 years the information you requested is as follows:
Data on allegations are not collected centrally. The available information, on the number of defendants who were tried at the Crown Court for rape, the
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percentage pleading guilty and the percentage of those pleading not guilty who were convicted, in England and Wales in 2003 is contained in the table. Equivalent data for 2004 are not yet available.
|England and Wales|
|Offence||Total number tried||Percentage pleading guilty(8)||Percentage of those pleading not guilty convicted(8)|
|Rape of a female||1,603||15||28|
|Rape of a male||84||(18)||(42)|
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether (a) production and (b) testing on animals of botulinum toxin takes place at (i) Porton Down and (ii) other departmental establishments. 
However, Dstl does produce an antitoxin to the seven serotypes of botulinum toxin. This could be used to treat personnel exposed to botulinum toxin in the event of it being used as a biological weapon. This antitoxin is manufactured in accordance with current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) and has been granted a Special Licence to enable it to be administered under the direction of, and by, medical personnel in the event of an emergency. The Ministry of Defence aims to obtain a full product licence for this antitoxin. Part of the regulated production process involves the use of commercially produced botulinum toxin in an animal model to assess the efficacy of the antitoxin.
Under the UK's regulations for the approval of new medicines, an application for a product licence needs to be supported by data from animal studies showing the safety and effectiveness of the anti-toxin. All such animal tests in the UK are regulated under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986.
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