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Asked by Lord Laird

The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): No Libyan assets are frozen in the United Kingdom. United Nations financial sanctions in relation to Libya were lifted on 12 September 2003.

National Offender Management Strategy


Asked by Baroness Gibson of Market Rasen

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach):Punishment and Reform: Our Approach to Managing Offenders was published on 17 December 2008 and is available on the Ministry of Justice website. It explains how the principles of punishment and reform underpin our approach to offender management.

A strategic review of offender management took place in 2007. A summary report was made available to probation services in January 2008. A copy of the summary has been placed in the Library of both Houses. The purpose of the Offender Management Strategic Review was to set the direction for the implementation of future phases of offender management within the National Offender Management Service. The review drew on an extensive programme of consultation with practitioners and other interested parties including the findings from Offender Management Inspection reports by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation which are public documents.

The Ministry has an ambitious target to reduce the frequency of reoffending by 10 per cent between 2005 and 2011. Research by our analysis teams on future reoffending rates indicates that we are on course to achieve this target The most recent reoffending statistics, published in September 2008, demonstrated that between 2005 and 2006 reoffending was reduced by 13 per cent. This is on top of a reduction in reoffending of 11.4 per cent between 2000 and 2005.

The excellent progress made in reducing reoffending over the first year of the target period is very encouraging and demonstrates the success of the Government’s approach. Working with partners in the police, local authorities, across the criminal justice system and in local communities, more effective responses to reoffending have been developed. We know that our policies have been successful in bringing reoffending down over the past eight years but we are not complacent. We are working to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our programmes of activity to deliver further reductions.



Asked by Lord Dykes

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): No.



Asked by Lord Lester of Herne Hill

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): All categories of British nationals, i.e. British citizens, British Overseas Territories citizens, British Overseas citizens, British subjects, British Nationals (Overseas) and British Protected Persons, are eligible for United Kingdom passports. Passports are currently issued at the discretion of the Secretary of State in exercise of the royal prerogative, but in practice once nationality and identity have been established, passports may be refused or withdrawn only in the limited circumstances that have been notified to Parliament.

In addition eligibility for a United Kingdom passport could be revoked in certain circumstances by deprivation of citizenship. Section 40 of the British Nationality Act 1981 enables the Secretary of State to deprive a person of their citizenship status, if acquired as a result of naturalisation or registration, if that status was obtained by fraud, false representation or concealment of material fact The Secretary of State may also deprive of citizenship status on conduciveness grounds—for example, in cases where an individual has committed serious criminality following their acquisition of that British citizenship status. Deprivation of citizenship status would mean the UK passport held by the individual would subsequently be revoked by the Secretary of State under the royal prerogative powers

Asked by Lord Marlesford

Lord West of Spithead: The latest estimate for the total number of currently valid United Kingdom passports in circulation is 51,803,000.This total number includes an estimate of 4,521,000 for United Kingdom passport holders overseas. An exact figure for the total number of passports in circulation cannot be given because lost and stolen passports may not be replaced immediately.

The number of passports revoked in 2008 was 152. Figures for earlier years could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.



Asked by Baroness Northover

The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): The majority of public service pension schemes are pay-as-you-go schemes, which means that they do not have pension funds to invest. Investment decisions of funded schemes such as the Local

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Government Pension Scheme are a matter for those local authorities. In the case of other funded schemes in the public sector, investment decisions will generally be a matter for trustees.

Prisoners: Women


Asked by Baroness Howe of Idlicote

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): The Government are satisfied that the gender equality duty and other existing legislation allows differential treatment for women to ensure equal outcomes for both genders. It was on this basis that the National Offender Management Service issued Gender Specific Standards for women prisoners in April 2008 with a view of their implementation in all women's prisons by 1 April 2009. HM Prison Service is now carrying out gender equality impact assessments of new policies affecting both genders.

Asked by Baroness Howe of Idlicote

Lord Bach: The Government committed in December to provide additional resourcing to divert vulnerable women, who are not serious or dangerous offenders, from custody. The resources will be used to build capacity of one-stop-shop services and to further develop bail support services to better meet the needs of women. A further announcement will be made once final arrangements have been agreed.

Schengen Area


Asked by Lord Laird

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The UK’s position in Schengen is kept under review and any decision to participate as a full member of Schengen would be taken on its merits and in consultation with the Irish authorities in view of the shared common travel area.

Currently there are no plans for the UK to apply the Schengen acquis in full as we believe that maintaining our frontier controls is the most effective way to

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combat international and organised crime and to prevent immigration abuse. Similarly the Republic of Ireland has not agreed to participate in the border control aspects of the Schengen agreement.

If the Republic of Ireland were to decide to apply the Schengen acquis in full we would need to assess the impact on our border security. We continue to work with our EU partners to ensure that we play as full a part as possible in the management of migration into and within the EU.

War Crimes


Asked by Lord Hylton

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): We are gravely concerned at the allegations made during the Gaza conflict by such credible organisations as the International Committee of the Red Cross and the UN. We have been clear that such allegations must be investigated. We expect, and urge, Israel to investigate allegations of abuses by its forces.



Asked by The Earl of Sandwich

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): Our asylum system provides protection to individuals where it is needed in the form of leave to remain in the United Kingdom. Asylum seekers who need support to avoid destitution are given it from the time they arrive in the UK until their claim is fully determined. Any failed asylum seeker who is unable to return home through no fault

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of their own can apply for support. It is not government policy to grant failed asylum seekers permission to work.

As the UK Border Agency noted in response to the commissioners’ findings, the Government believe that managed economic migration is a valuable source of skills and labour for the UK economy, and maintains recognised routes into the UK for those seeking to work. It is important to maintain the distinction between economic migration and asylum.

Allowing failed asylum seekers to work would be likely to encourage asylum applications from those without a well founded fear of persecution, thus slowing down the processing of applications made by genuine refugees and compromising the integrity of our asylum system.

Asked by Lord Hylton

Lord West of Spithead: Unsuccessful asylum claimants are returned to Malawi only if they are entitled to reside there, and only when the decision-making and independent appeals system have found that this would be consistent with our obligations under the refugee convention and the European Convention on Human Rights. Among many other factors, decision-makers and the courts take full account of any risk that the claimant would be removed from Malawi to another country where they could be at risk.

The nationality or entitlement of an applicant to reside in a country is determined by looking at and weighing up all of the available documentary and oral evidence. Where a person holds a genuine and legally obtained Malawian passport or other identity document issued by the Malawian authorities, that would normally be enough to show that the holder is entitled to reside in Malawi.

As an additional safeguard in the case of those who claim connections to Zimbabwe, the British High Commission in Lilongwe has obtained from the Malawian immigration authorities confirmation that they would not deport an individual who has Malawian nationality or the right to reside in Malawi, regardless of ancestral nationality or previous residence in a third country.

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