Aspirin: Sales Controls
Lord Jacobs asked Her Majesty's Government:
When they expect to end the present regulation which limits the sale of 75 mg aspirin to 32 tablets at one time.[HL1415]
Baroness Hayman: Following statutory public consultation, the Medicines Commission has advised that low dose aspirin (75mg) may safely be sold or supplied in packs of up to 100 tablets or capsules under the supervision of a pharmacist. The Prescription Only Medicines Order will be amended to implement this. The Statutory Instrument is due to be laid in Parliament by 1 April and, with parliamentary agreement, would be effective from 22 April 1999.
Cannabis: Therapeutic Use
Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they will reconsider their position on decriminalising the therapeutic use of cannabis by critically ill patients in the light of measures passed in Alaska and other American states.[HL1434]
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Lord Hoyle: It would not be right to make lawful the use of cannabis for therapeutic purposes unless and until the safety, efficacy and quality of a medicinal form have been established.
"Combat 18" Group: Search Warrants
Lord Exmouth asked Her Majesty's Government:
Under what authority officers of the police were able to undertake covert raids throughout the British Isles on so-called "neo-Nazi" members of the group known as Chapter 18.[HL1478]
Lord Hoyle: I assume that the noble Lord's question refers to the search warrants executed against members of the group known as Combat 18 on Friday, 5 March. The warrants were granted to the Metropolitan Police by Bow Street Magistrates Court to search for material contravening Part III of the Public Order Act 1986.
European Human Rights Commission: Application by T and V
Baroness David asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they will set out their response to the findings announced by the European Commission on Human Rights, regarding the application by T and V about their trial and subsequent sentence of Detention at Her Majesty's Pleasure for murder.[HL1562]
Lord Hoyle: In summary, the findings of the European Commission on Human Rights were as follows:
On Article 3 (Prohibition of torture) the Commission found no violation in relation to
On Article 6(1) (Right to a fair trial) the Commission found violation by 14 votes to 5 in relation to the trial;
On Article 14 (Prohibition of discrimination)
the Commission found no separate issue because of the violation on Article 6 above;
On Article 3 the Commission found no violation in relation to the sentence;
On Article 5(1) (Right to liberty and security) the Commission found no violation in relation to the sentence;
On Article 6(1) the Commission found violation by 18 votes to 1 in relation to the tariff;
On Article 5(4) the Commission found violation by 18 votes to 1 in relation to the tariff and review of detention.
The Government welcome the fact that the Commission found that neither the trial nor the sentencing process was in violation of Article 3 of the European Convention, which deals with inhuman and degrading treatment.
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The areas where the Commission did find against the United Kingdom Government do raise a range of serious and quite complex issues. The Government have decided to refer the Commission's findings itself to the European Court of Human Rights. The European Commission has also referred these matters to the European Court.
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The European Court of Human Rights will now rehearse all the issues covered by the Commission. This will give the Government an opportunity to state their position on all these issues. The Government will continue to contest these applications very strongly.
A copy of the Commission's findings has been placed in the Library.