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County courts

Rural 50

Rural 75

Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice which members of the judiciary were consulted on the decision to publish a list of courts where consultation is to take place over their closure. [5016]

Mr Djanogly: We are currently consulting on the closure of 103 magistrates courts and 54 county courts. We welcome responses from all interested parties including the judiciary.

Prior to the launch of the consultation a small number of senior judges were given an indication of those courts likely to appear on the list on which the Lord Chancellor has consulted. In addition, the judicial members of the HMCS Board were involved in the Board's decision to agree to the list of courts which were place before the Lord Chancellor.

Court closures are a matter reserved for the Lord Chancellor and he will decide whether and which courts to close following the consultation.

Gary Critchley

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what recent representations he has received on the (a) length of time spent in prison by Gary Critchley relative to his sentence and (b) safety of Gary Critchley's conviction; and if he will review the case of Gary Critchley. [4901]

Mr Blunt: Several representations have been received in recent months from MPs, members of the public and from Mr Critchley himself.

Mr Critchley is serving a life sentence for murder. He is currently detained in hospital under the Mental Health Act 1983. His release is a matter for the Parole Board but the board will not consider his case as long as he remains lawfully detained in hospital.

The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) is the independent non-departmental public body responsible for reviewing alleged miscarriages of justice. It is open to Mr Critchley to make an application to the CCRC. If
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the CCRC were to consider that there was a real possibility that his conviction would not be upheld they could refer his case to the Court of Appeal. Only the Court of Appeal can quash his conviction.

Human Trafficking: Prosecutions

Justin Tomlinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people charged with human trafficking offences were subsequently prosecuted in the last 12 months. [4764]

Mr Blunt: During 2008, latest currently available, a total of 61 persons were proceeded against at magistrates courts in England and Wales for human trafficking offences under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 and the Asylum & Immigration (Treatment of Claimants) Act 2004.

Data for 2009 are planned for publication in October 2010.

Magistrates Courts: Ammanford

Jonathan Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much has been spent on the recent refurbishments of Ammanford Magistrates' Court. [4713]

Mr Djanogly: £59,000 was spent on refurbishments and maintenance work at Ammanford magistrates court in the 2009-10 financial year. With the exception of £5,000 spent on re-lamping works, the expenditure was necessary in order to secure a water-tight and structurally sound building.

Magistrates' Courts: Closures

Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice on what date the list of magistrates' courts proposed for closure was presented to the Board of HM Courts Service. [5015]

Mr Djanogly: On several occasions the Board of HM Courts Service has discussed the court estate, based on principles agreed in 2007.

On 16 June 2010 the HMCS Board agreed that the Lord Chancellor should be invited to consult on the possible closure of 103 magistrates courts and 54 county courts.

Court closures are a matter reserved for the Lord Chancellor and he will make a decision on whether and which courts will close following the consultation.

Rape: Greater London

Mr Lammy: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many (a) prosecutions and (b) convictions for rape there were in (i) Haringey and (ii) London in each year since 2005. [4893]

Mr Blunt: Information on the number of number of prosecutions and convictions for rape in London, 2005 to 2008 (latest currently available) are given in the following table.

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Court proceedings data collected centrally only provides detail on the court and police force area in which the proceedings took place, they do not identify the specific location in which an offence took place. Although proceedings in criminal cases begin in magistrates' courts, the majority of cases involving rape will progress on to the Crown Court. This may be in a different location to both where the offence was committed and where proceedings were instituted. It is therefore not possible to provide the specific information requested for Haringey.

Court proceedings data for 2009 are planned for publication in October 2010.

Number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts and found guilty at all courts for rape( 1, 2) , Greater London police force area 2005-08( 3, 4)
2005 2006 2007 2008

Proceeded against





Found guilty





(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.
Justice Statistics Analytical Services in the Ministry of Justice.


Departmental Official Cars

Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what the (a) make, (b) model and (c) place of manufacture is of the car allocated for the use of each Minister in his Department. [1478]

Michael Gove: Ministers at the Department for Education inherited five allocated cars from Ministers in the previous Government. The full details of (a) make, (b) model and (c) place of manufacture are as follows:

Number Vehicle make/model Place of manufacture


Jaguar XJ TDVi Sovereign



Toyota Prius T3



Honda Civic ES Hybrid


These arrangements are changing following the publication of the new Ministerial Code which contains changes that affect ministerial entitlement to travel by Government car.

The expectation is that Ministers not in the Cabinet will use the pool service and that Cabinet Ministers who have an allocated car will wish to consider how that car might be utilised by other Ministers within the Department before calls are made on the Government Car Service Pool.

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However, the Ministerial Code states that "the number of Ministers with allocated cars and drivers will be kept to a minimum, taking into account security and other relevant considerations. Other Ministers will be entitled to use cars from the Government Car Service Pool as needed".

The Department for Education is working with the Department for Transport and its Government Car and Despatch Agency to effect the transition to the new arrangements.

Leader of the House

National Security Strategy

Mr Arbuthnot: To ask the Leader of the House with reference to Standing Order No. 152I, what discussions he has had on the establishment of a Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy; and if he will make a statement. [5286]

Sir George Young: Discussions about the Committee will be taken forward in the usual way.

Members: Oaths and Affirmations

Ian Paisley: To ask the Leader of the House pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for South Antrim of 23 June 2010, Official Report, column 291, what the scope is of the Prime Minister's re-examination of the arrangements for those who have been elected to the House to attend the House without having taken the Oath or Affirmation of Allegiance; whether he plans to examine possible revisions to the Oath and Affirmation; and if he will make a statement. [4521]

Mr Heath: Members are required by law to take the Oath or make the Affirmation before taking part in any proceedings of the House. The Government have no plans to change these requirements.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Afghanistan: Peacekeeping Operations

Chris Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of how the current unrest in the Kyrgyz Republic will affect operations in Afghanistan. [5197]

Alistair Burt: The International Security Assistance Force uses Manas Transit Centre to supply the mission in Afghanistan. Operations at the Transit Centre are currently unaffected by the unrest in Krygyzstan. The Provisional Government of Krygyzstan has agreed to honour all commitments, including on the Manas Transit Centre, at least until the end of the current agreement, by which point a new Parliament should be in place with which to discuss further arrangements.

Burma: Elections

Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the Government of Burma on the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and the forthcoming elections in that country. [5141]

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Mr Jeremy Browne: I raised Burma with ASEAN Ministers at the EU-ASEAN Ministerial on 26 May at which the Burmese Foreign Minister was present. I made clear that without the release and participation of all political prisoners including Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma's elections will not be free and fair. Our ambassador in Rangoon also raises issues of concern directly with the Burmese regime including calls for the release of all political prisoners.

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister and other members of the G8 discussed Burma at the summit in Canada and issued a statement urging the Burmese regime to allow for free and fair elections, to release without delay all political prisoners, including Aung San Suu Kyi, and to engage the democratic opposition and representatives of ethnic groups in a substantive dialogue on the way forward to national reconciliation.

We will continue to raise our concern at the highest possible level with Burma's neighbours, in the EU, the UN and directly with the regime.

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