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Bridget Prentice: On 18 March 2009, 127 Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (AIT) files and 22 Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) files were completely destroyed by fire at the AIT's centre, Field House.
All of the SIAC files have been reconstructed. All the 127 AIT files were awaiting decisions from the Court of Appeal. Of these, 12 have been reconstructed and remitted back to the AIT. Administrative staff have requested the necessary papers from the parties in order for these cases to be listed for hearings. A further 26 have been completed because they were withdrawn at the Court of Appeal or Court of Appeal judgments not in favour of the appellant have been delivered. The Court of Appeal has now returned from summer recess and it is expected that the remainder of these will be cleared.
There were also 141 files, at various stages of the AIT reconsideration process, that were damaged by water and smoke and these were sent to a file recovery centre. On return, the files were checked and any papers that were illegible were re-requested from parties. All these cases are now progressing through the appeal system.
A total of 128 AIT cases were adjourned immediately after the fire but hearings resumed a week later at an alternative venue. A total of 93 have already been heard and determined, four have been heard and are awaiting determination, 24 were heard in September and will be determined in October, two will be heard and determined in October and five will be heard and determined in November. These timescales reflect the time needed, in some cases, to reconstruct damaged appeal files. The SIAC cases have not been subject to any delay.
Priority has been given to High Court Review Filter Applications (where a party is dissatisfied with the first appeal decision) with the aim that parties received decisions within 10 days. Here, the impact of the fire was compounded by unexpected increases in workload. All of these cases have now been cleared.
The files destroyed and damaged represent a small number compared with over 1,000 which were salvaged from Field House. A huge contingency operation where administrative staff and members of the judiciary worked closely together ensured that hearings were resumed and the business relocated with a minimum inconvenience and delay to customers.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many (a) prosecutions and (b) convictions there have been for offences related to female genital mutilation in each of the last five years; and what steps he plans to take to increase the prosecution rate for such offences. 
Claire Ward: There have been no prosecutions or convictions for female genital mutilation (FGM) reported to the Ministry of Justice up to the end of 2007. Data for 2008 will be available towards the end of 2009.
The Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 is intended to help to prevent this unacceptable practice from happening in the first place. Anecdotal evidence suggests that it is doing this. A range of guidance has been issued to heighten awareness among all relevant professionals. The Home Office issued guidance to all chief officers of police in England and Wales on the investigation of
cases of FGM when the Act came into force in 2004. The Association of Chief Police Officers incorporated FGM in guidance for police forces which was revised and reissued in 2008. The Crown Prosecution Service included FGM in its Policy for Prosecuting Cases of Domestic Violence, which was disseminated to all prosecutors by the end of 2008. This was accompanied by a modular training package which has been rolled out to all CPS areas.
The Home Office chairs a cross-governmental steering group on FGM which brings together officials from across Government and key voluntary organisations and service providers. The group's aim is to develop actions and practical tools to assist victims and potential victims of FGM and to provide a co-ordinated response to tackling the issue. As part of this work, the Under-Secretary of State for Crime Reduction, my hon. Friend the Member for Tynemouth (Mr. Campbell) announced on 24 September the appointment of a cross-Government co-ordinator to provide a single point of contact for work on this issue.
Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many claims there were to the Land Registry Indemnity Fund by nature of claim in each of the last four years; how many such claims were paid; what estimate he has made of the monetary value of such claims by nature of claim; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) how many complaints were received by the Land Registry regarding errors in or omissions from register entries in respect of indemnity claims in each of the last four years; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) with reference to the table on page 44 of the Land Registry Annual Report 2007-08, what criteria apply to the calculation of substantive loss in respect of Land Registry indemnity claims; and if he will make a statement; 
(4) with reference to the Land Registry Annual Report 2007-08, if he will publish an updated version of the table on page 44 providing the same information in respect of indemnity claims for 2008-09. 
Mr. Wills: The Land Registration Act 2002 makes provision for the payment of statutory compensation or 'indemnity' where a mistake arises, which includes not only mistakes in the register itself but also, for example, mistakes in official copies of documents referred to in the register or mistakes in official searches of the register. The Land Registration Act 2002 sets out the circumstances in which the register can be altered so as to put right a mistake and also the circumstances when this is not possible. Mistakes in the register can result in losses to those affected by them whether or not the register is subsequently altered and Land Registry will where appropriate pay indemnity to compensate anyone who suffers loss as a result of the rectification of the register (where the register is altered to correct the mistake and this prejudicially affects a registered title), or as a result of a mistake in the register that could have been rectified but for some reason (for example because land is in the possession of an innocent registered proprietor) was not.
The following tables show details of the number and nature of claims over the last four years. The number of claims received, paid and monetary value of such claims has been recorded from 2006-07. Prior to that date, it was not Land Registry practice to record either the number of claims received or the amount claimed. When the number of claims received is fewer in number than the total this is because a claim is not necessarily paid in the year in which it is received.
The tables include information on indemnity claims as a result of errors and omissions in register entries. The question of the number of complaints about this type of error is a different issue. It does not necessarily follow that a complaint will be received when a mistake resulting in a payment has been made or, conversely, that a payment will be made when a complaint is received. Land Registry has specific complaint category records from 2008-09. During this period 182 complaints were received about this type of mistake.
Land Registry does not itself calculate the value of an indemnity claim, so there are no criteria as such to
apply to the calculation of substantive loss in this respect. Instead, the claimant or their legal representative submits a claim based on the value of the loss (including any legal or other costs) caused by the mistake in the register and Land Registry considers the claim in the light of the individual facts and in accordance with the provisions of the Land Registration Act 2002. It may follow that a claim is reduced through negotiation or because, for example, there has been negligence or 'lack of proper care' on the part of the claimant. In some cases a professional valuation is obtained in order to quantify the value of a claim. In the absence of agreement, the Land Registration Act 2002 entitles a claimant to seek a determination from the court as to any question of entitlement and the amount of any such indemnity.
|Indemnity report for 2005-06|
|Nature of claim||Number of claims paid||Substantive loss paid (£)||Legal costs paid (£)||Percentage of total|
|Indemnity report for 2006-07|
|Nature of claim||Number of claims paid||Number of claims received||Amount claimed (£)||Substantive loss paid (£)||Legal costs paid (£)||Percentage of total|
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