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Judicial Appointments Commission

Mr. Watts: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what representations she has received advocating a judicial appointments commission; and if she will place copies in the Library. [33749]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Following a recommendation made by Sir Leonard Peach, the Lord Chancellor has already established a commission for judicial appointments to oversee the appointments process.

During his period of office the Lord Chancellor has received representations proposing the establishment of a judicial appointments commission with more than supervisory functions over the existing appointments system, from the following organisations:


Copies of the relevant material from the organisations will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Criminal Justice System Reports

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will list the reports produced by the Lord Chancellor's Department which relate to the criminal justice system since 1978. [35966]

Mr. Wills: The information requested is not held centrally within the Lord Chancellor's Department and can be supplied only at disproportionate cost. However, research reports relating to the criminal justice system that have been commissioned and published by LCD Research Secretariat since it was established in 1996 are listed:


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HOME DEPARTMENT

Sex Offenders

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will require sex offenders convicted overseas to sign the sex offenders register when they live in the UK; and if he will make a statement. [33020]

Beverley Hughes: We are keen to do all we can to protect the public, especially children, from sex offenders. Sex offenders whose offences were committed overseas and who act in a way that gives the police reason to believe they pose a risk to the public can be made subject to a sex offender order, which will require them to comply with the requirements of the Sex Offenders Act 1997 (the register) and can impose restrictions on their behaviour. They can also be the subject of a Multi-Agency Public Protection Panel which will form a plan to manage the risks they pose.

We were aware of this issue when we announced the review of Part I of the Sex Offenders Act 1997 and it was discussed with relevant agencies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) during the review.

That discussion is reflected in the consultation paper, which was published in July 2001. The review concluded there is no mechanism by which offenders convicted overseas could reliably be made aware of a duty to register with the police when coming to the United Kingdom. the review therefore proposes that where the police become aware of the arrival or presence in the United Kingdom of a sex offender convicted overseas of offences equivalent to those in the United Kingdom that trigger registration, they should be able to apply to the courts for an Order to Register as a Sex Offender. We are currently analysing responses to the review.

We know of only four countries which have a register of sex offenders and only one which currently requires sex offenders from abroad to register with the police.

Smallpox

Mr. Robert Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions his Department has had with the Department for Health about contingency measures to be introduced in the event of a smallpox outbreak. [33335]

Mr. Blunkett [holding answer 5 February 2002]: Home Office and Department of Health officials have regular meetings to ensure cross-Government preparedness for responding to a deliberate chemical/ biological release. This work includes arrangements for responding to a smallpox outbreak.

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Bilateral arrangements with the United States assist us in ensuring preparation for and stocks of vaccine to contain any such eventuality.

Antisocial Behaviour Orders

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many antisocial behaviour orders have been issued in the Greater London area in the last 12 months. [34037]

Mr. Denham: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave the hon. Member for Uxbridge (Mr. Randall) on 1 February 2002, Official Report, column 576W.

Football-related Offences

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) men and (b) women have been convicted of football-related offences in England and Wales in each of the last three years. [34036]

Mr. Denham: The data requested are not available.

Mr. Randall: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures he is taking to reduce incidents of crowd-related violence at football matches. [34100]

Mr. Denham: An extensive array of legislation is in place for tackling football-related disorder. The Government expect the police and courts to make full use of the powers that have been placed at their disposal. The Government work with the police and football authorities in order to ensure that offenders are identified and prosecuted.

Tobacco Sales (Children)

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many shopkeepers have been prosecuted for selling tobacco to under-aged children in each of the last three years. [34035]

Mr. Denham: 166 defendants were proceeded against in England and Wales in 1998 for selling tobacco, etc. to persons under 16. Figures for 1999 and 2000 1 were 127 and 161 respectively. Figures for 2001 will be available in the autumn.


Criminal Statistics (Terminology)

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what definition is used for a female defective in the Criminal Statistics, England and Wales 1999. [33980]

Mr. Denham: The term 'female defective' is mentioned three times in the 'Criminal statistics, England and Wales' as follows:


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It is defined by the Sexual Offences Act 1956, Sec 45, as substituted by Mental Health Act 1959, Sec 127(1) and amended by the Mental Health (Amendment) Act 1982, Sch 3, as follows:


The report of the Sex Offences review (set in the boundaries: reforming the law on sex offences) argued that it was 'a demeaning derogatory term' suggested changing the word to


The Government are considering their response to the review.

Correspondence

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions he has had with the security services concerning a case, details of which have been supplied to him in a letter dated 1 February; and if he will make a statement. [34092]

Mr. Blunkett: I have received a letter from my hon. Friend to which I have responded today.

It is not Government policy to discuss individual cases. I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave on 16 January 2002, Official Report, column 350W.


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