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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Scottish Office (The Earl of Lindsay): The harmonisation of the technical requirements in the Scottish building standards and the building regulations for England and Wales is proceeding, as parts of the regulations are updated, and where judged appropriate, given the different legal backgrounds, compliance checking systems, existing circumstances and traditions in construction. Close rapport is maintained between officials from England and Wales and from Scotland during the revision of both sets of regulations. In Scotland the Building Standards Advisory Committee recently recommended the adoption of amended standards dealing with fire safety, which will include further harmonised requirements and which, with other amendments, are expected to come into force next year.
The Earl of Lindsay: Judges are appointed by the Queen on the recommendation of the Secretary of State for Scotland. Because the Secretary of State does not normally have personal knowledge of suitable nominees, he relies on the Lord Advocate, who submits names to him for his consideration. The current practice is for the lord Advocate always to consult the Lord President of the Court of Session and the Dean of the Faculty of Advocates, before putting forward any nomination. On occasions, other senior members of the legal profession and judiciary are also consulted by the Lord Advocate. This system was followed in the most recent appointment announced on 2nd July.
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