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Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Filkin: The appointment of Sir Brian Kerr as Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland was made by Her Majesty the Queen in January 2004 on the recommendation of the Lord Chancellor.

The appointment was made solely on the basis of merit.

Personal information in relation to individuals is not released.

Northern Ireland: Lord Justices of Appeal

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Filkin: There are three Lord Justices of Appeal in Northern Ireland:

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All were appointed by Her Majesty the Queen on the recommendation of the Lord Chancellor. The appointments were made solely on the basis of merit.

Personal information in relation to individuals is not released.

Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Commission

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Filkin: The target date for the establishment of the Northen Ireland Judicial Appointments Commission is June 2005. It is planned to appoint the members in the Spring.

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Filkin: The lay members of the Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Commission will be appointed at the same time as the judicial and legal profession members.

Northern Ireland: Senior Judiciary Selection Criteria

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Filkin: The selection criteria for appointment as a judge of the High Court of Justice in Northern Ierland are:

While there are no published criteria for appointment to the offices of Lord Chief Justice or Lord Justice of Appeal, those appointed are also expected to meet the above criteria. Appointments are made solely on the basis of merit.
 
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Business: Regulation and Taxation

Lord Tebbit asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville): The levy on privatised businesses (the "Windfall Tax") was a one-off tax on the excess profits of the privatised utilities, the proceeds of which have directly benefited business through the New Deal.

The reason my previous Answer gave the tax rates and not the cost is because that is the best way to express the tax burden on industry.

Motorsport Events

Lord Astor of Hever asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Sainsbury of Turville: The Motorsport Development Board has been engaged since November 2003 in delivering all of the Motorsport Panel's recommendations including business development, widening participation, the promotion of energy-efficient motorsport, the creation of a dedicated Motorsport Academy and the training of volunteer marshals and race officials. All of these measures contribute to the health of the UK's world-leading motorsport sector and to the retention of world-class motorsport events.

The Government have made available the sum of £16 million over five years in support of the panel's recommendations. In addition, the board draws on the resources of a dedicated Government Motorsport Unit staffed by four Regional Development Agencies and the Departments of Trade and Industry and Culture, Media and Sport.

Emergency Contraception

Lord Alton of Liverpool asked Her Majesty's Government:

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Warner): Since 1 January 2001 pharmacists have been permitted to supply levonorgestrel 0.75mg to women aged 16 and over for use as an emergency contraceptive (the "morning-after" pill). There are no plans to review the decision which allows the supply of emergency contraception under these circumstances as there is no new evidence relevant to the criteria in the UK for Prescription Only Medicine status.

On 7 May 2004, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it had issued a "not approvable" letter in relation to a proposal to make a product for emergency contraception available without prescription in the United States (US). The letter also outlined the additional information that would be required to gain approval to market the product. In particular, the FDA was concerned about the lack of data concerning the use of the product among adolescents younger than 16 years old. In the US, unlike pharmacy availability in the UK, supply without a prescription is comparable to supply without the supervision either of a doctor or a pharmacist.

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) keeps the safety of all medicines under review. The MHRA will continue to monitor the safety of levonorgestrel 0.75mg and will review any potential safety issues in the light of any new evidence which may emerge.

Data Protection: Government Departments

The Earl of Northesk asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: The Data Protection Act 1998 provides the framework for the processing of personal data. Departments take these requirements into consideration when developing their policies on the use and storage of data they hold. Each department's and agency's management code will set out the disciplinary procedures that will apply within their own organisation including the types of offences that can lead to dismissal.

The Department for Constitutional Affairs is currently developing a public service guarantee on data handling which will give guidance to the general public on the standards that public bodies should adher to when handling personal data.


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