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Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the longest period is for which a child under 16 has been detained in (a) prison awaiting trial and (b) an immigration detention centre awaiting a decision on their asylum status in the last 10 years. 
Mr. Hanson: The information requested is not held centrally and could be provided only by examining the time each child under 16 has spent on remand and in an immigration centre awaiting a decision on their asylum status at a disproportionate cost.
The National Delivery Plan for Domestic Violence has an objective to improve the criminal justice response to domestic violence. This objective includes actions to increase reporting, arrests and conviction rates for domestic violence. Specific actions undertaken to increase the conviction rates for domestic violence include:
The continued expansion of the Specialist Domestic Violence Court (SDVC) Programme. From April this year, 64 SDVCs are operational, with more planned which will bring the total to over 100.
Guidance and training is being rolled out to all police officers and Crown prosecutors to improve investigations and increase successful prosecutions for domestic violence.
Domestic Violence Co-ordinators have been identified in all police force and Crown Prosecution Service areas to co-ordinate individual agencies responses to domestic violence.
Funding has been made available for Independent Domestic Violence Advisers, whose involvement with victims of domestic violence has been shown to reduce the number of victims unwilling to support a prosecution.
These steps are having a positive effect: successful prosecutions for domestic violence cases rose from 46 per cent. in a December 2003 snapshot to 65 per cent. during the whole of 2006-07, exceeding the target of 64 per cent. By September 2007, successful prosecutions had reached 68 per cent.
The information on prosecutions held centrally by my Department does not identify the circumstances of cases and therefore, in the case of drink driving offences, whether an accident was involved. The only case information captured for such prosecutions, apart from the court results for individual offences, is the age and gender of the defendant.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what plans he has to undertake further electoral innovation pilot schemes in the 2008 (a) local and (b) Greater London Authority elections. 
Mr. Wills: It is not intended to undertake electoral innovation pilot schemes in the 2008 (a) local and (b) Greater London Authority elections. However, the Government remain committed to exploring the use of technology to modernise aspects of the electoral process, including to make it more accessible.
Mr. Wills: Advance voting in retail venues was piloted in Swindon borough council at the May 2007 local elections. They were also used by three local authorities at the May 2006 local elections. These were in the London borough of Lewisham, Rushmoor borough council and Shrewsbury and Atcham borough council.
Mr. Wills: The Government have completed a review of the experience of the voting systems introduced in the United Kingdom since 1997 and are making the review ready for publication as soon as possible.
Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what differences there are between the requirements of the Council of Europe's draft European Convention on Access to Official Documents and the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 in relation to public authorities in the UK. 
The Government welcome the work that has been carried out by the Group of Specialists on Access to Official Documents in drawing up a draft convention. The Government are keen that there should be a robust convention along the lines of the Freedom of Information Act. The draft convention lays down principles relating to access, whereas the Freedom of Information Act 2000 sets out the detailed provisions of the access regime in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In relation to coverage of public authorities the scope of the convention is broadly the same as the Freedom of Information Act, where it will be open to parties to the convention to broaden the definition of public authorities beyond an obligatory minimum standard. The Government are currently seeking views on whether to use the powers under section 5 of the Freedom of Information Act and
extend the coverage of the Act and if so, which organisations it should consider.
Shona McIsaac: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many fixed penalty notices for disorder were issued by Humberside police in each year since their introduction, broken down by category. 
Maria Eagle: Information on the number of penalty notices for disorder (PNDs) issued in Humberside, by offence, from 2004 to 2006 is provided in the following table. The PND scheme was extended to all 43 police forces in England and Wales in 2004.
|Number of penalty notices for disorder (PNDs) issued to offenders ages 16 and over, Humberside police force area, 200406( 1)|
|n/a= Not applicable. (1) 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 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. (2) Offence added with effect from 1 November 2004. (3) Offence added with effect from 11 October 2004. (4) Offence added with effect from 4 April 2005.|
Bridget Prentice: The Government have previously explained that they intend to bring forward primary legislation to provide a clear requirement for electors in polling stations to sign for their ballot paper, and for the ballot paper to be withheld should an elector refuse to sign. We will bring forward such legislation when parliamentary time allows.
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what guidance his Department, or the former Department for Constitutional Affairs, provided on the
maximum amount of time a public authority can take to assess the public interest when responding to a validly constituted Freedom of Information request. 
Mr. Wills: Guidance provided by my Department for Freedom of Information practitioners states that any additional time taken in responding to a request to assess the public interest must be realistic and reasonable in the circumstances of the particular case. The guidance can be found in full in the Procedural guidance on our website:
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