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Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has received (a) directly and (b) through the British embassy in Tehran on the de-proscription of the People's Mujahideen Organisation of Iran; and if he will make a statement. 
David Miliband: The deproscription of the People's Mujahideen Organisation of Iran is an issue of great concern to the Iranian authorities. The Iranian authorities have raised this issue with our embassy in Tehran and with officials in London on a number of occasions. In response we have explained that the appeals process is a judicial and not a political matter.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will take steps to investigate allegations of human rights abuses in Somalia; and if he will make a statement. 
David Miliband: We continue to monitor the situation in Somalia and take all allegations of human rights abuses extremely seriously. We recently supported UN Security Council Resolution 1814, adopted on 15 May, endorsing a new UN approach by integrating the UN's political, security and stabilisation efforts and strengthening the presence of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Somalia.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what mechanisms exist under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in Sudan to investigate violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms; and if he will make a statement. 
David Miliband: The 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) established the National Constitutional Review Commission (NCRC) which was mandated to set up the Human Rights Commission. The NCRC has drafted the necessary legislation but this has not yet been passed. In the South, a Southern Sudan Human Rights Commission was set up in June 2006. The Interim National Constitution, adopted in 2005 under the CPA, includes a Bill of Rights that enshrines the principle of human rights at all levels of government and society.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what sanctions the Government plan to seek with the goal of accelerating the deployment of the UN/African Union Hybrid Mission in Darfur and promoting the peace process, as referred to in the 2008 EU-US Summit declaration. 
David Miliband: The UK will consider all available options including the use of UN or EU targeted sanctions if appropriate, to secure the effective deployment of the UN-African Union Mission in Darfur and promote a peaceful resolution to the situation in Darfur. Further sanctions could include: an assets freeze and travel ban against individuals engaged in violence; the extension of existing UN arms embargo to cover the whole of Sudan; and measures to improve monitoring of the illegal use of aircraft in Darfur. If the Government of Sudan and rebel groups still fail to co-operate, tougher measures may be necessary in future. We continue to discuss actively with Security Council and other partners how to expedite progress on both issues.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the Government's policy is on proposals to impose targeted sanctions on Sudanese officials who obstruct the deployment of the UN-AU hybrid force in Darfur. 
David Miliband: We are working closely with the UN Security Council and other partners to ensure the effective deployment of the UN-African Union joint peacekeeping mission in Darfur. If appropriate this could include the use of targeted UN or EU sanctions such as an asset freeze and travel ban on named individuals. These questions remain under active consideration with Security Council partners, but have not so far secured consensus in the Council.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 17 June 2008 to the hon. Member for South Sunderland, Official Report, column 815W on Sudan: war crimes, what criteria would have to be met to trigger further sanctions against Sudan for non-co-operation with the International Criminal Court. 
David Miliband: The Government continue to work with the international community to ensure there is no impunity for the perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur. This includes considering the use of targeted UN and EU sanctions where appropriate as part of a wider political strategy. The Government will continue to assess developments in the International Criminal Court process, including the level of Sudan's cooperation with the Court, and consider further measures as appropriate.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the Government plan to take to reach international agreement on a comprehensive convention on international terrorism; and if he will make a statement. 
David Miliband: Negotiations on a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism have been taking place since 2000 with the active support and involvement of the UK. We have made the case throughout for a clear text consistent with the 13 existing sectoral counter-terrorism conventions as well as with international humanitarian law. A comprehensive convention could contribute to a more unified global response to terrorism and we will work closely with our European allies and other international partners to try to reach agreement in the next round of negotiations this autumn.
David Miliband: Foreign journalists, along with all other foreigners, are normally only able to travel to Tibet after acquiring a time-limited entry permit from the Chinese authorities. The Chinese authorities are not currently granting such permits. We continue to urge the Chinese authorities to allow free media access to Tibet, not just the restricted access we saw on 21 June. My noble Friend the Minister for Africa, Asia and the UN, Lord Malloch-Brown, raised the issue of media access with Chinese Vice Minister Wang Yi when he visited China on 14 April.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether there have been any incidents of intimidation or aggression towards British diplomats in Zimbabwe since 5 June 2008; and if he will make a statement. 
There have been no incidents of aggression or intimidation towards our diplomats since
5 June. However, in the course of performing their legitimate diplomatic activities, vehicles have been stopped and officials questioned about the nature of their business before being allowed to continue.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what contribution his Department is making to the monitoring of the forthcoming elections in Zimbabwe; and what organisations his Department is working with on such election monitoring. 
David Miliband: Our diplomats accredited to Zimbabwe applied to the Electoral Commission to observe the second round of elections and visited polling stations on 27 June. Accreditation for election observation in Zimbabwe was severely restricted with local election observers numbering only hundreds, instead of the tens of thousands accredited for the first round.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he has taken to secure the sending of a UN team to Zimbabwe to monitor human rights and to deter further human rights abuses; and if he will make a statement. 
David Miliband: A UN envoy, Assistant Secretary General Haile Menkerios, was in Zimbabwe to hold a series of meetings with the Zimbabwean Government and others on the current political and humanitarian crisis. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has also urged the UN Secretary-General to send a Human Rights envoy to Zimbabwe to press for the immediate cessation of the appalling abuses taking place there.
Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps he has taken to ensure UK compliance with the provisions of Article 9 on access to justice of the UNECE Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters; and if he will make a statement. 
The UK is fully supportive of the goals of the Aarhus Convention. The UK National Implementation report sets out the necessary legislative, regulatory or other measures that the UK has taken to implement the provisions of the Aarhus Convention. A copy of the report can be found on the Aarhus Convention webpage of the Defra website.
David Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice on what date, and for how many minutes (a) the Universities Committee of the Privy Council and (b) any other committee of the Privy Council considered the amendments to the statutes of the University of Cambridge that he laid before the House on 10 June 2008. 
Statute amendments submitted by the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, and by their colleges, under the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge Act 1923, are firstly published in the London Gazette, inviting petitions against within eight weeks. If no petitions are received, the amendments are then laid before Parliament for four weeks. If there are no prayers made against, the amendments are then submitted to the Queen in Council for approval, following a recommendation by the Privy Council. Concurrently with the statutory procedure, the amendments are referred to the individual members of an ad hoc committee of the Privy Council for consideration and report.
In the instance of those amendments laid before Parliament on 10 June 2008, as no petitions were made against the amendments, following publication in the London Gazette on 11 April 2008, there was no requirement to refer them to the Universities Committee of the Privy Council. The amendments were referred to an ad hoc committee of the Privy Council on 27 March 2008: not all responses have been received to date.
Maria Eagle: My Departments expenditure with consultants in the financial year 2007-08 was £27 million. This is based upon provisional outturn figures and is therefore subject to change following audit.
Mr. Wills: The Ministry of Justice offers flexible working arrangements to the majority of our employees. Under these arrangements, the ability to work from home is one option that is available to most grades on both a formal and an ad hoc basis. There is no requirement to maintain records of arrangements centrally. This information could therefore be collated only at disproportionate cost.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what estimate he has made of the average pay per hour worked by (a) permanent and (b) temporary staff in his Department in the last period for which figures are available, broken down by pay band. 
Mr. Wills: The following data relate to permanent staff and staff on temporary contracts directly employed by the Ministry of Justice. The average hourly rate is based on a average full-time equivalent salary for each of the main grades as at 31 May 2008.
Staff employed by the Ministry of Justice below the SCS are attached to one of six grades called pay bands (bands A-F). The minimum and maximum of each pay band is further determined by location under our regional pay system. Inner London is in range 1, outer London is in range 2. Other locations across the UK are based in either range 3, 4 or 5.
We are unable to provide average salaries paid to staff employed through employment agencies. Salary paid to the individual is determined between the Temporary Staffing Agency and the individual. The Ministry does not monitor average salaries paid to such individuals centrally.
|Band||Range||Average hourly salary (£)|
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