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Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the answer of 4 November 2008, Official Report, columns 315-17W, on marriage, (1) how many orders under section 55 of the Family Law Act 1986 in relation to the validity of marriages were (a) granted and (b) denied in each of the last five years; 
Mr. Straw: The courts do not record how many applications under section 55 of the Family Law Act 1986 are received, nor do they record the outcome of these cases. Anecdotal evidence from courts suggests that there are very few.
There are no provisions for judicial separation under the Family Law Act 1986. The provisions for judicial separation can be found within the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. There were 3,388 applications made for judicial separation during the five-year period 2003-07. Records show that for the same five-year period 1,953 decrees of judicial separation were pronounced (the following table sets out the number of cases per year). The courts do not keep records of the number of applications which were denied. For comparison 778,575 applications for divorce were received for the same period.
Not all applications for judicial separation result in a final order as many parties choose not to pursue the case. This is not always because the parties have reconciled. The law prohibits divorce during the first year of marriage and some applications for judicial separation issued during the first year of marriage are withdrawn on the first anniversary of the marriage, before a decree is granted, and a petition for divorce then is issued.
|Family courtssummary statistics on matrimonial proceedings, 2003 - 07|
|Number of cases|
|Judicial separation||Petition filed||Decrees granted|
HMCS FamilyMan system.
Published in Judicial and Court Statistics 2007, September 2008.
Bridget Prentice: The Governments consultation on pleural plaques closed on 1 October, and the responses are currently being analysed. We will seek to publish a response paper outlining the way forward as soon as possible.
Mr. Hanson: Information about the numbers of public sector Prison Service employees of any grade suspended from duty in each year since 1997 is not held centrally, and could be provided only at disproportionate cost by contacting 138 establishments across England and Wales.
(1 )The Office for National Commissioning (formerly Office for Contracted Prisons) was not in operation before 2003. Prison officer includes: prison custody officer and senior officer for the contracted estate.
(1) No dismissals data are available for 1997 as the public sector Prison Service personnel recording system was not established until 1998.
The information includes dismissals for: inefficiency, conduct and performance reasons. Prison officer includes: prison officer, senior officer, and principal officer for the public sector prisons; and prison custody officer and senior officer for the contracted estate.
The number of dismissals increased significantly in 2003 due to a greater number of medical inefficiency dismissals as a result of more robust management of sickness absence in the public sector Prison Service from that time. In addition to this, the Office for National Commissioning (formerly Office for Contracted Prisons) began operating in 2003 and therefore data for contracted prisons are included from this date.
|(1) The system for recording these figures is unable to distinguish gender other than by the type of establishment where the information is recorded. Some establishments may have been subject to re-role mid-year and some interventions may have been delivered on mixed sites. Therefore the gender split is a good approximation but will be subject to some inaccuracies.|
(2) Substance Misuse Triage Assessments.
(3) Detoxification or maintenance prescriptions.
(4) 2004-05 is the only year that complete central data were collected on the number of female prisoners undergoing clinical treatment. This was carried out by survey.
Prisoners are subject to mandatory, voluntary and clinical drug tests. The number of positive tests for drugs under the mandatory drug testing programme is given in the following table. Voluntary and clinical
drug test results are not held centrally and could be obtained by surveying 138 establishments, which would only be at disproportionate cost.
All data in this answer have been drawn from an administrative data system. Although care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system. The data are not subject to audit.
|(a) Number of male prisoners testing positive||(b) Number of female prisoners testing positive|
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