Previous Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page


Asylum Seekers: Prison Detention

Lord Dubs asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Blatch: As at 31 January 1997 1 , the latest date for which information is available, 324 persons who had sought asylum were detained in Prison Service establishments solely under Immigration Act powers. In addition to these, a further 120 asylum seekers were detained in prisons under powers other than, or in conjunction with, those contained in the Immigration Act 1971. Information on the number of these persons who are being held on criminal charges, as opposed to those serving a court imposed sentence, is only available at disproportionate cost.


Asylum Seekers in Detention: Bail Applications

Lord Dubs asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many asylum seekers in detention have (a) applied for bail; and (b) been granted bail, for any recent period for which figures are available.

Baroness Blatch: Comprehensive information regarding bail applications can only be obtained by

19 Mar 1997 : Column WA72

examination of individual case records. The information requested is, therefore, only available at disproportionate cost.

Asylum Seekers: Campsfield House

The Earl of Sandwich asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they have any plans to expand the present medical facilities, including the number of referrals, for asylum seekers detained at Campsfield House, Oxford; and

    Whether they are satisfied with the current arrangements to sub-contract medical services at Campsfield House from Group 4 to other service providers; and

    Whether they have any monitoring programme at the Home Office to assess the quality of medical services at Campsfield House and the number of referrals per detainee; and, if so, what have been the results of this assessment.

Baroness Blatch: With advice from the Director of Public Health in the Oxfordshire Health Authority, a revised specification for provision of medical services at Campsfield House has been prepared, and these new arrangements took effect on 1 March.

The health services at Campsfield House are comparable with those provided for Oxfordshire residents, taking into account the specific circumstances of detainees. Detainees are referred to specialists as and when required on medical grounds. The decision to refer detainees on is taken by the doctor treating them. Standards for all services provided at Campsfield House are closely monitored.

Mistakes of Law and Restitution: Report

The Earl of Kinnoull asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What plans they have to implement the recommendations in the Law Commission Report Restitution: Mistakes of Law and Ultra Vires Public Authority Receipts and Payments (Law Com. No. 227).

The Lord Chancellor (Lord Mackay of Clashfern): The Government have given careful consideration to the report which makes recommendations falling under two quite separate heads. The Government have accepted the Law Commission's recommendations for general legislation on the restitution of benefits conferred under a mistake of law and will introduce legislation implementing those recommendations when a suitable opportunity arises. The further recommendations relating to ultra vires receipts by public authorities raise other issues, which we are now considering.

19 Mar 1997 : Column WA73

Law Courts: Computerisation

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What programme of computerisation in the High Court of Justice and in the county courts will be necessary to implement the proposals made by Lord Woolf in his final report on access to justice; and what is the target timetable for putting this programme into effect.

The Lord Chancellor: The question concerns a matter which has been assigned to the Court Service under the terms of its framework document. I have therefore asked the Chief Executive to respond.

Letter to Lord Lester of Herne Hill from the Chief Executive of the Court Service, Mr. M. D. Huebner, dated 19 March 1997.

The Lord Chancellor has asked me to reply to your Question about computerisation in the High Court and county courts. A joint scoping study is being carried out by the Court Service and Electronic Data Systems (under the private finance initiative) to identify the computer systems necessary to support the proposals made by Lord Woolf. Recommendations from the scoping study will be made in April 1997. The appropriate computer systems should be in place when the reforms are implemented in October 1998.

Law Courts: Statistics

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will publish statistics for each of the divisions of the High Court of Justice and for the county courts indicating the number of (a) legal proceedings commenced; (b) proceedings in which a defence is entered; (c) proceedings set down for trial; and (d) proceedings disposed of by trial.

The Lord Chancellor: The Question concerns a matter which has been assigned to the Court Service under the terms of its framework document. I have therefore asked the Chief Executive to respond.

19 Mar 1997 : Column WA74

Letter to Lord Lester of Herne Hill from the Chief Executive of the Court Service, Mr. M. D. Huebner, dated 19 March 1997.

The Lord Chancellor has asked me to reply to your Question about various statistics relating to each Division of the High Court and the county courts.

The figures set out below are from 1995. The figures for 1996 will be published in June 1997. The number of defences entered is not collected centrally and to provide the information would incur a disproportionate cost.

High Court

CommencedSet down for trialDisposed of by trial
Chancery Division
Chancery10,9421,254924
Bankruptcy13,490288238
Companies Court17,810954829
Queen's Bench Division
Queen's Bench153,6244,7174,369
Admiralty(1)562223
Commercial Court2,0166722
Official Referees(1)1,804n/k759
Family Division
Children Act945(2)--(2)--
Adoption257(2)--(2)--
Probate248,947n/kn/k

(1) Royal Courts of Justice only.

(2) Family matters do not have trials.


County Court
Commenced

Commenced
Plaints entered(3)2,445,248
Bankruptcy Petitions20,414
Companies Winding Up Petitions13,666
Adoption Applications5,609
Divorce Petitions178,196

(3) includes default and fixed date actions and actions for possession of land.


Disposals (Figures are weighted estimates based on two months sample data and have been rounded).

Set down for trialDisposed of by trial
Debt3,8602,020
Negligence: Personal Injury5,8704,260
Other1,5801,060
Other proceedings2,4801,480

19 Mar 1997 : Column WA73



   Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page