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Building Standards:Harmonisation between Scotland and England and Wales

Lord Howie of Troon asked Her Majesty's Government:

16 Jul 1996 : Column WA60

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Scottish Office (The Earl of Lindsay): The harmonisation of the technical requirements in the Scottish building standards and the building regulations for England and Wales is proceeding, as parts of the regulations are updated, and where judged appropriate, given the different legal backgrounds, compliance checking systems, existing circumstances and traditions in construction. Close rapport is maintained between officials from England and Wales and from Scotland during the revision of both sets of regulations. In Scotland the Building Standards Advisory Committee recently recommended the adoption of amended standards dealing with fire safety, which will include further harmonised requirements and which, with other amendments, are expected to come into force next year.

Sentencing of PersonsTwice Convicted of Rape:Parole Board Views

Lord McCluskey asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Answer given by the Earl of Lindsay on 25th June (WA 55), whether the views of the Parole Board for Scotland were sought or obtained on the proposal concerning the sentencing of persons twice convicted of rape, before 4th June 1996, and, if so, what was the response of the board.

The Earl of Lindsay: We are consulting on our proposals and await the comments of the Parole Board on the offences which could trigger the proposed automatic life sentence for a second conviction.

Supreme Court of Scotland:Appointment of Judges

Lord McCluskey asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will set out the system for the appointment of judges to the bench of the Supreme Court of Scotland, and confirm that this system was followed in the most recent appointment of a new Senator of the College of Justice, reported in the Herald on 2nd July 1996.

The Earl of Lindsay: Judges are appointed by the Queen on the recommendation of the Secretary of State for Scotland. Because the Secretary of State does not normally have personal knowledge of suitable nominees, he relies on the Lord Advocate, who submits names to him for his consideration. The current practice is for the lord Advocate always to consult the Lord President of the Court of Session and the Dean of the Faculty of Advocates, before putting forward any nomination. On occasions, other senior members of the legal profession and judiciary are also consulted by the Lord Advocate. This system was followed in the most recent appointment announced on 2nd July.

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