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16 Jun 2010 : Column WA115

Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004

Questions

Asked by Lord Lucas

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): The contracts held between Her Majesty's Court Service and private bailiff companies contain a specific protocol on the use of forced entry by private bailiffs. This protocol sets out the procedure that must be followed before any use of forced entry by private bailiffs. The procedure specifies the line of communication between the bailiff, their manager, and a nominated officer at the court that must take place before the use of forced entry is approved. This ensures that all relevant and current information regarding the defaulter can be considered before any action is taken.

As part of the contract monthly reporting requirements, private bailiff companies must report the use of forced entry powers to Her Majesty's Court Service. The contracts set out what information must be included by the bailiff companies.

The use of the search and entry powers by private bailiff companies has been minimal. There have been only been nine instances where forced entry has been used since the use of private bailiff contracts began in 2006, of which eight resulted in payments being made and a total of £7,696 taken in fines and bailiff fees by the bailiff companies.

Asked by Lord Lucas

Lord McNally: The Government intend to retain the forced entry powers contained in Schedule 4A to the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980, inserted by Schedule 4 to the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004. The powers contained in that schedule are key to successful enforcement which will ensure fines remain an effective and credible sentence. Therefore there are no plans to revoke.



16 Jun 2010 : Column WA116

Drugs: Heroin

Question

Asked by Baroness Finlay of Llandaff

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): Any approach that helps people get off drugs for good should be explored. The department will look at the evidence, including the recently published evidence in the Lancet, on the use of injectable medicinal heroin to treat entrenched heroin users.

Currently, a wide range of specialist drug treatment services are available and accessible in each of the 149 local authority areas in England, for everyone who needs help for drug problems, including sex workers.

Elections: Rwanda

Question

Asked by Lord Jones of Cheltenham

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): We feel that Rwanda has made progress in developing the necessary institutions to take forward the democratic process. We are working closely with the Rwandan National Election Commission (NEC) and monitoring preparations for the 2010 presidential elections. We have encouraged the NEC to implement fully the recommendations made by the EU Election Observer Mission in 2008. The Government of Rwanda have invited international election observers, including from the Commonwealth, the EU and the African Union.

The UK, through the Department for International Development (DfID), is providing the NEC with £3 million assistance in support of its strategic plan for 2008-12. This includes logistical IT support, covering voter registration, results management, and administration of election materials. The UK, through DfID, provided a total of £52 million in assistance to Rwanda in the financial year 2009-10.

Enforcement of Road Traffic Debts Order 1993

Question

Asked by Lord Lucas

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): No guidance has been issued. The warrant of execution would not contain the same information as that appearing on a writ of fieri facias as although they are similar in nature they relate to different types of debts.

EU: Regulation

Question

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): The fundamental review of regulation scheduled for introduction over the coming year, initiated by the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, will also encompass European Union regulation contained within the forward regulatory programme, published in March 2010.

Financial Services: Equities

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The implications of high frequency trading for equity markets are currently being assessed by the Financial Services Authority, including in the context of the Committee of European Securities Regulators' contribution to the European Commission's upcoming review of the markets in financial instruments directive.

Health: Complementary and Alternative Medicines

Question

Asked by Lord Clement-Jones



16 Jun 2010 : Column WA118

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): Under the European medicines legislative framework manufactured medicines placed on the market require an appropriate product licence. Directive 2004/24/EC had the effect of confirming that this requirement applied fully to herbal medicines once the transitional period under the directive expires on 30 April 2011. For these products, either a marketing authorisation or a traditional herbal registration will be required.

The option exists for European Union member states to create regulatory arrangements under Article 5.1 of directive 2001/83/EC for those designated as authorised healthcare professionals to commission an unlicensed manufactured medicine to meet the special needs of an individual patient on the professional responsibility of the clinician. However, herbal practitioners are currently not subject to systematic professional regulation. In 2009, the department, along with devolved health departments, consulted on the regulation of practitioners of herbal medicine, acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine. Once we have considered the consultation responses we will make clear how we intend to proceed, including as to the possibility of creating a scheme under Article 5.1 for herbal practitioners.

Health: Contaminated Blood Products

Questions

Asked by Lord Archer of Sandwell

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The blood policy team in the department and the Blood and Tissue Policy Unit in the Republic of Ireland's Department of Health and Children keep in regular contact on a number of matters to ensure the accuracy of policy statements made by each of relevance to the other. Some of these communications, which relate to matters in the public domain, will be placed in the Library of the House by the end of the month. Confidential information obtained from another state related to the development of that Government's policy will not be made public.

Asked by Lord Morris of Manchester

Earl Howe: Officials in the department have not met officials in the Republic of Ireland's Department of Health and Children to discuss compensation for those infected with contaminated blood since the judgment of the High Court in March v Secretary of State for Health.

Independent Networks Co-operative Association Ltd

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): No.

Indonesia

Question

Asked by Lord Avebury

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): No representations have been made by the Government to the Government of Indonesia on the Aceh oil and gas sharing agreement.

International Criminal Court Statute

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool



16 Jun 2010 : Column WA120

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The conditions under which the International Criminal Court may exercise its jurisdiction and states may refer a situation are set out in the Rome statute under Articles 13 and 14. The referral of a situation in a non-state party is possible under Article 13(b) when the situation has been referred by the UN Security Council acting under Chapter VII of the UN charter.

Legal Aid

Questions

Asked by Lord Corbett of Castle Vale

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): The Legal Services Commission (LSC) currently has 2,677 offices in England and Wales contracted to do family work. In addition, specialist family telephone advice has been available through the community legal advice telephone service since August 2009.

The table below sets out the numbers of offices contracted to do civil and criminal work since 2000. Although the numbers of offices have decreased since 2000, many of the providers have merged to provide services, or undertook only a small amount of legal aid work, which has since been taken up by others. In 2008-09 the LSC funded 1.3 million civil and family acts of assistance, including a record of over 1 million legal help acts of assistance via face-to-face services and telephone advice.

The LSC has recently tendered for new family contracts to begin in October 2010. The result of the tenders are still being analysed but there has been substantial interest in family contracts.

Number of Offices holding Civil and Criminal Contracts
At end MarchCivilCriminal

2000

5,286

N/A

2001

5,221

2,925

2002

5,321

2,909

2003

5,061

2,900

2004

4,715

2,669

2005

4,430

2,643

2006

4,101

2,608

2007

3,895

2,510

2008

3,627

2,230

2009

3,585

2,245

Police: Pursuits

Question

Asked by Lord Condon


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