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|Senior Circuit J udge|
|(1) Appointments made from a combination of pre-JAC exercises and the upgrading of a Circuit Judge post to Senior Circuit Judge.|
|Circuit B ench|
|(1) No general competition was completed in 2006-07. However, nine vacancies arose in this period, nine posts were filled by candidates who were on the circuit bench reserve list established after the 2005-06 competition.|
(2) No general competition was held in 2002-03. However, 39 vacancies arose in this period, 38 posts were filled by candidates who were on the circuit bench reserve list established after the 2001-02 competition.
|District B ench|
|(1) No general competition was completed in 2006-07. However, 12 vacancies arose in this period, 12 posts were filled by candidates who were on the district bench reserve list established after the 2005-06 competition.|
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what the mandatory retirement age is for (a) Crown court judges and (b) Law Lords; when this was last increased; what recent representations he has received on the matter; and if he will make a statement; 
Mr. Straw: Crown court sittings are mainly undertaken by Circuit Judges and Recorders. The normal mandatory retirement age for Circuit Judges is set at 70 under the Judicial Pensions and Retirement Act 1993, subject to the power of extension year-on-year to an age limit of 75 under ss.26(5) and (6) of the Act and to transitional provisions under which a judge already serving on the implementation of the Act (31 March 1995) retains his pre-existing retirement age. It is currently the policy that Recorders cease to serve at the end of the financial year in which they reach the age of 65. I have received representations from individual Recorders requesting to sit past the age of 65, and the current policy has been confirmed in each case.
The retirement age for Law Lords is set at 70 by the 1993 Act, subject to the transitional provisions already mentioned. In their case there is no provision for the extension of service under s.26 of the Act.
The procedures for continuation of judicial office after normal retirement date are set out in ss.26(5) and (6) of the 1993 Act, as amended by the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, enabling the Lord Chief Justice to extend Circuit Judge appointments with the concurrence of the Lord Chancellor if he considers it desirable in the public interest.
Separately, provisions exist for the appointment of retired Circuit Judges as Deputy Circuit Judges, under s.24 of the Courts Act 1971, as amended by s.55 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007. The Lord Chancellor with the concurrence of the Lord Chief Justice needs to approve a business case before appointing a retiring Circuit Judge to sit as a DCJ. The age limit for Deputy Circuit Judges is 75.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the cost of the consultation on the Statement of British values has been to date including (a) external consultancy costs and (b) consultations. 
Work is still under way on finalising plans for the consultation process, but Parliament and the public can be assured that the Government will look for value for money in carrying out this programme.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many offenders were recorded as being (a) drug free and (b) having a drug addiction on release from prison in the last year for which figures are available. 
Mr. Hanson: A comprehensive drug treatment framework is in place in prisons to address the varying needs of low, moderate and severe drug mis-users and which encourages prisoners to stay off illegal drugs. The number of offenders recorded as drug free or having a drug addiction on release is not recorded. Research evidence however reports that post-release misuse is not as high as pre-prison usage. Research also shows that prison is one of the key influences in getting people off drugs. Overall, prison contributes to a significant reduction in drug misuse for the majority of prisoners.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will include in any forthcoming legislation on Lords reform a requirement that all members of the second chamber sign a declaration annually confirming that they are UK residents for tax purposes. 
Bridget Prentice: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and Lord Chancellor outlined Government plans on the immediate next steps on House of Lords reform in his statement on 19 July 2007, Official Report, column 449. My Department hopes to be able to publish a further White Paper shortly, with the aim of producing draft clauses that would form elements of the final draft Bill and formulating comprehensive reform proposals through the work of the cross-party working group on Lords reform.
Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether the Governments plans to bring forward legislation on reform of party funding will include measures on (a) reform of the Electoral Commission and (b) a cap on donations. 
Mr. Straw: Following the suspension of the inter-party talks chaired by Sir Hayden Phillips on 30 October 2007, the Government are considering the detail of proposals on party funding and expenditure.
Mr. Straw: In my capacity as one of my partys representatives involved in the cross party talks and inquiry led by Sir Hayden Phillips I discussed the issue of party funding with affiliated trade union representatives, and many others, on many occasions. The Labour party evidence to the Phillips inquiry, reflecting much of these discussions, is in the public domain.
Mr. Straw: The Government are considering currently what steps to take ahead of bringing forward proposals on the regulation of party funding and expenditure, and have been well informed of the parties views by the parties contributions to the Sir Hayden Phillips inquiry. The Review of the Funding of Political Parties, chaired by Sir Hayden Phillips conducted wide-ranging consultation with both political parties and the wider public.
Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will (a) place in the Library and (b) publish the background papers produced by Sir Hayden Phillips and circulated to the political parties during the inter-party talks on party funding. 
Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether the emails, papers and correspondence produced by Sir Hayden Phillips and his team during the inter-party talks on party funding are deemed to be held by the Ministry for the purposes of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. 
Mr. Straw: Sir Hayden Phillipss records are not deemed to be held by or on behalf of the Ministry of Justice for the purposes of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. However, correspondence and copies of records sent by Sir Hayden Phillips to the Ministry of Justice are held by the Ministry of Justice for the purposes of the Act.
Mr. Hanson: Prison officer starting salary in May 1997 was £14,430. If this was adjusted by the rate of inflation, it would be £18,398. Changes have been made to the progression on pay scales to ensure new entrants progress much quicker. Progression to the pay maximum for a new entrant in 2007 now takes a total of six years; in 1997 it took 15 years. Prison officer salary after six years in 1997 would be £23,409, if increased to 2007-08 prices, with a further nine years to reach the maximum. Prison officer salary after six years service in 2007 would be £23,872, with a further two years to reach the maximum. I also refer the hon. Gentleman to my previous answer on 30 October 2007, Official Report, column 1148W.
|Foreign national prisoners by nationality in prison establishments in England and Wales September 2007|
Figures available from website: http://www.justice.gov.uk/docs/population-in-custodySep07.pdf
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