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21 July 2009 : Column 1377W—continued


The data for the number of cases contested at an Employment Tribunal hearing are not held centrally and it would incur disproportionate cost to obtain them.


21 July 2009 : Column 1378W

Glasgow

John Mason: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether he plans to visit Glasgow on official business during the summer adjournment. [288918]

Mr. Straw: I have no current plans to visit Glasgow on official business during the summer recess but I am always happy to consider invitations, including from the hon. Member.

Information Tribunal

Mrs. Laing: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many information tribunals have sat in each year since 2004. [287939]

Bridget Prentice: The number of Information Tribunal appeals which reached a conclusion in each year since 2004 is shown in the following table. The figures include oral and paper hearings and withdrawn appeals.

Number of information tribunal appeals cleared

Appeals

2004-05

0

2005-06

18

2006-07

62

2007-08

123

2008-09

113

2009(1)

37

(1) From 1 April to 30 June

Mrs. Laing: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many information tribunals have sat (a) in public and (b) other than in public in each year since 2004. [287940]

Bridget Prentice: Information Tribunals are ordinarily held in public but individual sessions of the hearing will sometimes need to be held in private. If private sessions are considered necessary, the Tribunal Chairman will advise the parties of the reasons for doing so.

The Information Tribunal does not keep detailed records of the number of sessions that are held in camera. This information could be provided only at disproportionate cost by carrying out a manual check of each case file to establish the status of each session of each hearing.

Mrs. Laing: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what legal costs were incurred by the Information Commissioner in respect of the Information Tribunal hearing in relation to the request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 by Mr. Martin Sixsmith. [288063]

Mr. Wills: The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) is the independent authority which enforces compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

The total cost to the ICO for counsel in the recent Information Tribunal case "Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government v IC" was £7,606.38. In addition, considerable time was spent on the case by the ICO's own in-house solicitors.

This information was provided by the ICO.


21 July 2009 : Column 1379W

Legal Aid

Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what representations the Legal Services Commission has received on the ability of law firms to deliver legally-aided criminal defence services following the implementation of best value tendering in 2010. [285668]

Bridget Prentice: The Legal Services Commission (LSC) received 1,503 responses from representative bodies, individual practitioners and other interested parties, to its consultation exercise on proposals to introduce Best Value Tendering (BVT) of criminal defence services in the police station and magistrates court.

My noble Friend Lord Bach's written ministerial statement of 20 July 2009 announced the publication of the Legal Services Commission's (LSC) response to consultation on BVT. A copy of the consultation response and accompanying impact assessment has been placed in the House Library. The documents are also available on the consultation section of the LSC website at:

Mrs. Laing: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much was spent on the administration of legal aid in each of the last 12 years. [287188]

Bridget Prentice: The Legal Services Commission's (LSC) administration expenditure in each of the last 12 years is shown in the table. The costs to the courts for administering the grant and payment of legal aid is not recorded separately.

Total LSC administration expenditure

£ million

1996-97

53.8

1997-98

57.5

1998-99

59.9

1999-2000

62.4

2000-01

72.4

2001-02

71.6

2002-03

73.4

2003-04

90.2

2004-05

102.7

2005-06

96.8

2006-07

114.4

2007-08

132.5


Legal Aid: Foreigners

Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what expenditure his Department has incurred on legal aid payments to foreign nationals involved in cases
21 July 2009 : Column 1380W
before the Special Immigration Appeals Commission in each of the last seven years. [285266]

Mr. Straw: The Legal Services Commission did not specifically collate costs data on SIAC expenditure prior to the 7 July 2005 terrorist incidents in London.

Expenditure in subsequent financial years, and from April 2009 to June 2009 was as follows:

£000

2006-07

385

2007-08

731

2008-09

889

2009-10

154


Legal Services Commission

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will hold discussions with the Legal Services Commission on its procedures for best value tendering; and if he will make a statement. [287038]

Bridget Prentice: My noble Friend Lord Bach the Minister for Legal Aid routinely discusses a wide range of issues with the Legal Services Commission including best value tendering.

My noble Friend Lord Bach's written ministerial statement of 20 July 2009 announced the publication of the Legal Services Commission's (LSC) response to consultation on Best Value Tendering of criminal defence services.

A copy of the consultation response and accompanying impact assessment has been placed in the House Library. The documents are also available on the consultation section of the LSC website at:

Magistrates Courts: Costs

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many magistrates clerks were employed in each of the last three years; and how much was spent on employing them in each such year. [276751]

Mr. Straw: The title "Magistrates' Clerk" is a historic title and no longer used in magistrates court. Justice clerks and legal advisers fulfil the roles closest to that of a magistrates clerk, although the role is not directly comparable and both fulfil different functions. I provide in the tables the requested figures for both justice clerks and legal advisers.

Legal advisers
2006-07( 1) 2007-08 2008-09
Region FTE( 2) Salary cost (£) FTE Salary cost (£) FTE Salary cost (£)

North West

277.2

13,207,859

283.4

14,195,555

283.5

15,101,933

Midlands

-

-

322.3

16,555,657

316.5

17,183,678

Wales

66.2

2,898,648

119.6

5,012,338

115

4,600,768

North East

292

14,494,319

292

14,965,814

288

15,147,267

South West

203.4

9,526,406

200.9

9,702,375

200.9

10,355,665


21 July 2009 : Column 1381W

21 July 2009 : Column 1382W

Justices' clerk
2006- 07( 1) 2007-08 2008-09
Region FTE Salary cost(£) FTE Salary cost (£) FTE Salary cost(£)

North West

5

514,298

3

324,820

3

341,916

Midlands

-

-

15

1,585,578

11

1,412,1 10

Wales

3

316,120

8

818,324

5

518,588

North East

10

992,912

9.5

972,075

7

744,408

South West

10

1,051,987

10

1,095,269

6.2

719,574


It has not been possible to provide exact staff numbers or the breakdown in salary costs for legal advisers and justice clerks for London and the South East region. Further work is taking place to extract this information from local data. I will write to the hon. Member with this information when this has been completed. The following table shows the combined salary costs for legal advisers and justice clerks in London and the South East.

Salary cost (£)
Region 2006-07( 1) 2007-08 2008-09

London

-

17,089,462

17,449,073

South East

-

18,223,171

17,892,698



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