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13 Feb 2006 : Column 1596W—continued

Departmental Website

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what the cost of maintaining her main departmental website was for the last year for which figures are available; and how many visitors there were to the site in each of the last 12 months. [46291]

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Bridget Prentice: The cost of maintaining my Department's main website is part of a larger contract with Cable and Wireless to provide hosting services for all of my department's associated websites and as such figures cannot be provided for a single website. The full contract totals £555,096 per annum.

For the period January to December 2005, the number of unique visitors to the Department for Constitutional Affair's website were as follows:

Deputy Lieutenants (Lancashire)

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs pursuant to the answer of 30 January 2006, Official Report, columns 150–51W, on deputy lieutenants (Lancashire), in which geographical area each of the existing deputy lieutenants for Lancashire not recently appointed resides. [50135]

Ms Harman: There are 14 administrative areas in the ceremonial county of Lancashire, including 20 districts of Lancashire county council, and the two unitary authorities of Blackpool and Blackburn with Darwen. According to this measure of geography, the areas in which each of those existing deputy lord lieutenants for Lancashire reside (excluding those six most recently appointed) are as follows:








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Ribble Valley


South Ribble

West Lancashire


Domestic Violence

Mrs. Moon: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what training courses were provided for (a) magistrates and (b) district judges on domestic violence in each region since 2003; what percentage of each attended courses in each region in this period; and if she will make a statement. [50581]

Ms Harman: Judicial training is the responsibility of the Judicial Studies Board (JSB), an independent body chaired by Lord Justice Keene. The JSB organises its training for the professional judiciary, including district judges (magistrates courts), nationally rather than regionally. It provides advice and support to those providing training in the magistrates courts but the training is organised and delivered locally. Data on the provision of magistrates training courses is not currently held centrally and could be obtained only at
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disproportionate cost. Since the amalgamation of the Court Service and the magistrates courts into HM Courts Service on 1 April 2005, the JSB is putting in place processes to monitor and evaluate the training delivered to magistrates.

Domestic violence training is not compulsory for magistrates. The JSB offered training for trainers in each region between October 2003 and March 2004 to enable them to provide domestic violence training for magistrates in their local areas. Representatives from all HM Courts Service regions attended these courses which were supported by the publication of a JSB domestic violence training pack for use in the training of magistrates.

All newly appointed fee-paid judges, and all judges who are authorised to take on new jurisdictions, are required to attend a relevant induction course and normally receive continuation training in each jurisdiction they exercise every three years. district judges (magistrates courts) attend dedicated annual courses. Additionally, they are invited to attend specialist family courses on a three-year cycle. The annual DJ(MC) courses run between 2003 and 2005 did not deal specifically with domestic violence, but the courses planned for 2006 will include a domestic violence session and will be run for both full and part time district judges who sit in magistrates courts. Those expected to attend will constitute 99.3 per cent. of the district judge (magistrates courts) bench. District judges who sit in the county courts attend a dedicated annual seminar which included a session on domestic violence in 2003. They also attend civil and (where appropriate) family law continuation courses every three years. These courses include sessions on domestic violence. In addition to training courses, the JSB has produced training materials for magistrates and judges, which are available in hard copy and electronic form.

Electoral Administration

Mr. Heald: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs pursuant to the answer of 9 January 2006, Official Report, column 236W, on electoral administration, whether data and information from marked registers will be placed in the co-ordinated online record of electors once it is operational. [43542]

Ms Harman: The particular types of information that the proposed co-ordinated online record of electors should hold once operational is the subject of a current consultation paper, issued by my Department last month.

In that paper, we raise the possibility that a CORE dataset might in future hold copies of marked registers, and request views on whether or not we should seek to implement that functionality. Decisions on whether or not to proceed with this aspect of CORE will be taken in light of the responses to the consultation, which is due to close on 7 March.

European Court of Human Rights

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what representations she has made to her counterparts in other Council of Europe member countries on the
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proficiency in (a) English and (b) French of judges of the European Court of Human Rights; and if she will make a statement. [50131]

Ms Harman: In a recent independent review of the working methods of the European Court of Human Rights, the former Lord Chief Justice, Lord Woolf, made 26 recommendations, of which provision of language training to new judges was one. I understand that the President of the Court has welcomed Lord Woolf's report and referred its proposals to the Court's Working Methods Committee.

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