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Mr. Beith: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what the process is for appointing county selection panels for the selection of High Sheriffs in England and Wales. 
Bridget Prentice: All Counties are encouraged to have Consultative Panels to provide consistency and continuity in the selection of future High Sheriffs. The panels are non-statutory. Guidance on membership is issued by the Association of High Sheriffs of England and Wales.
Ms Keeble: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what the criteria are by which a decision is taken as to whether an inquest should be heard by a senior judicial office-holder. 
Dr. Vis: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what the role is of magistrates in achieving the Youth Justice Board target of reducing the use of custody for juveniles by 10 per cent. 
Ms Harman: Magistrates deal with young people convicted of crime within the statutory sentencing framework which Parliament has set. They also have regard to relevant decisions of the higher courts, guidelines issued by the Sentencing Guidelines Council, and, where these have been prepared, pre-sentence reports by Youth Offending Teams. Sentencing decisions have a bearing on the Board's targets but the role of magistrates is to sentence within the framework described.
Mrs. James: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs whether complaints have been received at her Department about legal aid claimants who (a) are suspected of and (b) have been convicted of benefit fraud. 
Ms Harman: The Department does receive some complaints about claimants' entitlement to legal aid but they are referred to the Legal Services Commission for investigation. However, information is not collected by the Legal Services Commission specifically about legal aid claimants who have been convicted of benefit fraud.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs if she will list leaders of political parties represented at Westminster to whom the Lord Chancellor has written seeking views on elements of a reporting regime of loans received further to the Lord Chancellor's statement in the House of Lords on 20 March. 
Bridget Prentice: The following leaders of political parties represented in Westminster were written to on 20 March: The Rt. Hon. David Cameron MP Leader of the Conservative Party, The Rt. Hon. Sir Menzies Campbell MP Leader of the Liberal Democrat Party, Gerry Adams MP Leader of Sinn Fein, Mark Durkan MP Leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party, George Galloway MP Leader of Respect the Unity Coalition, Elfyn Llwyd MP Leader Plaid Cymru, The Rt. Hon. Ian Paisley MP Leader of the Democratic Unionist Party, Lord Rogan Leader of the Ulster Unionist Party, Alex Salmond MP Leader of the Scottish National Party and Richard Taylor MP Independent Kidderminster Hospital and Health Concern.
Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs when her Department will
publish its response to the consultation findings on damages in personal injury cases. 
Bridget Prentice: The Law Commission published a number of reports on issues relating to the civil law on damages, including Claims for Wrongful Death, Liability for Psychiatric Illness, and Damages for Personal Injury: Medical, Nursing and Other Expenses; Collateral Benefits. The Government intends to publish a consultation paper on the proposals contained in these reports and other issues relating to the law on damages in summer 2006.
Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what steps are
being taken to expand the type of small claims hearings that can be dealt with by telephone. 
From April 2006, the scope of hearings that can be dealt with by telephone has been extended to cover many of the preliminary stages of the proceedings in civil cases, including e.g. allocation hearings, listing hearings and case management hearings. This provision includes small claims preliminary hearings.