Previous Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page


7 Mar 2003 : Column WA131

Written Answers

Friday, 7th March 2003.

Lords of Appeal in Ordinary

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

    On how many days in 2002 each Lord of Appeal in Ordinary sat for the purpose of judicial business in (a) the House of Lords and (b) the Privy Council.[HL1754]

The Lord Chancellor (Lord Irvine of Lairg): The number of days spent in judicial hearings by each Lord of Appeal in Ordinary in 2002 is as follows:

CouncilHouse of LordsPrivy
Lord Bingham of Cornhill6436
Lord Slynn of Hadley2711
Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead5634
Lord Steyn4845
Lord Hoffmann5335
Lord Hope of Craighead6141
Lord Hutton5055
Lord Saville of Newdigate00
Lord Hobhouse of Woodborough7131
Lord Millett4049
Lord Scott of Foscote6733
Lord Rodger of Earlsferry4055
Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe1218

Lord Slynn of Hadley retired on 30 September 2002 and was replaced by Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe. Lord Saville of Newdigate is the full-time chairman of the Bloody Sunday inquiry into the events in Londonderry on Sunday 30 January 1972. In 2002, as part of a continuing arrangement under the 1997 handover arrangements, Lords Hoffmann and Millett, in addition to their House of Lords and Privy Council duties, each sat for a month in the Final Court of Appeal in Hong Kong.

These figures relate to days sat for hearing appeals and petitions for leave to appeal; they exclude directions hearings and judgments. In 2002 the House of Lords sat for a total of 131 days to hear appeals and petitions for leave either as the House or in Appellate and Appeal Committees. The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council sat for a total of 118 days to hear appeals and petitions for leave.

These statistics cannot be used to infer workload, particularly the burden of drafting opinions and in the House of Lords determining on the papers about 280 petitions for leave to appeal each year.


Legal Help for Immigration

Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What sum the Lord Chancellor intends to make available in the present financial year for legal aid for asylum cases.[HL1356]

7 Mar 2003 : Column WA132

The Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): The sum that the Lord Chancellor intends to make available in 2002–03 for legal help for immigration, which includes asylum cases, is £175 million.

Right to Buy Scheme

Lord Carter asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What progress has been made further to the announcement on the right to buy scheme made by the Deputy Prime Minister on 22 January 2003.[HL2049]

The Minister of State, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (Lord Rooker): The Housing (Right to Buy) (Limits on Discount) (Amendment) Order 2003, reducing the maximum discounts available under the right to buy scheme in 41 areas in London and the South of England, has today been laid before Parliament.

To coincide with the laying of the order, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) has today published a report Exploitation of the Right to Buy scheme by companies by Professor Colin Jones of Heriot-Watt University. The full text of the report is available on the ODPM website http://www.housing.odpm.gov.uk/information/rtb/index.htm

Hard copies of the report have been placed in the Vote Office, Printed Paper Office and the Libraries of the House.

Armed Forces: Medically Downgraded Personnel

Lord Vivian asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What action has been taken and what priority has been given to upgrade medically 2,688 Royal Navy personnel, 10,602 Army personnel and 3,833 Royal Air Force personnel who were listed as downgraded in October 2002.[HL1270]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Bach): Numbers of medically downgraded personnel include those who are permanently medically downgraded as well as those who are pregnant or have recently given birth. Of the just over 17,000 personnel who were medically downgraded in October 2002, more than 40 per cent would have been deployable on military operations albeit not at the front line. Priority for medical treatment is normally based on clinical need. However, mechanisms also exist for service patients to be fast-tracked in order to return them to operational duty more quickly than would otherwise have been the case. Fast-track diagnosis and treatment are undertaken either through Ministry of Defence hospital units or through private healthcare providers. Moreover, rehabilitation facilities at unit and regional level are being improved as part of the work to reduce the number of personnel unfit through injury.

7 Mar 2003 : Column WA133

Storm Shadow Stand-off Missile Programme

Lord Vivian asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What progress has been made on the Storm Shadow stand-off missile programme; and whether it will be made an urgent operational requirement.[HL1677]

Lord Bach: Storm Shadow will provide the RAF with a highly effective precision strike capability. Due to technical problems experienced in the development of the system, we are reviewing the programme's timescales with MBDA (the equipment prime contractor). We are working hard with MBDA to ensure that the RAF gets this important capability into service as soon as possible, while not jeopardising the long-term performance of the system.

Nimrod MRA4

Lord Craig of Radley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by Lord Bach on 19 February (WA 175-77), whether the number of Nimrod MRA4s to be procured under the new contractual arrangements reached with BAE Systems will remain at 18 as announced on 28 February 2002 (WA 252).[HL1866]

Lord Bach: We still plan to procure 18 aircraft.

Royal Irish Regiment

Lord Kilclooney asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many persons resigned from the Royal Irish Regiment (a) as full-time members and (b) as part-time members in the home service in Northern Ireland during the year 2002.[HL1886]

Lord Bach: The number of full-time members of the home service battalions of the Royal Irish Regiment (R IRISH) in Northern Ireland who put in a request 12 months previously to end their engagement in 2002 was 43. The number of part-time members who resigned was 78. These figures do not include those who are R IRISH and assigned to other units who have resigned in 2002.

Lord Kilclooney asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many recruits there were in 2002 to (a) the full-time home service of the Royal Irish Regiment in Northern Ireland; (b) the part-time home service of the Royal Irish Regiment in Northern Ireland; and (c) all other battalions of the Royal Irish Regiment.[HL1887]

7 Mar 2003 : Column WA134

Lord Bach: The number of officers who were commissioned into the Royal Irish Regiment (R IRISH) are as follows:


    1 January to 31 December 2002


    R IRISH home service full time 6 R IRISH home service part time 4 R IRISH General Service 4

Recruitment figures for soldiers joining the Army are calculated by financial year. The number who joined the R IRISH are as follows:


    1 April 2001 to 31 March 2002


    R IRISH home service full time120 R IRISH home service part time 76 R IRISH General Service 42


    1 April 2002 to 22 February 2003


    R IRISH home service full time109 R IRISH home service part time 75 R IRISH General Service 73

Irish Guards Regiment

Lord Kilclooney asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the total strength of the Irish Guards Regiment; and how many servicemen come from (a) Northern Ireland; (b) Great Britain; and (c) the Republic of Ireland.[HL1889]

Lord Bach: The total strength of the Irish Guards Regiment as at 1 January 2003 is as follows:

NationalityStrength
Republic of Ireland35
Great Britain470
Northern Ireland155
Others*15
Total Strength675

All figures have been rounded to the nearest five. *Others include Fiji, Gambia, Grenada (Windward Islands), Jamaica, Kenya, Monserrat (Leeward Islands), Zimbabwe and the Isle of Man.

Armed Forces: Anthrax Vaccine

Lord Clement-Jones asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether, for the benefit of Gulf War veterans and troops now deployed or deploying to the Gulf, they will publish in the Official Report the letter to be sent by Lord Bach to Lord Morris of Manchester about the safety of the anthrax and other vaccines administered to service personnel, in keeping with the undertaking by Lord Bach in his Written Answer of 4 February (WA 26).[HL1910]

Lord Bach: Yes.

7 Mar 2003 : Column WA135

Arms Sales to China

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What was the value of arms and military equipment sold by the United Kingdom to China, in the last year for which figures are available.[HL1925]

Lord Bach: The value of licences issued and actual goods exported to individual countries, is published in the Government's Annual Report on Strategic Export Controls. Copies of this report are available from the Library of the House and via the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website at www.fco.gov.uk


Next Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page