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Mr. Dismore: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department in relation to High Court judges on circuit, (a) what are the duties of the marshal, (b) who appoints the marshal, (c) who pays the wages and fees of the marshal, (d) what was the total cost of the marshal service to public funds for each of the last three years, (e) what uniform, dress code or badge of office distinguishes the marshal, (f) how many marshals there are and (g) what are the qualifications and experience required to be a marshal; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Lock: (a) A marshal is expected to take an active interest in the trial, make notes and be prepared to enter into discussion with the judge on legal matters; (b) the marshal is invited by the High Court judge to accompany him/her to small official functions; (c) the marshal is not paid any wages or fees, other than an allowance of £2.10 per day which is paid by the Court Service and any travel or laundry costs are borne by the marshal; (d) since April 2000, there have been nine marshals used, for a total of 86 days at a total cost of £180.60; (e) working dress is decided between the marshal and the judge; (f) the number of marshals on any circuit does not usually exceed two; and (g) marshals are normally law students or newly qualified lawyers, who accept the position as useful work experience.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department in relation to High Court judges' marshals, when on circuit, (a) what is the selection or appointment procedure followed in choosing a marshal, (b) what training is given to ensure the marshal is appointed in accordance with equal opportunities legislation and (c) for each of the last two years, how many marshals (i) were men, (ii) were women and (iii) were from ethnic minority backgrounds; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Lock: There are no appointment procedures. Marshals are invited by the High Court judge concerned to accompany him/her while on circuit to gain work experience. The statistics requested are not kept centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what assessment he has made of the value of judges' lodgings and associated expenditure as a benefit in kind for income tax purposes. 
Mr. Lock: None. On the Department's present understanding, tax liability is not considered to arise from the existing arrangements for the provision of such accommodation to High Court judges and associated expenditure.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department in respect of the Crown courts situated at (a) St. Albans, (b) Reading, (c) Chelmsford, (d) Colchester and (e) Maidstone, (i) how many sitting days were held at each court in each of the last five years, (ii) for how many nights the judges' lodgings were occupied in each of the last five years,
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(iii) for how many High Court judges sitting at each of the courts (A) regularly made use of the lodgings and (B) habitually commuted from their own residence to court and (iv) what was the annual cost of each of the lodgings for each of the last five years. 
Jane Kennedy: For ease of reference I will answer each element of the question using the same numbering as the hon. Member. I should also point out that there is neither a Crown court centre nor judges' lodgings at Colchester.
Prior to 1997, lodgings were administered locally and it would incur a disproportionate cost to collect comparable cost information for 1995-96 and 1996-97. While sitting figures exist for the Crown court for these years, there are no readily available lodgings data against which to make a useful comparison and they have therefore been omitted from my answer.
(i) In the context of this question, I have interpreted the request for sitting day information as relating to High Court business only. On that basis, High Court judge sitting days in the Crown court are as follows:
The difference between sitting day figures and the days the lodgings were occupied can be attributed to a number of factors. For example, cases which settled or adjourned on short notice would not have been recorded as sitting days but would have resulted in the judge being at the lodgings doing paperwork. Similarly, time taken by the judge in writing judgments and decisions during and at the end of cases and on occasions when other High Court judges stayed at lodgings while on other official business would count as judicial occupation but not sitting days.
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Mr. Simon Hughes: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what is the average cost, including accommodation costs and other overheads, to the Immigration Appellate Authority of processing and determining an immigration appeal. 
Jane Kennedy: In the time available I regret that it has not proved possible to provide the average direct cost, including accommodation and overhead costs, to the Immigration Appellate Authority of processing and determining an immigration appeal. This information will shortly be calculated and will be laid in the Libraries of both Houses.
Mr. Simon Hughes: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many appeals against a refusal of a visa to visit a family member in the UK have been determined by the Immigration Appeals Authority (a) at an oral hearing and (b) on the papers alone since 2 October; and with what outcome. 
Jane Kennedy: The Immigration Appellate Authority received the first family visit visa appeal on 27 October. From 27 October to 7 December (inclusive) a total of 81 family visit visa appeals were received, of these 67 were for determination on paper alone and 14 were for oral hearing. Of this number 33 appeals have been determined, 31 paper and two oral. The outcomes were as follows:
Jane Kennedy: The total fee income of administering family visitor appeals between 2 October 2000 and 7 December 2000 was £17,000. It is too early to assess the costs of administering these appeals. A review is under way.
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Mr. Simon Hughes: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many applications for funding in respect of representation in an oral appeal against a refusal of a visa to visit a family member in the United Kingdom have been made to the Legal Services Commission since 2 October; and with what outcome. 
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