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The Lord Chancellor: It would be invidious to name individual peers. I did not mean by "busloads" that buses were, literally, hired for the purpose. My meaning was that there was a co-ordinated effort to bring in Peers at a specific time in the evening not to take part in the Bill, but to vote on a procedural Motion to close down the House at about 11 pm, regardless of the wishes of Peers who had participated in the debate throughout the day to continue. I am sure that it was well understood that that was what I meant.
The Lord Chancellor: A survey of lay magistrates (excluding those in the Duchy of Lancaster) conducted in 1997 indicated that 4.1 per cent. classified themselves as belonging to an ethnic minority. In both 1997 and 1998 the percentage of appointments from the ethnic minorities was 6.5 per cent. There are two stipendiary magistrates from ethnic minorities (2.12 per cent.).
The Lord Chancellor: The Judicial Studies Board has for many months been preparing a programme of human rights training for all full-time and part-time judges. Now that a date has been announced when the remaining provisions of the Act will come into force, it has been able to finalise the training timetable.
The Lord Chancellor: The noble Lord, Lord Williams of Mostyn, announced on 18 May, Official Report, WA 23, that the Government plan to bring the remaining provisions of the Human Rights Act 1998 into force on Monday 2 October 2000. The Judicial Studies Board is therefore able to confirm that the main programme of human rights training for all the full and part-time judiciary will be delivered between January and July 2000.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Baroness Hayman): The final report of the Review of Prescribing, Supply and Administration of Medicines was issued for consultation and comment on 8 March. Comments have been requested by 7 June and we will be considering what action to take on the recommendations of Dr. Crown and her colleagues in the light of all of the comments received.
Baroness Hayman: A letter will be sent to food authorities shortly outlining action to be taken in the event of a dairy herd losing its officially tuberculosis free status. More detailed guidance is being prepared for food authorities on this subject and should be available shortly. A copy of the letter and the guidance will be placed in the Library.
Baroness Hayman: The White Paper will provide a broad policy statement. In the context of the noble Lord Jauncey's arguments as set out in pages 381, 382 and 384 of his Opinion we do not dissent from his Opinion about naturally occurring fluoride.
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Lord Whitty: The London Regional Passengers Committee received a total of 927 representations from 1 April 1998 to 31 March 1999, in respect of London Underground. Eighty-two per cent. of these related to penalty fares.
Lord Whitty: The Deliberate Release Directive requires all Member States to ensure that there are measures to avoid adverse effects on human health and the environment, and the committee of competent authorities for the directive meets regularly to exchange information and experience on the implementation of the directive. This forum promotes harmonised implementation.
The appropriate control of the release and marketing of GMOs is decided on the basis of the environmental risk assessment. The lack of a common approach to risk assessment has been problematic in the implementation of the existing directive. The UK has consistently pressed for a common approach to help to ensure a thorough and harmonised appraisal of the risks that each GMO may pose to human health and the environment, and it has been an active participant in the competent authorities' meetings on this issue. The Commission has taken forward those discussions by incorporating the principles for risk assessment in its proposal for the amendment to the directive. Last December, EU Environment Ministers agreed to use the flexibility in the existing directive to implement without delay the principles for risk assessment and monitoring as agreed up till then by member states in the negotiations on the amendment. The UK has requested that the competent authorities exchange information at their next meeting on how these principles are being applied.
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