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Former Yugoslavia: US Forces and NATO

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

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The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Chalker of Wallasey): The US discusses with NATO allies the activities of its forces which have a bearing on NATO operations.

Bosniac-Croat Federation Armed Forces: Funding

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they intend to contribute to the 800 million dollar fund for arming and training the Bosnian Government's armed forces in Turkey and elsewhere, now being raised by the United States (which is contributing $100 million) among the Islamic states, and whether this project to set up a heavily armed Muslim state is being discussed in NATO, and if not, given the out-of-area responsibilities NATO is now undertaking in the Balkans, whether they will urgently start such discussions.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: We do not intend to contribute to the fund for training and equipping the Bosniac-Croat Federation armed forces. The train and equip programme will be entirely separate from the Bosnian Implementation Force (IFOR) and is not a matter for NATO.

Arctic Organisations UK Participation

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Of which Arctic organisations they are a member or an observer.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: The United Kingdom is a state observer to the Barents Euro-Arctic Council (BEAC) and the Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy (AEPS) and its associated working groups. The United Kingdom is also a member of the Arctic Ocean Science Board (AOSB) and the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC).

Factortame: Judgment

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they consider that their proposal to introduce the principle that a Member State should only be liable for damages in cases of serious and manifest breach of its obligations ("A Partnership of Nations", paragraph 37) is inconsistent with the decision of the European Court of Justice of 5th March 1996 in Factortame Limited (No. 4); and, if so, whether they will indicate in what respect they seek to overrule or to limit the effects of the judgment.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: The Government is still examining the ECJ's recent judgment in Factortame

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and considering its relationship to the proposal described in A Partnership of Nations.

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Answer by Lord Lucas (Hansard, 7th March 1996, col. WA 31), whether they continue to agree that the decisions of the European Court of Justice of 5th March 1996 in Factortame Limited (No. 4) that the government is liable to pay compensation for damage suffered as a direct result of a serious breach of Community law declares an important principle from which the people of this country can benefit greatly.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: The principle of liability in damages for a serious and manifest breach of Community law can play an important part in ensuring that member states comply with their Community law obligations, particularly in the single market. The limitation of the scope of damages to cases of serious and manifest breach of Community law is welcome.

Subsidiarity

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether their proposal to entrench subsidiarity further into the Treaty of European Union, referred to in A Partnership of Nations, would mean that the European Court of Justice will decide upon the interpretation and application of the principle of subsidiarity; and, if not, which European institution would decide whether the principle of subsidiarity had been breached.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: The principle of subsidiarity is written into the European Community Treaty in Article 3b. The European Court of Justice is the final arbiter for the EC Treaty, and subsidiarity is therefore justiciable. The UK proposal to entrench subsidiarty further into the treaty is intended both to clarify the application of the principle by all institutions, and to guide future interpretation of the principle by the ECJ.

European Court of Justice: Interpretations

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Statement made by Baroness Chalker of Wallasey on 12 March 1996 (H.L. Deb., col. 758), whether they will give examples of cases in which "the ECJ's interpretations some times seem to go beyond what governments intended when laws were framed".

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: Examples of cases where the ECJ appears to have interpreted the treaties or Community legislation in a way which develops the law include:

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C294/83 Les Verts and C70/88 EP v. Council. (Court allows EP to be challenged and to challenge under Article 173)

C12/81 Garland v. BREL and C262/80 Barber. (Court expands the definition of "pay" in Article 119)

C152/84 Marshall and C137/94 Richardson. (Court rules that retirement age and exemption from prescription charges cannot be linked to state pension age)

C392/92 Schmidt. (Court rules that the transfer of a single employee is caught by the Acquired Rights Directive).

Gedhun Choekyi Nyima and Chadrel Rinpoche

Lord Willoughby de Broke asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will ask the Government of the People's Republic of China to clarify the situation regarding the whereabouts of his Holiness the Dalai Lama's nominee as Panchen Lama.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: During the second series of meetings under the EU/China Human Rights Dialogue, which were held in Peking from 21st-24th January, the EU delegation requested information from the Chinese authorities on the whereabouts and health of the Dalai Lama's nominee as Panchen Lama, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, and the former Abbot of the Tashi Lunpho Monastery, Chadrel Rinpoche.

The Chinese authorities said Gedhun Choekyi Nyima was safe and in good health, but were unable to disclose his whereabouts. We are considering with our EU partners what further action to take on this subject.

Secure Accommodation: Expenditure

Lord Finsberg asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the average maintenance cost per child in fully secure accommodation.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Baroness Cumberlege): Local authority expenditure in England specifically on secure accommodation was first collected for 1994-95. It is expected this information will be published in the coming months. Secure accommodation is provided under Section 25 of the Children Act 1989 which does not apply to Scotland and Northern Ireland. There are currently no secure units in Wales.

US Military Intelligence

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether it is the case that the United States Administration in 1991 authorised the establishment of commercial businesses as cover for military

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    intelligence gathering; whether they have any evidence that such operations have been established in this country; and, if so, whether they will list the businesses involved.

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Blatch): The first part of the question is not a matter for Her Majesty's Government. US military activities in the UK are covered by the NATO status of forces agreement, which includes a commitment to respect UK law.

Murder and Manslaughter Offences (Young People)

Earl Russell asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many young people aged (a) 10 to 16 inclusive and (b) 10 to 17 inclusive were convicted of murder and manslaughter respectively in each year from 1965 to 1995.

Baroness Blatch: Information from 1965 to 1994 (latest available) is given in the table below. Data for 1995 will not be available until the autumn.

Number of persons convicted at all courts for (a) murder and (b) manslaughter by age group 1965-94
England and Wales

Murder Manslaughter
10-1610-1710-1610-17
1965----2--
19662--2--
19671--4--
19681--5--
19692--3--
19706--3--
19714--1--
19723--7--
19734--12--
19742--11--
19753--10--
19765--7--
19773--6--
19787--8--
1979620719
1980516510
1981511916
1982152279
1983611819
1984513614
1985612712
198668815
19874141118
198837613
1989511923
199081129
1991713815
199241158
19931323512
1994101638

--Not available.

Note:

Murder offences committed under Common Law, and Offences against the Person Act 1861 Secs 1, 9 & 10; Manslaughter offences committed under Common Law, and Offences against the Person Act 1861 Secs 5, 9, & 10.


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