Previous Section Index Home Page

10 Dec 2007 : Column 175W—continued

10 Dec 2007 : Column 176W

Compensation: Industrial Diseases

Mr. Pope: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice with reference to the answer of 29 October 2007 to the hon. Member for Paisley and Renfrewshire, North (Jim Sheridan), Official Report, column 798W, on compensation: industrial diseases, if he will reconsider his decision not to bring forward legislative proposals to provide for compensation to people who have contracted pleural plaque as a result of exposure to asbestos in the workplace. [172279]

Bridget Prentice: In my answer of 29 October 2007, Official Report, column 798W, to the hon. Member for Paisley and Renfrewshire, North (Jim Sheridan), I indicated that the Government had decided that it would not be appropriate to legislate on this issue. That remains the Government’s view.

The House of Lords reached a unanimous decision that pleural plaques do not constitute actionable or compensatable damage. The decision is based on fundamental principles of the law of negligence—first that compensation can only be payable where there is actual damage, and secondly that compensation is not payable simply for the risk or the worry that something might happen in the future.

Overturning these fundamental principles in the case of pleural plaques would create uncertainty in the law and could raise the possibility of claims being made much more widely for the risk of an illness occurring or for worry that something might happen. This would considerably increase the level of litigation and the possibility of weak or spurious claims, and could have damaging effects on business and the economy.

Departmental Christmas

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much his Department and its agencies have spent on Christmas (a) cards, (b) parties and (c) decorations in each of the last five years. [171443]

Maria Eagle: This is the first year that a Ministry of Justice Christmas card has been produced by our print room. To date, 6,000 have been ordered at a cost of 34 pence each, totalling £2,040. These cards are not centrally funded, and business areas will cover the costs of the cards they have ordered from their stationery budgets.

It is not possible to get information for previous years’ spend on Christmas cards as these will have been ordered by each business area separately, and will be recorded in the Department’s accounts under “stationery”.

Christmas parties are not funded by the Department. Staff will contribute to the cost of Christmas parties themselves, contributions will be made by senior staff, or awards will be made through reward and recognition in line with departmental guidelines.

The cost of trees and decorations for the central London HQ buildings is as follows:

10 Dec 2007 : Column 177W

Archway Tower

Conquest House

Chancery Lane

The information for agencies can only be gathered at a disproportionate cost, as each building would order its own trees and decorations.

Departmental Consultants

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how much has been paid in consultancy fees by his Department since its establishment; [172077]

(2) how much was paid in consultancy fees by the Lord Chancellor's Department from 1997 to 2000-01. [172100]

Maria Eagle: From April 1997 until March 2001, the amounts spent by the Lord Chancellor's Department's on external consultants was as follows:

£ million









Spend with external consultants since the Ministry of Justice was established on 9 May 2007 is not available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

However, from April 2007 until September 2007, the former Department for Constitutional Affairs and those bodies that were formerly part of the Home Office and which are now part of the Ministry of Justice, spent £5.5 million with external consultants.

Departmental Marketing

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will place in the Library a copy of the guidelines issued to staff maintaining his Department’s
10 Dec 2007 : Column 178W
and its agencies’ corporate identity; and what the estimated annual cost is of (a) producing and (b) complying with such guidelines. [170229]

Maria Eagle: My Department, the Ministry of Justice, has placed copies of Ministry of Justice, Her Majesty’s Courts Service, Office for Criminal Justice Reform, National Offender Management Service, Office of the Public Guardian and Tribunals Service corporate identity guidelines in the Libraries of the House. HM Prison Service does not have guidelines available.

My Department spent the following on producing guidelines. These are one-off costs (excluding VAT) that occur in the year indicated when each organisation was established. My Department does not produce new guidelines every year.

Date £

Ministry of Justice HQ

May 2007


Her Majesty’s Courts Service

April 2005


Office of the Public Guardian

October 2007


For my other agencies, the Office for Criminal Justice Reform (established 2004), the National Offender Management Service (established 2005), the Tribunals Service (established 2006) and HM Prisons Service, figures are not available and to attempt to provide a figure would be disproportionate to the cost.

I am unable to identify how much staff time is spent on complying with the corporate guidelines without incurring disproportionate costs.

Leeds Magistrates Court

Greg Mulholland: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many outstanding Failure to Appear warrants there were in each year since 1997 (a) in England and Wales and (b) issued at Leeds magistrates court. [171696]

Maria Eagle: The information requested has only been collected since April 2005, although a snapshot of performance was conducted in August 2004. The figures relate only to failure to appear warrants (FTAs) and demonstrate a 54 per cent. reduction in outstanding warrants since August 2004.

The data that are available are summarised as follows:

Warrants issued England and Wales( 1) West Yorkshire( 1) Warrants outstanding England and Wales( 2) West Yorkshire( 2)

Pre 2005



As at August 2004



During 2005-06



As at April 2005



As at March 2006



During 2006-07



As at March 2007



April to June 2007



As at June 2007



(1 )Figures are totals issued in the period specified.
(2) Figures are a snapshot of the rolling total of all FTA warrants outstanding in the specified month, regardless of when they were issued. They do not simply relate to those warrants outstanding that were issued in that same year.
(3 )Data not collected.

10 Dec 2007 : Column 179W

Offenders: Learning Disability

Mr. Hurd: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what national standards exist for the level of care and support for offenders with learning difficulties while (a) in custody and (b) after release. [172304]

Maria Eagle: People with learning disabilities have the same rights as other citizens. Under the Disability Discrimination Act (1995, and as revised in 2005), all public bodies must not discriminate against disabled people or provide a poorer quality of service because of their disability. The Act extends to people with learning disabilities.

To help ensure they receive the extra support to which they are entitled under the Disability Discrimination Act, the Care Services Improvement Partnership (CSIP), part of the Department of Health, has produced the document ‘Positive Practice: Positive Outcomes; A handbook for Professionals in the Criminal Justice System working with Offenders with Learning Disabilities’ (CSIP, 2007).

This sets out the support that must be provided by the police, the courts, in prisons and on probation.

A copy is available in the Library by and it is also available on the CSIP website at,

Offenders: Saudi Arabia

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what estimate he has made of the number of Saudi Arabian nationals with criminal convictions (a) conducting business and (b) living in the United Kingdom. [171881]

Mr. Hanson: The requested information is not available. The recording by the police on the police national computer of the nationality of offenders in England and Wales is optional as there is no legislative obligation on individuals to provide this information. For this reason reliable statistics on the nationality of offenders cannot be compiled. In addition, the police national computer does not hold information on whether offenders are conducting business or currently living in the UK.

Penalty Notices: Alcoholic Drinks

Mr. Randall: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many (a) 10 to 13, (b) 14 to 15 and (c) 16 to 17-year-olds were (i) cautioned, (ii) prosecuted and (iii) in receipt of a penalty notice for disorder for purchasing alcohol under age in (A) the Uxbridge constituency, (B) Greater London, broken down by London borough and (C) England, in the last three years for which figures are available. [171484]

Mr. Coaker: I have been asked to reply.

The information requested on prosecutions, cautions and penalty notices in England in the years 2004 to 2006 is provided in the table. There were no court proceedings, cautions or PNDs reported to the Ministry of Justice for the offences requested in Greater London.

10 Dec 2007 : Column 180W

Data broken down by constituency area and London borough are not held by the Ministry of Justice.

Number of defendants aged 10 to 17 proceeded against at magistrates courts, offenders cautioned and the number of penalty notices for disorder (PNDs) issued for purchasing alcohol illegally by age group, England 2004 to 2006( 1, 2, 3, 4)
Defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts Offenders cautioned PNDs issued( 4)
10-13 14-15 16-17 10-13 14-15 16-17 16-17



















(1) From 1 June 2000 the Crime and Disorder Act removed the use of cautions for persons under 18 and replaced them with reprimands and final warnings.
(2 )These data are on the principal offence basis.
(3 )Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.
(4 )The offence of illegal purchasing of alcohol by an underage person was added to the penalty notice for disorder scheme on the 4 April 2005.
(5 )Not applicable.

Next Section Index Home Page