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Maria Eagle: The Ministry of Justice reviews its assets both regularly throughout the year and annually as part of its year end closure. For the year 2008-09 the annual review was completed in early April 2009. The review was not undertaken specifically for the purpose of identifying disposals, but informs the Department's approach to asset management and disposal.
Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what impact assessment his Department undertook before taking the decision to reduce the family legal aid budget; and what the outcomes of that assessment were; 
(2) what assessment he has made of the effects on the Department for Children, Schools and Families' long-term expenditure commitments of his Department's decision to reduce the budget for family legal aid; 
Bridget Prentice: We have not reduced the family legal aid budget. The cost of family legal aid increased by 46 per cent. from £399 million in 2001-02 to £582 million in 2007-08, while the number of funding certificates fell by 11 per cent., from 129,000 to 115,000 over the same period. We clearly stated our intention to make reforms to family fees in Legal Aid Reform: The Way Ahead, published in November 2006, following Lord Carter's review of legal aid procurement. The Way Ahead proposals were subject to Cabinet committee clearance and were integral to MOJ's spending review settlement.
My noble Friend Lord Bach announced changes to the Family Graduated Fee Scheme for barristers in February, following a 30 per cent. rise in costs in just five years. The consultation response included a full impact assessment. More recently, the consultation, Family Legal Aid Funding from 2010, published by my Department and the Legal Services Commission, closed on 3 April 2009. The Legal Services Commission is currently analysing the responses. The consultation covers two payment schemes, the Private Family Law Representation Scheme, and the Family Advocacy Scheme, which will cover representation by solicitors and counsel in independent practice. This consultation document included a draft impact assessment.
Our aim is to help as many people as possible within existing resources. In both cases the impact assessments have demonstrated that failing to address the significant increases in fees paid in recent years could risk leading to reductions in services for clients.
Mrs. Laing: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many convictions there have been for offences of property title theft in respect of (a) mortgaged, (b) non-mortgaged and (c) vacant properties in each of the last 10 years; 
The statistics provided in this answer are for fraud offences where either the statute or the offence description identifies the fraud as solely relating to either property fraud or mortgage fraud. A number of other fraud offences may include property or mortgage fraud, but as the individual circumstances of the offence are not held on the court proceedings database maintained by the Office for Criminal Justice Reform, it is not possible to separately identify them.
These data are on the principal offence basis. The figures given in the table on court proceedings relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offence for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences, the offence selected is the one for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.
|The number of defendants found guilty at all courts for offences under the Theft Act 1968 Section 15, in England and Wales, 1998 to 2007( 1, 2, 3, 4)|
|Statute||Offence description||1998||1999||2000||2001||2002||2003||2004||2005||2006||2007( 3)|
|(1) These data are on the principal offence basis.|
(2) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete.
(3) 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.
(3) The Fraud Act 2006 repealed S15 of the Theft Act 1968 and was implemented in January 2007.
(4) Staffordshire police force were only able to submit sample data for persons proceeded against and convicted in the magistrates' courts for the year 2000.
Although sufficient to estimate higher orders of data, these data are not robust enough at a detailed level and have been excluded from the table.
OCJRE and A: Office for Criminal Justice ReformEvidence and Analysis Unit.
Our ref: PQ 275156, 275157, 275161, 275162, and 275168 (Table)
Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) in how many legally-aided clinical negligence claims cases the Legal Services Commission was unable to reclaim costs from the NHS Litigation Authority in the last 12 months; 
Mr. Straw: The Legal Services Commissions case management system, does not record defence organisations. A manual examination of all clinical negligence case files closed in the last 12 months might not identify the NHS Litigation Authority in every instance, and such an exercise could be undertaken only at disproportionate cost.
In 2007-08, 1,926 certificates were issued to take proceedings in clinical negligence cases and 65 per cent. resulted in a substantive benefit to the client with costs recovered. The remaining 2,714 cases were funded up to an investigation stage, without proceedings being issued.
The Legal Services Commissions case management system does not record the date(s) on which an incident took place in clinical negligence cases. A manual examination of all case files closed in 2008 might not reveal the date(s) on which the incident took place in every instance, and such an examination could be undertaken only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many offenders aged 21 years or over received (a) immediate custody, (b) a suspended sentence (c) a community sentence, (d) a fine, (e) a conditional or absolute discharge and (f) other treatment for rape or attempted rape of a child under the age of 13 years in each year since 2004. 
Data provided relate to offences of rape and attempted rape of a child less than 13 years of age under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 s.5 which commenced for offences committed from 1 May 2004 and replaced what was called prior to that unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl under 13.
Records on offences of rape and attempted rape committed before the new provision came into force do not identify separately children under 13 years from those aged under 16 and therefore they are not included. The increased numbers over the years reflect the transition to the new legislation. As data held by the Ministry of Justice record the age of the offender at the time of sentencing, the figures show all offenders aged over 21 and over at that point.
|Number of offenders aged 21 years and over sentenced for rape( 1) or attempted rape( 2) of a child under the age of 13 years ,by type of sentence in England and Wales, 2004-07|
|Type of sentence||2004||2005||2006||2007|
|(1,2) offences under Sexual offences Act 2003 s.5 which came into force on 1 May 2004:|
Rape of a female child under 13 by a male.
Rape of a male child under 13 by a male.
Attempted rape of a female child under 13 by a male.
Attempted rape of a male child under 13 by a male.
(3) Introduced by the Criminal Justice Act 2003 came into force on 4 April 2005 and replaced the previous fully suspended sentence. It applies only to persons aged 18 and over.
The statistics relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences the principal offence is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.
2. These figures have been drawn from administrative data systems. 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.
OMS Analytical Services, Ministry of Justice
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