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Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will (a) review the law on libel and (b) lay formal proposals for reform to provide that it shall not prevent media in the UK from reporting court proceedings elsewhere in the EU, in particular where this concerns UK (a) firms and (b) nationals. 
Mr Djanogly: We are committed to reviewing the law on defamation with a view to ensuring that freedom of speech and academic debate are protected and that a fair balance is struck between freedom of expression and the protection of reputation.
The MoJ has been collecting performance data for the MoJ and its agencies since November 2008. The data have been reported to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and are reproduced in the following table:
|Month||Percentage of invoices in 10 days|
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what financial recompense chief executives of local authorities receive for assuming responsibility for electoral matters in respect of (a) local and (b) general elections. 
In England and Wales, under section 8 of the Representation of the People Act 1983, each local authority must appoint an to be electoral registration officer, responsible for maintaining the electoral register in the local authority area. Under the Representation of the People Act 1983, each local authority in the UK must also appoint a returning officer for local elections in that area. Local authority chief executives are often appointed as electoral registration officer and returning officer for their local authority.
Under section 36 of the Representation of the People Act 1983, all expenditure properly incurred by a returning officer in administering local authority elections must be paid by the local authority (in so far as it does not exceed any scale fixed by the local authority).
In England and Wales, the Representation of the People Act 1983 provides for the duties of a returning officer in respect of the conduct of a UK parliamentary election to be discharged by the electoral registration officer for the constituency as "acting returning officer".
The amounts which returning officers receive for the services rendered and expenses incurred in administering UK parliamentary elections are paid from the Consolidated Fund under section 29 of the Representation of the People Act 1983. The overall maximum amount which a returning officer is entitled to recover is set out in the Parliamentary Elections (Returning Officer's Charges) Order 2010. This order also sets out the maximum amount a returning officer may recover in respect of specified services and expenses.
The order provides different amounts for when a parliamentary election is conducted on its own, or when a parliamentary general election is taken together with the ordinary day of election of councillors in some constituencies in 2010. The fee which each acting returning officer may receive for his services is set out under column 2 of the table contained in schedule 1 (in the
case of a parliamentary election conducted on its own) and schedule 2 (in the case when a parliamentary general election is taken together with the ordinary day of election of councillors in some constituencies in 2010) to the order.
Mr Blunt: Staffing levels in prisons and young offender institutions in England and Wales are set on the basis of the delivery plan and budget that is agreed between the governor and the regional manager with responsibility for custodial services; it is subject to ongoing review. There are no plans to reduce staffing levels outside of this arrangement.
In line with the announcement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Chief Secretary to the Treasury on 24 May 2010, a recruitment freeze has been imposed on all external recruitment to posts within the civil service. Steps have been taken not to undermine the delivery of prison services and the recruitment of key staff, such as prison officers, will continue as necessary.
Andrew Stephenson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what proportion of contested prosecutions for rape in Lancashire police force area have resulted in a conviction in each of the last five years. 
Mr Blunt: The proportion of defendants tried at the Crown court in the Lancashire police force area for rape, who pleaded not guilty and who were found guilty, from 2004 to 2008 (latest available) is given in the following table.
|Number o f defendants tried at the Crown c ourt for rape( 1,)( )( 2) who pleaded not guilty, who were found guilty of rape, Lancashire police force area 2004 - 08( 3,)( )( 4)|
|(1) Includes: Rape and attempted rape of a female or male.|
(2) Includes: Conspiracies, charges of participation in offences as accessories after the fact and charges of participation in offences by impeding the apprehension or prosecution of the offender.
(3) The figures given in the table on court proceedings 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 it 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.
(4) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. 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.
(5) Proportion of defendants tried who pleaded not guilty at the Crown court who were found guilty.
As can be seen in the table, the conviction rate is based on data totals of less than 100. Conviction rates at this level can be easily affected, either up or down, by relatively minor alterations in the base data used.
Justice Statistics Analytical Services in the Ministry of Justice
Mr Djanogly: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (Vince Cable) announced on 2 June that all regulation inherited from the last Government, including this Act, will be reviewed. No commencement date will be set until the review has been completed.
Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the average cost to the public purse of processing a case of a child through the criminal justice system from arrest to sentence was in (a) the youth court and (b) the Crown Court in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Mr Djanogly: The work of the Ministry of Justice spans criminal, civil and family justice, as well as democracy and rights. HM Courts Service forms only a part of the wider criminal justice system, which includes the Crown Prosecution Service, the Metropolitan Police and HM Prison Service. This answer is provided from a Her Majesty's Courts Service (HMCS) point of view only.
It is not currently possible to identify separately and disaggregate youth court related costs. The costs to HMCS for processing children's cases in (a) the youth courts and (b) the crown court cannot currently be separately identified as the time taken to conclude cases involving children is not available.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of the cost to the public purse of adapting the e-Borders
system to take account of the use of non-biometric passports. 
Mr Blunkett: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the likely effects on the operation of e-border and wider border control checks of the ending of the biometric passport scheme. 
Damian Green: The assessment of the UK Border Agency is that halting work on the next generation of biometric passports will have no impact on the operation of e-borders or the wider checks at ports and airports.
Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of invoices from suppliers to her Department were paid within 10 days of receipt in (a) March and (b) April 2010. 
Nick Herbert: The Home Department has invested in process improvement through the creation of a professional Shared Service Centre and Procurement Centre of Excellence and upgraded Procure to Pay systems. The Department has put firm focus on paying its suppliers on time on receipt of a compliant invoice. It has worked closely with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills reporting on both its legislative obligations of 30 days as well as the 10 day commitment for all suppliers.
|Percentage w/terms-compliant invoices||Total invoices paid||Total compliant invoices paid||Compliant invoices paid within terms|
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