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17 Mar 2003 : Column WA1

Written Answers

Monday, 17th March 2003.

The Lord Chancellor: Remuneration

Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the Senior Salaries Review Body, in conducting its review of the proposed 12.6 per cent increase in the Lord Chancellor's salary, will take into account the difference between the pension entitlements of the Lord Chancellor, the Lord Chief Justice and the Cabinet Secretary.[HL1604]

The Lord Privy Seal (Lord Williams of Mostyn): The SSRB has been asked to extend its review into the relationship between judicial salaries and those of the Senior Civil Service to cover the remuneration of the office of Lord Chancellor.

Northern Ireland: Sexual Offences Bill

Baroness Noakes asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What effect the Sexual Offences Bill will have on Northern Ireland.[HL1761]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: The Bill will extend to Northern Ireland the measures determining the notification requirements for sex offenders. The extension of this part of the Bill follows a Home Office-led review of Part 1 of the Sexual Offences Act 1997, which included Northern Ireland within its scope. In addition, a number of the new offences in Part 1 of the Bill will also be extended to ensure that the registration requirements can operate on an equal basis with the rest of the United Kingdom.

Baroness Noakes asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the Sexual Offences Bill will achieve gender neutrality for Northern Ireland in the same way as for England and Wales; and, if not, what are their reasons for treating Northern Ireland differently.[HL1762]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: Part 1 of the Sexual Offences Bill will not extend to Northern Ireland in its entirety. The reform of sex offences in England and Wales is being undertaken following a review of the law in that jurisdiction. As that review did not include Northern Ireland within its scope, substantive reform of the body of law on sex offences in Northern Ireland will not be carried out until a review, and appropriate consultation, has taken place. The issue of gender specific offences will form part of that review and reform. In the meantime, consideration is being given to ways of addressing issues concerning offences which target only homosexual activity.

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House of Lords: Peers' Expenses

Lord Marlesford asked the Chairman of Committees:

    How many Peers, of those who claimed expenses in the years 1999–2000, 2000–01 and 2001–02 respectively, claimed total expenses of under £1,000, between £1,001–£5,000, £5,001–£10,000, £10,001– £15,000, £15,001–£20,000, £20,001–£25,000, £25,001–£30,000, £30,001–£35,000, £35,001– £40,000 and over £40,000 respectively.[HL2153]

The Chairman of Committees (Lord Brabazon of Tara): In the financial years 1999–2000, 2000–01 and 2001–02 Members claimed total expenses as follows:

1999–20002000–012001–02
Under £1,0001094341
£1,001–£5,00019696107
£5,001–£10,0001689785
£10,001–£15,00011710089
£15,001–£20,0001006356
£20,001–£25,000786863
£25,001–£30,000557165
£30,001–£35,000152757
£35,001–£40,0007523
Over £40,0000111

Iraq: Legality of Armed Force

Baroness Ramsay of Cartvale asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the Attorney-General's view of the legal basis for the use of force against Iraq. [HL2172]

The Attorney-General (Lord Goldsmith): Authority to use force against Iraq exists from the combined effect of Resolutions 678, 687 and 1441. All of these resolutions were adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter which allows the use of force for the express purpose of restoring international peace and security:


    1. In Resolution 678, the Security Council authorised force against Iraq, to eject it from Kuwait and to restore peace and security in the area.


    2. In Resolution 687, which set out the ceasefire conditions after Operation Desert Storm, the Security Council imposed continuing obligations on Iraq to eliminate its weapons of mass destruction in order to restore international peace and security in the area. Resolution 687 suspended but did not terminate the authority to use force under Resolution 678.


    3. A material breach of Resolution 687 revives the authority to use force under Resolution 678.


    4. In Resolution 1441, the Security Council determined that Iraq has been and remains in material breach of Resolution 687, because it

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    has not fully complied with its obligations to disarm under that resolution.


    5. The Security Council in Resolution 1441 gave Iraq "a final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations" and warned Iraq of the "serious consequences" if it did not.


    6. The Security Council also decided in Resolution 1441 that, if Iraq failed at any time to comply with and co-operate fully in the implementation of Resolution 1441, that would constitute a further material breach.


    7. It is plain that Iraq has failed so to comply and therefore Iraq was at the time of Resolution 1441 and continues to be in material breach.


    8. Thus, the authority to use force under Resolution 678 has revived and so continues today.


    9. Resolution 1441 would in terms have provided that a further decision of the Security Council to sanction force was required if that had been intended. Thus, all that Resolution 1441 requires is reporting to and discussion by the Security Council of Iraq's failures, but not an express further decision to authorise force.

I have lodged a copy of this Answer, together with Resolutions 678, 687 and 1441 in the Libraries of both Houses and the Vote Office of the House of Commons.

Human Rights Conventions

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

    Whether they have any plans to seek amendments to the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the European Convention on Human Rights, or the European Convention for the Elimination of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment so as to limit or abridge the prohibition against torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.[HL1561]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Amos): We have no current plans. However, if asylum measures introduced do not dramatically reduce the number of asylum applications, the UK Government have prepared to go further, including looking fundamentally at our obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights.

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

    Whether they have any plans to denounce the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights or the European Convention on Human Rights or the United Nations Convention Against

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    Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment.[HL1562]

Baroness Amos: We have no plans to do so.

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

    Whether they have any plans to seek amendments to Article 3 of the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment.[HL1563]

Baroness Amos: The UK Government have no plans to seek amendments to Article 3 of the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

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

    Whether, upon ratification on behalf of the United Kingdom on 8 December 1988 of the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, any reservation was made to Article 3 of the convention.[HL1564]

Baroness Amos: The United Kingdom made no reservation to Article 3 upon ratification of the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

Information Provided to Daily Mail on Cases Decided by Lord Justice Collins

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

    Whether any Home Office civil servant or special adviser provided information last week to the Daily Mail about cases previously decided by Justice Collins; and, if so, what was the nature of information, and in what circumstances and under whose authority it was provided.[HL1923]

The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Falconer of Thoroton): No information was provided to the Daily Mail by Home Office civil servants or special advisers about Lord Justice Collins's previous cases, details of which were all already in the public domain.


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