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The Foreign and Commonwealth Office's 2008 annual human rights report gives many examples of our engagement with countries around the world on human rights issues.

India: Orissa

Question

Asked by Lord Hylton

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead): The EU maintains a constructive dialogue with the Indian authorities about human rights and minority rights issues, which includes the situation in Orissa and its neighbouring states following the violence in 2008. Officials from our high commission have had an active part in these discussions. However, the Government have not raised the resettlement of Christian communities with the Indian Government outside the framework of the EU dialogue.



30 Jun 2009 : Column WA36

Justice: Foreign and International Courts

Question

Asked by Lord Hylton

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead): On 4 May 2009 the Government filed an amicus curiae brief with the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the court currently considering the case of Ms Linda Carty, a British national sentenced to death in Houston, Texas. The brief focused on two related issues: the lack of consular notification in Ms Carty's case, and ineffective assistance of counsel. The fifth circuit has yet to rule on Ms Carty's outstanding appeal or comment on the contents of the brief.

Prior to our recent intervention, the Government also filed an amicus curiae brief in relation to Ms Carty's case when it was before the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas on 12 May 2006. That brief focused only on the lack of consular notification.

New Forest: Animals

Question

Asked by Baroness Byford

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Davies of Oldham): The extent of information available is shown in the table below. Figures for riding horses and sheep were not recorded pre-2006.

YearRiding horsesPoniesCattleSheep

1998

Not available

3593

2936

Not available

1999

Not available

3885

2890

Not available

2000

Not available

3990

2991

Not available

2001

Not available

3799

1658

Not available

2002

Not available

3440

1685

Not available

2003

Not available

3477

1762

Not available

2004

Not available

3913

2175

Not available

2005

Not available

4309

2745

Not available

2006

Not available

4204

2572

41

2007

3537

4479

2529

55

North Korea

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool



30 Jun 2009 : Column WA37

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead): We are aware of the media reports about the Kang Nam and are monitoring the situation. We can confirm that UN Security Council Resolution 1874 placed an embargo on the export of all arms from North Korea. We are working with international partners to ensure that all measures in the resolution are swiftly and effectively enforced.

Northern Ireland Office: Hire Cars

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: The Northern Ireland Office, including the Public Prosecution Service Northern Ireland but excluding its agencies and executive NDPBs, overstated the total amount paid to suppliers of private hire cars as follows:

Year£'000

2003-04

4

2004-05

43

2006-07

73

Total

120

This was due to errors made in miscoding invoices for other travel costs to the private car hire expenditure code.

Northern Ireland: Human Rights Commission

Questions

Asked by Lord Laird

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: Under the Northern Ireland Act 1998 the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland is obliged, when making appointments to the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, to secure, so far as practicable, that the commissioners as a group are representative of the community in Northern Ireland.

The composition of the existing commission is taken into account when appointments are made, so that this obligation can be met.



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The Secretary of State has complied with this obligation in every appointment that has been made to the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission.

Asked by Lord Laird

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: Yes.

Asked by Lord Laird

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: Approval was sought to access £110,000 of external funding provided by Atlantic Philanthropies for a set of projects relating to work on a Bill of Rights. Legal advice was taken in relation to this matter. Copies of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission's proposal requesting approval to access external funding and the letter detailing the Northern Ireland Office's response will be placed in the Library of the House.

Asked by Lord Laird

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: I refer the noble Lord to my previous Answers of 19 May 2009 (Official Report, col. WA 298) and 8 June 2009 (Official Report, col. WA 132). The Secretary of State has shared his view with the commission.

Piracy

Question

Asked by Lord Hylton



30 Jun 2009 : Column WA39

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead): We have no information on either the detention facilities at Camp Lemonier or the numbers, origins or conditions of detention for persons held there and have therefore made no assessment. The UK is not involved in the detention of individuals in Djibouti.

Police: Northern Ireland

Questions

Asked by Lord Laird

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: The Government have accepted Patten's recommendation, echoing the Royal Ulster Constabulary's own fundamental review, that the full-time reserve should be phased out, as the security situation allowed. A programme of severance was negotiated and agreed so that all officers will have left the service by 31 March 2011.

The chief constable's assessments of policing needs and of the security situation inform his decision about the number of full-time reserve officers that is required at any time. The chief constable last week recommended that, following his recent security review, the current programme of phasing out of the FTR should continue.

Asked by Lord Laird

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: That is an operational matter for the chief constable. I have asked him to reply directly to the noble Lord, and a copy of his letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

Prisoners: Hunger Strike

Question

Asked by Lord Avebury

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): The department issued Seeking Consent; Working with People in Prison in 2002. It was issued to prisons by means of Prison Service Instruction (PSI) 38/2002, which should be read in conjunction with Department of Health guidance Reference Guide to Consent for Examination or Treatment issued in 2001. Both documents are available on the department's website and have been placed in the Library.



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The issues covered in Seeking Consent; Working with People in Prison includes the right of a competent adult patient to refuse treatment; assessment of "competence"; circumstances in which patients who lack capacity can receive treatment; the position of young people; dealing with violent or threatening behaviour, where patients may also have associated health problems; self-harm and food refusal.

Guidelines on the clinical management of people refusing food in immigration and removal centres and prisons have been developed and will be published shortly by the department.


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