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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Williams of Mostyn): Legislation will be brought forward this session to enable the 1999 European elections to be conducted by a regional list electoral system.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: Subject to the approval of a Motion in another place, to disagree with the amendment on dates of referendums inserted into the Referendums (Scotland and Wales) Bill in this House, the agreement of this House and subject to Royal Assent, the referendum in Wales will be held on 18 September 1997.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: The committee of inquiry set up in January 1996 to consider the circumstances relating to the death of two inmates has made a number of recommendations for changes in the staffing and organisation of the Isle of Man prison. The Isle of Man Government do not consider that a further inquiry is needed at this stage.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: I understand that the inquiry has been completed and that the Isle of Man Government announced on 14 July that the segregation unit in the Isle of Man prison would be closed later this month. At the same time they published a summary of the report's recommendations. Any decision about publication of the full report would be for the Isle of Man Government.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: The provision of prison accommodation in the Isle of Man is a matter for the Manx authorities. I understand that the secure juvenile unit is on the same site as the Isle of Man prison but is a separate institution. As there is no communication between the two institutions, the Manx authorities consider that there is no objection to young detainees being placed in the secure unit.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: Her Majesty's Government are responsible for the Isle of Man's compliance with international obligations under international conventions into which the United Kingdom has entered on its behalf, including the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: Her Majesty's Government do not consider that the law of the Isle of Man, which provides that a child or young person may not be detained in custody unless the court is of the opinion that the circumstances are so exceptional that it would be inappropriate to deal with him by any other method, contravenes the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: This is a matter for the Isle of Man Government. I understand that they have no present plans to review the age of criminal responsibility, which is the same in the Isle of Man as in England and Wales.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: Following the reintroduction of compulsory application forms, the initial number of applications declared invalid was approximately 50 per cent. Since that time it has fallen to approximately 35 per cent. No separate figures are available for the number of applications that are initially invalid, but are subsequently resubmitted, accepted as valid and later refused without the right of appeal.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: The information requested is given in the table and takes into account recent revisions to the number of in-country asylum applications lodged between September 1996 and May 1997.
|Applied at port||Applied in-country||Total|
|Total 1997 (to date)||6,310||6,300(R)||12,605|
(R) = Revised.
(1) Provisional figures rounded to the nearest 5.