|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Allen: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many personnel are employed by the Department to explain the operation of the criminal justice system to the public. 
Ms Harman: As at 1 April 2005 the Department for Constitutional Affairs employed a total of 15,173 staff working in criminal justice related roles. Of these 12,243 are in the magistrates courts, 2,673 in the Crown court (including those in combined courts); and 115 in the Criminal Appeals Office. Her Majesty's' Courts Service, an executive agency of the Department for Constitutional Affairs, also employs 142 staff in central roles relating to Criminal Justice.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs (1) what concerns the European Commission has formally expressed in relation to the definition of personal data as defined in the Data Protection Act 1998; and if she will make a statement on the implementation of the definition of personal data in Directive 95/46/EC; 
(3) whether she will list the concerns that the European Commission has formally expressed in relation to the provisions in the Data Protection Act 1998 which pertain to the transfer of personal data outside the European economic area, and if she will make a statement on the implementation of articles 25 and 26 of Directive 95/46/EC through the Data Protection Act 1998. 
Bridget Prentice: The European Commission, as part of its review of the implementation of the 1995 Data Protection Directive by each member state, have raised a number of issues with the UK. We are in discussion with the Commission about these issues. We currently have no plans to disclose the detail of those discussions as the formal Commission investigation process is still taking place. If the Government were to disclose the information requested, it would prejudice the negotiating process between the UK and the Commission and so prejudice UK interests. We believe that the UK has properly implemented the Data Protection Directive via the Data Protection Act 1998 and other relevant provisions of UK law.
Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what recent consultations have been carried out by her Department with representatives of faith communities; and if she will make a statement. 
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what the average time between death and inquest in the jurisdiction of the Belfast Coroner was in each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement. 
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many laptop computers have been used by (a) Ministers, (b) special advisers and (c) officials in her Department in each year since 1995; how many have been (i) lost and(ii) stolen in that period; what the cost was of the useof laptops in that period; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Harman: For my Department, information on the number and cost of laptops is available from 1999. Ministers and special advisers have been supplied with laptops since 2003. Information on lost and stolen laptops is available from 1995.
|(a) Ministers' laptops||(b) Special advisers' laptops|
Number of laptops
|Cost of the use of laptops for the calendar year (£)|
|(i) Number of laptops lost||(ii) Number of laptops stolen|
Keith Vaz: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what steps the Legal Services Commission are taking to ensure that black and minority ethnic firms are treated fairly in the distribution of legal aid contracts. 
Bridget Prentice: The Legal Services Commission (LSC) is strongly committed to promoting race equality and eliminating discrimination on the basis of race. Under the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000, the LSC has a statutory obligation to monitor and assess the impact of policies relating to the distribution of legal aid contracts upon different racial groups.
The LSC monitors the diversity of suppliers contracted to provide legal advice and services via an annual survey conducted by the Legal Services Research Centre (LSRC). Results are published on the LSRC website. The findings of these monitoring activities help inform and influence policy-making.
Race equality impact assessments are carried out for any proposal to amend the way in which legal aid contracts are awarded. The LSC consults on race equality impact assessments and encourages BME firms and their representative organisations to respond to consultations.
Mr. Allen: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs if she will make it her policy (a) to collect data on the socio-economic class of magistrates and (b) to track and publish changes in the composition of the magistracy. 
Ms Harman: The Department currently collects data on magistrates grouping them by gender, ethnicity, age, geographical spread, and occupational and industrial categories. There are no plans to change this. The composition of the magistracy is tracked in the groupings stated. Details of age, gender and ethnic background are published annually in Judicial Appointments.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|