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Andrew Stunell: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many cases have (a) been received, (b) been allocated case numbers, (c) remained unallocated and (d) been determined by the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal in each quarter of the last five years for which records are available; and if she will make a statement. 
Bridget Prentice: Figures from the records of the Immigration Appellate Authority (IAA), which was superseded by the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (AIT) on 4 April 2005 upon commencement of section 26 of The Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc.) Act 2004, show the volume of receipts and determinationsfor all case types at the adjudicator tierto be as follows:
Appeals are allocated a case number upon entry onto the database. The figures provided therefore also demonstrate the number of all appeals allocated a case number in the last five years up to 31 March 2005.
Following the commencement of the AIT, information on appeal receipts and determinations for the first quarter of 200506 is not yet available. From manual assessments, approximately 13,000 visit visa appeals received after 4 April 2005 are awaiting case number allocation.
Andrew Stunell: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what length of time was required (a) to allocate a case number following receipt and (b) to reach a determination by the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal in the case of Mr. Abolade Amuleya; and if she will make a statement. 
Bridget Prentice: The records of the Immigration Appellate Authority (IAA), which was superseded by the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (AIT) on 4 April 2005 upon commencement of section 26 of the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc.) Act 2004, indicate that appeal papers were received from the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) on 11 July 2003. The case was allocated an appeal number on the date of receipt.
(3) pursuant to her answer dated 14 July 2005, Official Report, column 1298, what aspects of burial law and practice will be covered by the wider review referred to; and if she will make a statement. 
The survey was issued by the Home Office in accordance with the commitment in the Government's response to the Environment Select
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Committee report on cemeteries. The average cost of processing the responses will not be known until the exercise has been completed.
The main aspects of burial law and practice under review were highlighted in the Home Office consultation paper Burial Law and Policy in the 21st Century: The Need for a Sensitive and Sustainable approach", a copy of which is available from the House of Commons Library.
Mrs. May: To ask the Minister of State Department for Constitutional Affairs what (a) representations she has received and (b) discussions she has had on difficulties faced by parents of children abducted abroad in claiming legal and/or departmental representation. 
Ms Harman: As the Central Authority for the operation of the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, the Lord Chancellor from time to time receives representations from interested parties and an open dialogue is maintained. The cost of an application for the return of a child is often a matter of concern to parents. In most countries no payment for legal proceedings is required for applications made under the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. The Central Authority for the Convention provides information regarding legal costs in specific countries. There is no charge for the services provided by the Central Authority, including the translation of documents necessary to an application under the Convention. In countries where legal aid is not generally available efforts are made by the receiving Central Authority, in cases of financial need, to provide legal representation for applicants either at a reduced rate or free of charge.
Mrs. May: To ask the Minister of State Department for Constitutional Affairs what measures her Department has in place to ensure that the parents of children abducted abroad are given full and appropriate legal advice. 
Ms Harman: The Lord Chancellor is the Central Authority in England and Wales for the operation of the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil aspects of international child abduction. The operations are conducted by the Child Abduction and Contact Unit at the Office of the Official Solicitor and Public Trustee and consists of five full-time case managers who are trained and experienced in the handling and operation of Hague Convention cases. The unit can be contacted by telephone, fax and e-mail and routinely provides advice to parents on all aspects of the Hague Convention and whether it can be applied to a particular case. The unit also maintains a website which provides information to parents regarding the Hague Convention and what they can do to try to prevent an abduction, what to do in the event of an abduction and how to apply to have contact with their children in another Hague country.
The Unit has recently updated its leaflet on international child abduction, having regard to the recent changes in law and practice arising from the revised EU Regulation on Parental Responsibility
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(Brussels II bis) and has revised the information available on its website. These will provide a further opportunity for advice to left-behind parents.
Dr. McCrea: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs, what percentage of solicitors firms in Northern Ireland, offered civil legal aid contracts, refused them in each of the last five years, broken down by county 
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many letters to her Department from hon. Members in session (a) 200405 and (b) 200506 remain unanswered, broken down by those which are (i) one month old, (ii) two months old, (iii) three months old, (iv) four months old and (v) over six months old. 
Bridget Prentice: My Department has answered all correspondence received in calendar year 2004. From 1 January to 29 July 2005, the Department received 1,820 letters from hon. Members and Peers, of which 26 are outstanding and up to one month old. There is no correspondence more than one month old.
The Cabinet Office, on an annual basis, publishes a report to Parliament on the performance of Departments in replying to Members/Peers correspondence. The Report for 2004 was published on 6 April 2005, Official Report, columns 13740WS. From 1 January to 29 July 2005, the Department answered 93 per cent. of correspondence within target.
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