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We are confident that the legislation is beginning to work well. We always intended that the legislation should be used only as a last resort where other measures have proved unsuccessful. We want to encourage voluntary reoccupation of empty homes but this can only work well where there is realistic compulsion to back them up. EDMOs provide this compulsion and should therefore be a key component of a comprehensive empty property strategy.

Local authorityNo. of Interim EDMOs Authorised

London Borough of Bromley


Carlisle District Council


London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham


London Borough of Hounslow


London Borough of Lewisham


New Forest District Council


Norwich City Council


Peterborough City Council


South Norfolk District Council


Staffordshire Moorlands District Council


Swale Borough Council


Wychavon District Council


South Tyneside Borough Council


Southend-On-Sea Borough Council




Asked by Lord Greaves

Lord McKenzie of Luton: Local authorities have a range of enforcement powers available to them to use where properties are left empty and which may have become derelict or be in poor condition. Local authorities can use compulsory purchase orders where properties are left empty or they can use an enforced sale procedure where empty properties are derelict or in poor condition. The Housing Act 2004 also introduced empty dwelling management orders for properties that have been left empty for longer than six months. These enforcement powers are not specific to selective licensing areas.

In selective licensing areas, all private landlords will need to be identified by local authorities as fit and proper persons and must ensure that satisfactory management standards are in place at their properties. Local authorities have powers to take over the management of privately rented properties in selective licensing areas, known as interim management orders (IMOs), if a licence cannot be granted.

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Human Rights


Asked by Lord Laird

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): The Human Rights Act 1998 applies throughout the United Kingdom and the Government have no plans to consider whether other appropriate human rights should be introduced for particular areas of England.

Human Rights Act 1998


Asked by Lord Lester of Herne Hill

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): Section 145 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 ensures that care and accommodation which is publicly arranged under the National Assistance Act 1948 (or similar provision in Scottish and Northern Irish legislation) is now subject to the Human Rights Act 1998 as if it were a function of a public nature within the meaning of Section 6(3)(b) of that Act. It therefore reverses the effect of the judgment of the Appellate Committee in YL v Birmingham City Council on care homes, in respect of individuals whose care is publicly arranged.

Intelligence and Security Committee


Asked by Lord Lester of Herne Hill

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Baroness Royall of Blaisdon): Arrangements were put in place in December 2008 for the Intelligence and Security Committee to obtain independent and confidential legal advice through the Treasury Solicitor's Department.

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International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights


Asked by Lord Lester of Herne Hill

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): The Government need to be convinced of the practical value to the people of the United Kingdom of the rights of individual petition to the United Nations under each of the covenants to which they apply. In 2004 we acceded to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. One of our reasons for doing so was to enable us to consider on a more empirical basis the merits of the right of individual petition. Professor Jim Murdoch of Glasgow University reviewed the operation of the optional protocol, and we announced the conclusions of his review on 4 December 2008, which were that the optional protocol had not yet provided women in the UK with real benefits; non-governmental organisations in the UK had not used the optional protocol in advancing the cause of women, and that the quality of the UN Committee's adjudication on admissibility of complaints could appear inconsistent. Professor Murdoch's findings suggest that the first three years did not provide sufficient empirical evidence to decide either way on the value of other individual complaint mechanisms. We will need further evidence, over a longer period, to establish what the practical benefits are.

On 8 June (Official Report, col. 28WS), my honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Jonathan Shaw) announced that the UK intends to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities shortly. The Government will keep under review the applications made under these two optional protocols, how they are handled by the relevant committees at the United Nations, and whether their outcome demonstrates significant additional benefits to people in the United Kingdom. This evidence will assist the Government in assessing the merits of other individual petition mechanisms.

Israel and Palestine


Asked by Lord Hylton

Lord Brett: The UK remains committed to supporting the Arab peace initiative (API). My right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary reiterated the UK's support to the API in his statement at the UN Security Council

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on 11 May 2009. The UK sees the API as an essential basis for progressing towards peace in the Middle East.

We will continue to maintain contact with Israeli, Palestinian, Arab and other international leaders to do all we can to drive the peace process forward.

IT Projects


Asked by Lord Taylor of Holbeach

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Davies of Oldham): My honourable friend issued a Ministerial Correction to his Answer on 27 March (Official Report,cols. 5-6MC).

We now include a project that is a new, updated entry from the Rural Payments Agency, which was unintentionally omitted from the November 2008 table.

The projects listed are information technology projects in Defra and its largest executive agencies, the Rural Payments Agency and Animal Health, which were estimated to cost more than £1 million over the life of the project. Costs listed exclude the day-to-day running costs after the completion of the project. The figures quoted are either the actual cost for completed projects or the latest forecast estimates for those that are not yet completed. The estimated costs to completion are subject to change as business cases are reviewed and funding approved.

Projects costing less than £1 million and those within smaller executive agencies, as well as any projects initiated after November 2008, have been excluded as data collection for these would incur a disproportionate cost to the department to compile.

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ProjectActual/expected completion dateActual/estimated costs £

Animal Health Business Reform Programme

November 2011


Rural Payments Agency Cattle Tracing System (CTS) Programme*

November 2009


CAP Health Check Implementation Programme—Rural Payments Agency

November 2010


Customer and Land Database (CLAD)

March 2010


Enabling Technology Programme 2008-09

March 2009


UK Location Programme (previously described with the working title of “INSPIRE/UK Location Strategy Implementation Programme”)

December 2012


Renew IT

March 2009


Rural Payments Agency Managed Document Service

September 2009


Rural Payments Agency Rural Land Register Upgrade

April 2010


Rural Payments Agency Single Payment System Upgrade (including CAP Health Check)

November 2009


Rural Payments Agency Storage Servers Upgrade

March 2010


Spatial Information Repository (SPIRE)

March 2010


Web Rationalisation

March 2011


Whole Farm Approach

March 2011


*This project is a new, updated entry from the Rural Payments Agency, which was unintentionally omitted from the November 2008 table.

Judicial Review


Asked by Lord Laird

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): 7,375 judicial reviews were issued in England and Wales during the 2008-09 financial year.

Asked by Lord Laird

Lord Bach: Of the 266 judicial review cases granted legal aid in 2008-09 the Northern Ireland Legal Services Commission has received reports on 62 cases. Of the 62 cases, 10 were successful; seven were unsuccessful; nine were settled and 36 did not proceed to court. The outcomes of the remaining 204 cases have yet to be reported. The 10 successful cases are set out below:

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