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18 Jul 2005 : Column 1299W—continued


Mr. Hancock: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs pursuant to the letter from the Immigrant Appellate Authority, to Bury Law Centre, dated 13 January, reference HX/02411/
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2003, which issues are repeatedly occurring and causing delays in determining cases; and in respect of which countries. [12416]

Bridget Prentice: The Immigration Appeals Tribunal (IAT) developed a system of country guidance cases to facilitate consistent decision making. This enabled the IAT to issue guidance cases on the circumstances and risks to certain groups in particular countries following a detailed assessment of the available country information. The IAT (and now Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (AIT)) nominates leader cases which contain issues consistently seen by Tribunal judiciary. These lead to other cases being identified as containing very similar issues to that of the leader case—known as follower cases—which are heard and determined once the leader case has been promulgated. The number of leader cases currently awaiting determination has caused some delays in listing the follower cases for hearing. There has been some further delay due to the commencement of the AIT on 4 April 2005, created by a merger of the Immigration Appellate Authority (IAA) and the IAT. The leader cases, which number approximately 100, are expected to be listed to be heard substantively in September and October of this year, and once these have been determined the follower cases, approximately 300 in number, will then be listed for hearing as soon as is practicable.

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many cases are awaiting determination by the Immigration Appellate Authority (IAA); and what the average time between the receipt by the IAA of an appeal and a final decision being made was in the last period for which figures are available. [12417]

Bridget Prentice: The latest provisional information shows that by the end of March 2005 the Immigration Appellate Authority (IAA) had the following outstanding work: 25,304 Adjudicator appeals, 5,217 applications for permission to appeal to the Immigration Appeal Tribunal (IAT) and 4,783 substantive IAT appeal hearings. On 4 April 2005 the commencement of section 26 of The Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc.) Act 2004 introduced a unified appeals system under the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (AIT). All outstanding work from the IAA and the IAT was transferred to an equivalent appeal stage within the AIT process. Provisional information indicates that, for the period 1 January 2003 to 31 March 2005, the average time between the receipt by the IAA of an appeal and a final decision being made was 25 weeks.

Magistrates Courts

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs which magistrates courts have closed since May 1997, broken down by parliamentary constituency; and what the date of each closure was. [13209]

Ms Harman: Up until 1 April 2005 magistrates courts were the responsibility of locally managed magistrates courts committees. The magistrates courts that have closed since May 1997 broken down by parliamentary constituency are set out in the following table.
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Magistrates courthouse closures from May 1997
Bromsgrove31 May 1997Bromsgrove
Ledbury31 May 1997Leominster
Hebburn5 June 1997Jarrow
South Shields (Kepple Street)5 June 1997South Shields
Chippenham (Market Place)30 June 1997North Wiltshire
Ashton under Lyne (Manchester Road)31 August 1997Ashton-Under-Lyne
Duckinsfield31 August 1997Denton and Reddish
Thorne31 August 1997Doncaster North
Pontardawe9 October 1997Neath
Braintree31 December 1997Braintree
Stokesley31 December 1997Richmond (Yorks)
Clacton on Sea31 October 1997Harwich
Bargoed31 December 1997Caerphilly
Monmouth31 December 1997Monmouth
Pontlottyn31 December 1997Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney
Pontypool31 December 1997Torfaen
Magistrates courthouse closures in 1998
Malton6 February 1998Ryedale
Marlborough Street31 March 1998Cities of London and Westminster
Bishop's Stortford31 March 1998Hertford and Stortford
Hatfield31 March 1998Welwyn Hatfield
Hitchin31 March 1998Hitchin and Harpenden
Market Rasen31 March 1998Gainsborough
Chertsey31 March 1998Runnymede and Weybridge
Farnham31 March 1998South West Surrey
Oxted31 March 1998East Surrey
Lutterworth31 July1998Harborough
Ripon1 August 1998Skipton and Ripon
Barnard Castle31 December 1998Bishop Auckland
Clerkenwell31 December 1998Islington South and Finsbury
Sheerness31 December 1998Canterbury
West Malling31 December1998Tonbridge and Malling
Lytham31 December 1998Fylde
Diss31 December 1998South Norfolk
Corwen31 December 1998Clwyd South
Felixstowe31 December 1998Suffolk Coastal
Haverhill31 December 1998West Suffolk
Saxmundham31 December 1998Suffolk Coastal
Stowmarket31 December 1998Bury St. Edmunds
Newmarket31 December 1998West Suffolk
March31 December 1998North East Cambridgeshire
Saffron Walden31 December 1998Saffron Walden
Magistrates courthouse closures in 1999
Christchurch31 March 1999Christchurch
Abingdon31 March 1999Oxford West and Abingdon
Henley on Thames31 March 1999Henley
Windsor31 March 1999Windsor
Morley31 March 1999Morley and Rothwell
Pudsey31 March 1999Pudsey
Stow on the Wold30 June 1999Stroud
Magistrates courthouse closures in 2000
Ampthill1 January 2000Mid Bedfordshire
Biggleswade1 January 2000North East Bedfordshire
Dunstable1 January 2000Mid Bedfordshire
Leighton Buzzard1 January 2000Bedfordshire South West
Lichfield31 March 2000Tamworth
Keighley1 April 2000Keighley
Keswick30 April 2000Workington
Windermere31 May 2000Westmorland and Lonsdale
Wigton31 May 2000Penrith and the Border
Appleby31 May 2000Penrith and the Border
Gravesend9 June 2000Gravesham
Wootton Bassett2 October 2000North Wiltshire
Abergele31 December 2000Clwyd West
Magistrates courthouse closures in 2001
Alfreton1 January 2001Amber Valley
Ashbourne1 January 2001West Derbyshire
Bakewell1 January 2001West Derbyshire
Matlockl January 2001West Derbyshire
Leigh31 March 2001Leigh
Middleton31 March 2001Heywood and Middleton
Leek31 March 2001Staffordshire Moorlands
Worcester31 March 2001Hereford and Worcester
Warrington Patten Hall1 April 2001Warrington South
Macclesfield Park Green1 April 2001Macclesfield
Bideford30 April 200lTorridge and West Devon
Exmouth30 April 2001East Devon
Kingsbridge30 April 2001Totnes
South Molton30 April 2001North Devon
Teignmouth30 April 2001Teignbridge
Tavistock30 April 2001Torridge and West Devon
Axminster4 May 2001East Devon
Tiverton4 May 200lTiverton and Honiton
Newquay30 June 200lNorth Cornwall
Southampton (Commercial Road)31 August 2001Southampton Itchen
Womborne1 September 2001Staffordshire South
Gillingham30 September 2001North Dorset
Bridlington9 November 200lEast Yorkshire
Brough9 November 2001Haltem
Driffield9 November 2001East Yorkshire
Hull (Guildhall)9 November 2001Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle
Hull (Lowgate)9 November 2001Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle
Pocklington9 November 2001East Yorkshire
Withernsea9 November 2001Beverley and Holderness
Arundel1 December 2001Arundel and South Downs
Magistrates courthouse closures in 2002
Bridgenorth31 January 2002Ludlow
Leominster31 January 2002Leominster
Fakenham1 May 2002North Suffolk
Tunbridge Wells2 June 2002Tunbridge Wells
Beaconsfield1 July 2002Beaconsfield
Buckingham1 July 2002Buckingham
Evesham30 November 2002Mid Worcestershire
Magistrates courthouse closures in 2003
Thame31 January 2003Henley
Droitwich21 March 2003Mid Worcestershire
Machynllech31 March 2003Meirionnydd Nant Conwy
Chester Le Street31 March 2003North Durham
Rugeley31 May 2003Cannock Chase
Lampeter9 June 2003Ceredigion
Tenby30 June 2003Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire
Camberley30 June 2003Surrey Heath
Trowbridge30 September 2003Westbury
Whitchurch3 October 2003North Shropshire
Long Sutton31 October 2003South Holland and the Deepings
Caistor31 December 2003Gainsborough
Horncastle31 December 2003Louth and Horncastle
Magistrates courthouse closures in 2004
Richmond31 March 2004Richmond (Yorks)
Stourbridge23 June 2004Stourbridge

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