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Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: Figures are available for the last five years and are shown in the table below. As from 1 April 1997 districts were no longer responsible for arranging courts-martial, and under the Armed Forces Act 1996, the Court-Martial Administration office accepted responsibility for arranging all courts-martial. In June 1998 five new assizes centres were formed within the UK, and three in Germany in August 1998.
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: Over the last six years there have been no records kept that show how many soldiers elect trial by court-martial. Once a soldier elects trial rather than summary dealing, the papers go direct to the Army Prosecuting Authority (APA) with no recorded differentiation between a soldier who elects and one who is forwarded for court-martial by a commanding officer. The APA currently estimate, however, that 5 per cent of all cases are from soldiers who have elected trial by courts-martial. In 1998, the total number of individuals tried by court-martial was 468, and based on an estimate of 5 per cent
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: Following the summary dealing process, the charge sheet and trial results are entered on a computer generated conduct sheet. The summary dealing results are forwarded via the UNICOM link to the Army Personnel Centre where the results are acted upon to implement a fine, stoppage of pay, or detention. All company level entries remain on the unit level UNICOM until they are spent. Regimental level entries are entered on a mainframe computer at Worthy Down which records a soldier's pay and record of service.
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: Following successful feasibility studies and trials, the development of the Army's current UNICOM computer system began in March 1994. The cost of the system in terms of introduction, support and maintenance, to date, is £107 million.
UNICOM is a computerised Information System providing administrative support to the Army. For example, the pay of everyone in the Army is calculated on the basis of data fed into UNICOM. It has around 20,000 users and has been deployed to over 500 sites worldwide.
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The Army does not hold centrally figures on the incidence of marriage break-up. Various changes in marital status are recorded on an individual's personal file to reflect separation, the status of dependent children, and the stages of divorce. To compare this information with statistical data on the wider population would require analysis of individual files and against an agreed definition of marital break-up. This could only be achieved at disproportionate cost.
Whether Mr Peter Mandelson was present at the meeting on 21 October 1997 at which the Prime Minister and Mr Paddy Ashdown are alleged to have discussed among other matters the possibility of a coalition Government.[HL153]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bassam of Brighton): Article 43 of the Treaty establishing the European Community (TEC) prohibits restrictions on the freedom of establishment of nationals of a member state in the territory of another member state. This right of establishment includes the right to choose the appropriate legal form of establishment. The European Court of Justice has held (in European Community Commission v France case 270/83) that any recourse by a national authority to the concept of public policy, under Article 46 of the TEC, in order to justify legislation departing from the principles of free movement would have to presuppose the existence of a genuine and sufficiently serious threat to the requirements of public policy affecting one of the fundamental interests of the society in question. The Government do not believe that donations by a business to political parties or to other organisations campaigning in a referendum fall into this category.
Under the provisions of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Bill, incorporation in the European Union will not be sufficient on its own to bring a company within the list of permissible donors. In order to qualify as a permissible donor a company
Lord Bassam of Brighton: Each department is responsible for ensuring that any secondary legislation which it puts forward takes proper account of the relevant international obligations accepted by the United Kingdom.
Lord Bassam of Brighton: The Government have decided that, from the beginning of the current session, a Minister inviting Parliament to approve a draft statutory instrument or statutory instrument subject to affirmative resolution should always volunteer his or her view regarding its compatibility with the convention rights. The Minister's view should also always be given regarding the incompatibility of any secondary legislation to the extent that it amends
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