Previous Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page

I understand that Metropolitan Police policy is to manually review photographs of individuals taken at public-order events and they will now retain or dispose of them in accordance with the recent judgment of the Court of Appeal in Woods v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis [2009] EWCA Civ 414.

Human Rights

Questions

Asked by Lord Lester of Herne Hill

Lord Brett: In accordance with Rule 17 of the Rules of Court, in carrying out his responsibilities which include assisting the court in the exercise of its judicial functions, the registrar of the European Court of Human Rights acts under the authority of the president of the court. Staff members of the registry are staff members of the Council of Europe, the court's parent organisation, and are subject to the Council of Europe's staff regulations.

Asked by Lord Laird

Lord Davies of Oldham: Our diplomatic missions overseas report events, activities and other information relevant to our policy goals back to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and to other government departments. This includes information on the human rights and democracy situation in countries.

An important factor in deciding how to deploy our finite resources is the state's own capacity to address human rights concerns, as well as access to regional mechanisms, for example the European Court of Human Rights. The level of monitoring or reporting also depends on the seriousness of the human rights situation as assessed by our diplomats on the ground, FCO and other relevant officials, and their relevance to the Government's policy goals.

Human rights are essential to the delivery of our strategic goals whether in combating the global scourge of terrorism and its causes; preventing conflict and

15 Jun 2009 : Column WA183

fostering its resolution; promoting a high-growth, low-carbon global economy; or strengthening institutions such as the UN, EU and the Commonwealth. We do not therefore have discrete criteria for monitoring human rights abuses as we do not see human rights and democracy issues as separated from our broader international interests.

Maryam Kallis

Question

Asked by Lord Hylton

Lord Brett: Mrs Maryam Kallis and another British national were released from Syrian custody on Sunday 7 June 2009.

NHS: Fertility Treatment

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): The Government have not responded specifically to these online petitions, but we are aware that primary care trusts are making progress in moving towards full implementation of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence fertility guidelines.

The provision of in vitro fertilisation treatment on the National Health Service has been monitored by a series of surveys. The most recent survey, undertaken by the department earlier this year, is currently being analysed.

Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: All candidates for membership of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission are required to declare community background and political activity.

Five commissioners have declared their background as that of the Catholic community, four have declared their background as that of the Protestant community and one has declared that they do not have a Protestant or Catholic community background.

Seven commissioners have declared political activity on behalf of the Alliance Party, DUP, SDLP, UUP and Northern Ireland Women's Coalition.

Under Section 68(3) of the Northern Ireland Act 1998, the Secretary of State is obliged, when making appointments to the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, to secure as far as practicable, that the commissioners as a group are representative of the community in Northern Ireland. The Secretary of State is satisfied that this statutory obligation has been, and continues to be, met.

The most recent official statistics on community background in Northern Ireland can be found in the 2001 Census. These figures show the community balance to be 45.57 per cent Protestant, 40.26 per cent Catholic, 0.3 per cent others and 13.88 per cent non-stated.

Nuclear Plans: Security

Question

Asked by Baroness Harris of Richmond

The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The determining factors that contribute to defining security at a licensed civil nuclear site are: the threat, the consequences of the loss or dispersal of nuclear material, and the UK's international obligations.

Security in the civil nuclear industry is subject to regulation which reflects the international obligations and best practice. The Office for Civil Nuclear Security (OCNS) regulates the civil nuclear industry by means of the Nuclear Industries Security Regulations 2003 (NISR). The NISR requires nuclear licensed sites to have approved site security plans (SSPs). SSPs are protectively marked and they detail the standards, procedures and specific arrangements that must be kept in place to ensure the security of the nuclear premises, nuclear material in whatever category, form or quantity and sensitive nuclear information against

15 Jun 2009 : Column WA185

the malicious capabilities posed by the Nuclear Industries Malicious Capabilities Planning Assumptions. This document allows a judgment to be made with regard to the malicious capabilities that could be deployed against a licensed site or transporters, and against which security measures should provide protection. It draws on intelligence provided by the national intelligence agencies particularly the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre of which OCNS is a member.

Operators submit their SSPs to OCNS for approval before they are adopted and thereafter, they become the basis against which they are judged to be compliant with the regulations. Once approved SSPs are regarded as live documents and subject to constant review, scrutiny and amendment as necessary by the operator concerned and by OCNS through regulatory activity.

Security measures in the civil nuclear industry are applied in a graduated manner in accordance with the severity of the threat and the level of consequence of a successful attack in a manner that provides defence in depth. They include physical, electronic, information and personnel security measures.

Older People: Services

Question

Asked by Lord Ashley of Stoke

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and Department for Communities and Local Government (Lord McKenzie of Luton): There are currently no plans to establish such a directory. However, we recognise that the information on services and help available for older people needs to be improved. This will be one of the key issues we are addressing in the forthcoming ageing strategy.

Parole

Question

Asked by Lord Monson

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): Information is not collected centrally on the number of appellants who have consistently maintained their innocence. The number of appeals against conviction allowed by the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) in each year since 1988 is shown in the table below. These are not exclusively custodial cases.



15 Jun 2009 : Column WA186

Number of appeals allowed against conviction by the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) since 1988
Appeals Allowed1

19882

223

1989

211

1990

256

1991

269

1992

299

1993

402

1994

351

1995

253

1996

250

1997

236

1998

290

1999

171

2000

150

2001

135

2002

166

2003

178

2004

240

2005

228

2006

181

2007

196

2008

188

Pensions

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

Baroness Crawley: Details of the percentage employee contributions payable and the approximate split of active membership between the classic, classic plus, premium and nuvos sections of the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme are contained in Cabinet Office: Civil Superannuation Resource Accounts. Copies of the resource accounts for the years up to and including 2007-08 can be found in the Library.

Public Sector: Contracts

Question

Asked by Lord Kirkwood of Kirkhope

The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): Departments are required to put in place effective arrangements for the management of contracts to help ensure compliance, value for money and the achievement of required benefits.



15 Jun 2009 : Column WA187

Railways: Eurostar

Question

Asked by Lord Berkeley

The Secretary of State for Transport (Lord Adonis): The Government are not engaged in a sale of Eurostar UK Ltd.

The Government continue to examine ways to best further the development of Eurostar in conjunction with our international partners.

Our objectives in doing so are to facilitate the development of international rail passenger services, and to secure the best long-term value of the UK's share in Eurostar in the interests of taxpayer.

Safety Standards

Question

Asked by Lord Pendry

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and Department for Communities and Local Government (Lord McKenzie of Luton): The United Kingdom already has one of the best occupational safety and health records in the European Union, evidenced by our having the lowest rate of work-related fatal injury amongst member states. The UK implements EU health and safety legislation to ensure workers are properly protected and plays an active role in EU standards setting.

The Government are committed to building on this progress and on the 3 June, the Health and Safety Executive launched a new health and safety strategy for Great Britain, setting out the core principles and sensible approach to health and safety which is needed to maintain safe and healthy workplaces.

Territorial Army


Next Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page