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In England and Wales—the value of the average payment to individual solicitor firms and barristers in Crown Court cases during each of the past three years was as follows*:

Financial YearCategoryAverage Payment

2005-06

Solicitors

£2,393

Barristers

£1,443

2006-07

Solicitors

£2,397

Barristers

£1,339

2007-08

Solicitors

£2,920

Barristers

£1,580



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Crime: Northern Ireland

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): A review of cases commenced in the Crown Court in Northern Ireland in 2008 suggests that of those defendants in receipt of legal aid 36 per cent were represented by a solicitor, junior and senior counsel. All other defendants in receipt of legal aid were represented by a solicitor and a junior counsel.

In Northern Ireland the statutory merits test for granting criminal legal aid is whether it is in the interests of justice that the defendant should receive free legal aid. It is the responsibility of the district judge (magistrates' courts) to decide whether to grant a legal aid certificate for one or two counsel in any case.

In the Crown Court in England and Wales defendants are represented by more than one counsel in approximately 2 per cent of cases.

The interest of justice test is also applied in England and Wales. In addition, the Criminal Defence Service (General) (No. 2) Regulations 2001 set out the circumstances in which more than one advocate may be allowed in criminal proceedings in England and Wales.

A representation order for two junior counsel in proceedings in the Crown Court in England and Wales may be made only where:

in the opinion of the court the case for the assisted person involves substantial novel or complex issues of law or fact which could not be adequately presented by a single advocate; and

either:two or more advocates have been instructed on behalf of the prosecution;the case for the assisted person is exceptional compared with the generality of cases involving similar offences;the number of prosecution witnesses exceeds 80; orthe number of pages of prosecution evidence exceeds 1,000.

A representation order for a QC and junior counsel in proceedings in the Crown Court in England and Wales may be made only where:

in the opinion of the court the case for the assisted person involves substantial novel or complex issues of law or fact which could not be adequately presented except by a Queen's Counsel assisted by junior counsel; and



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either:

the case for the assisted person is exceptional compared with the generality of cases involving similar offences; ora Queen's Counsel or senior Treasury counsel has been instructed on behalf of the prosecution; andtwo or more advocates have been instructed on behalf of the prosecution; or the number of prosecution witnesses exceeds 80; or the number of pages of prosecution evidence exceeds 1,000.

A representation order may be made for three counsel only where the proceedings arise from a prosecution brought by the Serious Fraud Office and the court considers that three advocates are required.

Development Aid

Questions

Asked by Lord Judd

Lord Tunnicliffe: The public consultation document for the forthcoming White Paper on international development sets out a range of issues that the Government are seeking to consider. These include; the causes of conflict, fragile states, multilateralism, and interdependence in economic, environmental and security matters.

This document is available on the Department for International Development's (DfID) website at http://consultation.dfid.gov.uk/

I refer my noble friend to the Answer given to HL PQ 1971 for information on how DfID ensures the effectiveness of its aid in fragile and conflict-affected countries.

Asked by Lord Judd

Lord Tunnicliffe: The Department for International Development (DfID) currently assesses programme performance in fragile and conflict-affected countries

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in the same way as it does in other countries and recent reviews have shown that programme performance levels are roughly the same in these countries as in others.

DfID is, however, also currently working with other international partners at the OECD-Development Assistance Committee (DAC) to begin two new processes for monitoring performance in fragile and conflict-affected countries agreed at the Accra conference last year. The first is monitoring of the implementation of the OECD-DAC principles for good engagement in situations of fragility. This will allow us to ensure implementation of aid effectiveness principles in fragile and conflict-affected countries. Country partners taking part this year include Afghanistan, Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of Congo. We are also supporting the international dialogue on peacebuilding and statebuilding to develop peacebuilding and statebuilding objectives that will guide development assistance in fragile and conflict-affected countries and allow better performance assessment. We intend to finalise and publish a thematic evaluation of DfID's work in fragile states later this year.

The forthcoming White Paper on international development is likely to consider what additional measures can be taken to adapt aid to the priorities of fragile and conflict affected countries. The public consultation document, available at http://consultation.dfid.gov.uk/, is seeking views on new and better ways of delivering assistance in these countries.

Elections: Scotland

Question

Asked by Lord Jopling

The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): As the noble Lord will be aware from previous Answers, the Treasury does not collect the figures he seeks. The two banks operate throughout the United Kingdom and in many other countries.

Figures on the Scottish population are published by the Office for National Statistics. The latest figures available are for 2006 when the population of Scotland was estimated at 5,100,000.

The Treasury invested £19.97 billion in RBS on 1 December and £11.48 billion in HBOS on 15 January. On 16 January, the Treasury's investment in HBOS was exchanged for shares in the Lloyds Banking Group, in accordance with the arrangements for the merger between HBOS and Lloyds TSB.

Both banks were named among the eight initial eligible institutions for the credit guarantee scheme. The allocations for individual banks under the scheme are confidential.



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It has also been announced that the Treasury has reached in principle agreements with Lloyds Banking Group, which now owns HBOS, and the Royal Bank of Scotland about participation in the asset protection scheme.

Electoral Register: Northern Ireland

Questions

Asked by Lord Maginnis of Drumglass

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: In this context the term “operational matter” is used in relation to the day to day running activities of the independent bodies sponsored by the Northern Ireland Office. This includes questions asked about the chief electoral officer.

Ministers will respond substantively on statutory policy or corporate sponsorship matters relating to these bodies.

Asked by Lord Maginnis of Drumglass

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: The term “operational matter” is used in relation to the day to day running activities of the independent bodies sponsored by the Northern Ireland Office. This definition is not affected by whether or not such a matter is in the public domain.

Energy: Renewables

Question

Asked by Lord Jenkin of Roding

The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change & Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): Nuclear power is not classed as a renewable because supplies of the fuel source, uranium, are finite. Based on the levels of global nuclear generation in 2004, the known available

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reserves of uranium that can be mined for less than $130/kg (approximately the uranium price in 2006) would last for the next 85 years.

Nuclear is a low carbon form of electricity generation which can help to minimise damaging climate change.

Financial Services Compensation Scheme

Question

Asked by Lord Marlesford

The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): The Financial Services Authority is responsible for the rules of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). Bank deposits are not aggregated for the purposes of the FSCS where the banks concerned are separately authorised entities under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. Bank deposits are aggregated if the banks concerned are not separately authorised entities but are different trading names of the same authorised entity. The presence or size of any government shareholding in the banks concerned (or in any related companies) is not relevant for determining whether deposits are aggregated. Information on the trading names used by different banks is available on the Financial Services Authority's consumer website at www.fsa.gov.uk.

Gaza

Question

Asked by Baroness Northover

Lord Tunnicliffe: The Palestinian national early recovery and reconstruction plan for Gaza 2009-10 (formerly known as the GERRP) was presented at the international conference in support of the Palestinian economy for the reconstruction of Gaza (2 March 2009, Sharm el-Sheikh). The plan lays out what needs to be done over the next two years to replace damaged and destroyed public infrastructure, rebuild homes and help the economy recover. The UK Government and other donors support the plan and believe it offers a sound blueprint for recovery in Gaza. It is available on the OCHA website at www.ochaopt.org/cluster/clusters.php?domain=3.

On 1 March 2009, the Department for International Development (DfID) pledged £30 million for recovery in Gaza. This will help rebuild damaged and destroyed homes, schools and hospitals in Gaza, and help ensure delivery of basic services. DfID has also allocated £443,000 to the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) to clear unexploded ordnance from sites across Gaza.



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Recovery is only the first stage of rebuilding Gaza. For longer term reconstruction, we expect the World Bank, EC and UN to take the lead on a full needs assessment. We will assess support to reconstruction at that stage.

Government Departments: Data Security

Question

Asked by Baroness Neville-Jones

Lord Patel of Bradford: It is not in the interests of the UK's national security for departments to confirm whether they hold information about attacks against their IT systems and networks. This would enable individuals to deduce how successful the UK is in detecting these attacks and so assist such persons in testing the effectiveness of the UK's IT defences. This is not in the public interest.

Government: IT Projects

Question

Asked by Lord Steinberg

The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): HM Treasury sets overall budgets for departments but does not set specific budgets for information technology. It is for departments to allocate resources appropriately within their existing budgets and to ensure that their spending represents value for money. Departments are therefore responsible for recording their portfolio of projects.

The operational efficiency programme is currently reviewing how the Government could get more value from back office and IT. The IT part of this workstrand will be examining the total public sector expenditure on IT, including IT-enabled business change projects. This work will assess the level of efficiency savings that can be achieved in the use of IT and will make recommendations at Budget 2009 for how they should be achieved.

The Chief Informational Officer (CIO) Council acts as a focus for partnership between IT professionals across Government and has a membership drawn from the wider public sector—central government, local government, and agencies in fields such as health and policing. The CIO Council is charged with creating and delivering a government-wide CIO agenda to support the transformation of government and to build capacity and capability in IT-enabled business change.

The CIO Council produces a Transformational Government annual report. This report aims to set out a six-year improvement plan for public services by

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ensuring IT supports the business transformation of Government themselves, in order to provide better, more efficient, public services. Transformational Government Annual Report 2007 stated that IT expenditure of the CIO Council was £13.2 billion in 2006-07. This report provides a breakdown of this spend by department and by some major projects. A copy of the Transformational Government Annual Report 2007 has been laid in the Library of the House.

Home Office: Training


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