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Mr. Stephen Twigg: It is essential that Bills leave this House properly scrutinised by MPs. I hope that we can build on the Modernisation Committee's report from the last Parliament on the legislative process. We have made efforts to ensure that more Bills are published in draft form and subject to Committee scrutiny before they are presented to Parliament.
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I hope that the Modernisation Committee will return to these issues to assess how we might improve pre and post-legislative scrutiny. However, we must also address the issue of scrutiny by MPs during a Bill's passage and how we might improve legislation by finding ways to overcome the bottlenecks in the parliamentary process.
Mr. Stephen Twigg: Standing Orders already provide for Bills to be referred to Grand Committees, and for Standing Committees on Welsh or Scottish Bills to contain Members from those countries, although I agree there is a great deal of variation in Grand Committee powers, and they might usefully be looked at in the light of devolution.
52. Mr. Salter: To ask the hon. Member for Roxburgh and Berwickshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, what proposals he has for using IT to improve access to the business of the House to the public. 
Mr. Kirkwood: A wide range of information about the business of the House can be viewed on the Parliament website. The proceedings of both Houses and sittings in Westminster Hall will be webcast on a pilot basis from January 2002.
57. Mr. Jack: To ask the President of the Council if he will make proposals to the Select Committee on Modernisation of the House of Commons on further ways in which information technology might aid the work of hon. Members in the course of their Standing Committee work. 
Mr. Stephen Twigg: As I indicated in July, the Modernisation Committee may well wish to look at the use of IT in the House in general, although I understand that it has not yet included this in its programme. Routine responsibility for order in Standing Committees rests with the Chairmen's Panel.
Mr. Robin Cook: The advisory panel on the Members' Vote continues to monitor the system. I am pleased to be able to report substantial progress since my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Thurrock (Andrew Mackinlay) on 25 October 2001, Official Report, column 323W.
I am told that by close of play on 2 November 2001, a further 110 orders had been fulfilled, and a further six had been partly met, making a total of 272 orders fully completed and 61 part completed. During the same period, a further 32 Members had ordered equipment,
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Mr. Wills: The Lord Chancellor has established a Commission to oversee the judicial appointments process and the First Commissioner, Sir Colin Campbell, was appointed on 15 March 2001. Further to that appointment, around 10 Deputy Commissioners will be appointed to assist Sir Colin.
34. Mr. Ben Chapman: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will make a statement on the progress of the work to develop a national strategy for the recruitment of lay magistrates. 
Mr. Wills: My noble and learned Friend the Lord Chancellor hopes to be able to announce proposals for the creation of a national strategy for recruitment early next year. This will seek to identify a range of activities which will bring more fully to the attention of the public and employers, the role of the lay magistrate and the need for recruits from all walks of life.
Mr. Garnier: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many chairmen of lay magistrates are in post; and how many of them are (a) from the ethnic minority communities, (b) under 45 years and (c) women. 
Mr. Wills: The chairman of each magistrates bench is elected by the magistrates of the bench at the bench annual general meeting in October. Apart from providing, through subordinate legislation, the framework within which the elections may take place, their appointment is not a matter for my noble and learned Friend, the Lord Chancellor, and his Department does not keep the figures sought.
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Mr. Wills: The Government are grateful to Sir Robin Auld for his very substantial and important review of the criminal courts at every level. In his report he gave the lay magistracy a huge vote of confidence. Sir Robin Auld makes some radical recommendations, which will need the most careful consideration. The Government have taken no decisions on his report and we are keen to encourage wide debate on these issues before we reach decisions.
Mr. Wills: Work on completing the outline business case for the provision of new and refurbished magistrates courts across Essex is in progress. It is anticipated that work will be completed early in the new year and that a new courthouse in Colchester will be ready for use during 2005.
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Lord Chancellor has no research planned at present in respect of the effect of the award of costs on access to tribunals. The Government note that Sir Andrew Leggatt has made recommendations in this area. We will be taking these recommendations forward as part of our examination of tribunals in light of the Leggatt report.
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Lord Chancellor has received a letter from solicitors representing the Marchioness action group asking what steps had been taken to review the Westminster coroner's performance of his judicial duties, given criticisms of him in Lord Justice Clarke's report. There have also been requests for meetings to discuss, among other matters, criticisms of the Westminster coroner raised in the report. While accepting Lord Justice Clarke's conclusion that the Westminster coroner acted at all times in good faith, the Lord Chancellor considered that the Westminster coroner's actions on this occasion fell below the standard to be expected of a judicial officer and he issued a formal admonishment.
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40. Mr. Heath: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department, what discussions he has had with the Prime Minister on the future role of the community legal service fund in employment tribunals. 
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