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To ask Her Majesty's Government how many applications for (a) exclusion directions, and (b) restriction directions, have been made under section 24 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 in each year since the provision came into force; how many of those were approved; and how many were approved for an indefinite period. [HL2023]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Davies of Oldham): The figures year by year for applications made under Section 24 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 are as follows:
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Lord Davies of Oldham: Twenty-one appeals have been made under Section 30 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000. Of these, six appeals were allowed, one was allowed in part and 14 were dismissed.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many directions for exclusions and restrictions have been made under Section 31 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 in each year since the provision came into force. [HL2028]
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead on 3 February (WA 48-9), whether the English Court of Appeal has jurisdiction in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus; and whether it can instruct the demolition of a house or the eviction of its occupants in Northern Cyprus. [HL1986]
Lord Brett: The English Court of Appeal has no jurisdiction in northern Cyprus. It follows that it cannot instruct the Turkish Cypriot "authorities" to demolish a house or evict its occupants. The Court of Appeal can uphold judgments in civil and commercial matters made in other EU member states, including the Republic of Cyprus. It is for the Courts to decide how such
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To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead on 2 February (WA 19), how their support to improve the economic situation of Turkish Cypriots relates to the possible consequences of a settlement referred to in the question. [HL1987]
Lord Brett: The Government continue to believe that the only way to improve the long-term situation of Turkish Cypriots is through the reunification of Cyprus. This would require the approval of both communities in separate referenda. A solution will not be possible without the explicit agreement of both the Greek and Turkish Cypriots.
The Government recognise the problems faced by Turkish Cypriots in relation to the division of the island and are committed to working within the legal constraints to ease them. As outlined in my noble friend's Answer on 2 February, improvement of the economic situation in northern Cyprus is one aspect that will help preparations for reunification. We are actively working with the Turkish Cypriots to bring them into line with EU norms, including economic standards, in anticipation of a settlement.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo about the commission reviewing parts of the Congolese constitution, including presidential term limits. [HL2049]
Lord Brett: It would not be for the UK to influence the constitution of a sovereign state. However, we are engaging with the Government of DRC (GoDRC) on the importance of adhering to the constitutionally mandated term limits and holding elections within the constitutional timeframe. For local elections this means February 2011, for national elections this means September 2011. GoDRC have announced their intentions to hold elections to this timeframe, and we fully support this.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what checks are made by electoral registration offices on whether Commonwealth citizens applying to register have the right to remain in the United Kingdom; whether electoral registration offices are required to check Commonwealth citizens already registered each time they change address; and what advice the UK Border Agency has provided on the matter. [HL2057]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): For the purposes of registering to vote, a "qualifying Commonwealth citizen" is an individual who either does not need leave to enter and remain in the United Kingdom, or who does need such leave and has it (Section 4(1) and (6) of the Representation of the People Act 1983 ("the 1983 Act")).
Regulations made under the 1983 Act (the Representation of the People (England and Wales) Regulations 2001), provide that a person's application for registration must, among other things, state their nationality and include a declaration that the details given in the application are true. The Electoral Registration Officer has the power to require any person to provide information relating to the eligibility of that applicant, namely regarding their age, nationality, residence and whether or not they are disqualified (Regulation 23). Where an Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) has doubts about a person's nationality or immigration status, the ERO may require the person to provide evidence including a statutory declaration that he or she is a qualifying Commonwealth citizen (Regulation 24). Provision of false information to a registration officer for any purpose connected with the registration of electors is an offence.
Where any elector changes address they must make an application for registration at their new address providing details of the address where they were previously registered. The procedure is the same as for other registration, and the Electoral Registration Officer may require the same information to be produced in relation to nationality.
In addition, the details of all electors, whether resident in the UK or overseas (except service voters), are verified each year by way of the annual canvass. If the Electoral Registration Officer is not satisfied that a person is eligible to be registered at an address or does not otherwise fulfil conditions for registration, including nationality, then the Electoral Registration Officer may remove that elector from the register.
"If the Electoral Registration Officer has any doubts about the eligibility of any applicant, they have the power to require any person to provide information relating to the eligibility of that applicant, namely regarding their age, nationality, residence and whether or not they are disqualified.
Additionally, if the Electoral Registration Officer has doubts about the age or nationality of any applicant, they may also require that person to provide evidence demonstrating that they meet either or both of these requirements.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Davies of Oldham on 1 December 2009 (WA 33-4), whether any boundary changes made to sites of special scientific interest (SSSIs) under section 28B, 28C or 28D of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 have resulted in a change to the classified condition of the SSSIs; if so, how many; and what changes were made. [HL2004]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Davies of Oldham): The effect of the boundary amendments referred to in my Answer of 1 December (WA 33-4) was to add approximately 26,500 hectares (approximately 2.5 per cent of the SSSI area in England) of newly notified land under Sections 28B and 28C. This land would not previously have been subject to a condition assessment. The deletions under Section 28D are much smaller in scale and total only 17.67 hectares (0.002 per cent of the SSSI area). Having been denotified, these areas are no longer subject to condition assessments.
Lord Brett: Article 2 of the Association agreement sets out that relations between the parties shall be based on respect for human rights and democratic principles. Based on this principle, the European Commission assesses the situation through formal and informal contacts with the Israeli authorities, including the subcommittee on political dialogue and co-operation and the informal working group on human rights and international organisations. The European Commission publishes an annual report that covers human rights among other things. The most recent, in April 2009, noted continuing concerns especially in relation to Israeli policies in the Occupied Territories.
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