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Purpose: fee for communications support
Date of invoice: 26 March 2007
Purpose: fee for communications support
Date of invoice: 8 August 2007
Purpose: fee for communications support
Date of invoice: 28 November 2007
Purpose: Work relating to the conclusion of the inter-party talks
Date of invoice: 28 January 2008
Purpose: Additional work for Sir Hayden Phillips
These invoices include work carried out by Euro RSCG Apex Communications for both the Review of the Funding of Political Parties and the Inter-Party Talks on Party Funding. Both of the reviews have concluded so there are no ongoing financial or contractual arrangements.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what consideration he has given to proposals that religious court should be allowed to arbitrate on some family and matrimonial disputes; and if he will make a statement. 
The United Kingdom does not accommodate religious legal systems as such in this country's laws and there is no intention to change this. Under section 10A of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, as amended by the Divorce (Religious Marriages) Act 2002, a court may refuse a decree absolute of divorce to parties who have not given their spouses a religious divorce although it does not allow recognition of the religious divorce. Currently, this provision only applies to members of the Jewish faith. However, it is
open to any prescribed religious group to apply to the Lord Chancellor for recognition under this law should it wish to do so.
In Muslim family disputes, the parties may choose to have their financial affairs and decisions about their children decided by a Sharia Council. If the parties wish to have that decision recognised by English authorities, they are at liberty to draft a consent order embodying the terms of the agreement and submit it to an English or Welsh court. This allows it to be scrutinised by an English or Welsh judge to ensure that it complies with English legal tenets. If the decision is made into a court order the English and Welsh courts can enforce it.
Any member of any community has the right to refer to an English court at any point, particularly in the event that they feel pressured or coerced to resolve an issue in a way with which they feel uncomfortable.
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many (a) juvenile and (b) young adult offenders were placed in custody for a breach of a community order in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hanson: The following table gives the numbers of juveniles (aged under 18) and young adults (aged 18 to 20) received into all prison establishments in England and Wales for breach of all community sentences between 2002 and 2006, the latest year for which figures are available:
|Under 18s||Age 18-20|
Since 2001-02 the National Probation Service has achieved marked improvements in enforcement. The target is to take breach action within 10 working days of a second unacceptable failure to comply with an order (or third unacceptable failure to comply with a licence) in 90 per cent. of cases. The improvements are shown in the table as follows:
|Enforcement (target = 90 per cent.)|
Over the same period, compliance levels have also increased (where compliance is defined as the proportion of orders and licences reaching the six months stage without requiring breach action), as shown.
Rob Marris: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether (a) his Department and (b) his Departments non-departmental public bodies provide (i) tax-free benefits and (ii) other allowances for their staff to purchase bicycles under the Cycle to Work Scheme; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Wills: The Ministry is currently implementing a salary sacrifice Cycle to Work scheme for its employees. This scheme supports employees in taking greener journeys, by enabling employers to loan a cycle to an employee, for an agreed period. The Ministry also offers other tax free benefits in kind to encourage green commuting, namely access to an advance of salary up to £500 for the purchase of a bicycle and safety equipment. The same tax rules apply to benefits in kind provided to employees of Government Departments as to any other employee. Prison Service/NOMS currently does not offer a Cycle to Work Scheme.
The Ministrys non-departmental public bodies have the authority to determine their own Cycle to Work schemes. The Legal Services Commission is planning to implement the scheme and this is also under consideration by the Office of the Information Commissioner. Advances for the purchase of a bicycle are offered by the Criminal Cases Review Commission, Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority and the Legal Services Commission.
Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what consideration he has given to bringing forward proposals to (a) make causing serious injury an aggravating factor when sentencing for persons convicted of dangerous driving, (b) introduce a new offence of causing serious injury by dangerous driving and (c) increase the maximum sentence for persons convicted of dangerous driving; and if he will make a statement. 
Maria Eagle: The Sentencing Guidelines Council guideline on seriousness deals with aggravating factors to be taken into account when sentencing generally. It includes among the factors indicating a more than usually serious degree of harm an especially serious physical or psychological effect on the victim, even if unintended.
Following the comprehensive Review of Road Traffic Offences involving Bad Driving undertaken jointly by the Home Office and Department for Transport we introduced a range of measures including an increase in penalties for careless driving and new offences of causing death by careless driving or driving while disqualified, unlicensed or uninsured in the Road Safety Act 2006. These changes follow on from the increases in penalties for causing death by dangerous driving, causing death by careless driving under the influence of drink or drugs, and causing death through aggravated vehicle-taking, in the Criminal Justice Act 2003. These changes take account of the special place that offences causing death have in the criminal law.
While we appreciate that in other cases bad driving can have tragic consequences we do not think separate offences are appropriate. This is a particularly difficult area of law as the consequences of the offenders action are often wholly disproportionate to his culpability. We have no plans to increase the penalty for dangerous driving or for a further review at this time.
Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many public consultations were held by his Department and its predecessor in each of the last three years; and how many respondents took part in each consultation. 
|Title of consultation||Number of respondents|
|(1) CPL) 01/05 Child Trust Fund Tax Appeals Regulations 2005 (The General Commissioners (Jurisdiction and Procedure) (Amendment) Regulations 2005) copies of the consultation paper were sent to seven consultees initially. No comments were received about the detail of the Regulations, and no substantive changes were made to the regulations following the consultation exercise.|
(2) CP(L) 02/05 Special Commissioners Regulations 2005 (The Special Commissioners (Jurisdiction and Procedure) (Amendment) Regulations 2005)copies of the consultation paper were sent to five consultees initially. No comments were received about the detail of the Regulations, and no substantive changes were made to the regulations following the consultation exercise;
(3) CP(L) 03/05 Armed forces pensions appeals (The Social Security Commissioners (Procedure) (Amendment) Regulations 2005)copies of the consultation paper were sent to fifteen consultees initially. Minor technical amendments were made to reflect comments from the Chief Social Security Commissioner for Great Britain and the Legal Adviser to the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments. As these regulations were subject to the affirmative Parliamentary procedure, they were debated in Parliament following the consultation exercise.
(4 )CP(L) 08/05 Pension Appeal Tribunal Rules 1980: Appeals to the Social Security Commissioners (The Pensions Appeal Tribunals (England and Wales) (Amendment) Rules 2005)copies of the consultation paper were sent to thirteen consultees initially. Some amendments were made to reflect comments from the Pensions Appeal Tribunal and the Social Security Commissioners.
(5 )Plus c200 responses from children and young people.
(6) Ongoing consultation (ends 24/4).
(7) Ongoing consultation (ends 29/4).
(8 )Ongoing consultation (ends 25/6).
(9) Ongoing consultation (ends 2/7)
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