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The Lord Chancellor has asked me to reply to your Question about what measures there are in place to ensure that the decisions of United Kingdom courts and tribunals to refer questions to the European Court of Justice are carried out promptly.
The European Court of Justice has produced guidance on how to refer questions under Article 177 of the ECC Treaty and these have been distributed to both the judiciary and members of staff in all courts and tribunals for which the Court Service is responsible. Guidance is also available centrally for magistrates, although it is rare for cases to be referred from magistrates' courts.
In the courts, once judges have decided to refer cases, these are despatched by administrative staff following the guidelines. In the tribunals, the arrangements are as follows: The Chief Adjudicator for the Immigration Appellate Authorities settles questions of whether cases should be referred and these are despatched by his secretary. The Chief Commissioner for the Social Security and Child Support Commissioners decides such issues and they are despatched by nominated administrative staff. In the Combined Tax Tribunal
The Minister of State, Department for Education and Employment (Baroness Blackstone): The Government announced on 1 October a three-point strategy to secure comprehensive, enforceable civil rights for disabled people involving implementation of Part III of the DDA, the establishment of a Disability Rights Commission, and the establishment of a Ministerial Task Force to undertake a wide review on how to implement comprehensive and enforceable civil rights for disabled people. Reviewing existing legislation would fall within the scope of the Task Force's deliberations.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Baroness Hayman): The Baroness Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde is to be appointed to chair the Housing Corporation with effect from 6 November 1997. We welcome Baroness Dean to this important post. She has strong leadership skills and a track record of excellent management and organisational ability. Her knowledge and experience of regulatory matters will be a valuable asset and she will bring a fresh perspective to the post. Baroness Dean will be taking over from Mr. Peter Cooke CBE. The Government wish to record the significant contributions made by Mr. Cooke during his term in office, and in his previous nine years' service as a board member.
Baroness Jay of Paddington: We understand that the "Statement" referred to is in the nature of a working paper written to focus attention on the current state of scientific knowledge, rather than as a definitive work. It would be premature to endorse its conclusions at this time.
Baroness Jay of Paddington: We are not aware of any national research project in this area. However, checks to discover signs of resistance to head louse treatments are conducted upon locally captured lice in order to inform decisions as to which treatment offers the greatest efficacy at any one time.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Scottish Office (Lord Sewel): The final accounts have yet to be finalised. The total estimated expenditure on government information is around £730,000. This includes: the reminder to vote and absent voters campaigns (the latter of which included a helpline); the production and distribution to all households of an information leaflet (including Gaelic and ethnic language versions and Braille and audio taped versions); and production and distribution of the video. The information campaign was carried out in accordance
Lord Sewel: The Government took the view, and Parliament agreed, that public funds should not be used to finance campaigning organisations in the referendum. The campaigning bodies were independent of government and it was felt not to be appropriate to use public funds for their activities. This approach was the same as that adopted in respect of the previous devolution referendum in 1979.
The Minister of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Simon of Highbury): Industrial Tribunals are independent judicial bodies. I am therefore unable to comment on their decisions or on the handling of a particular case. Parties who are dissatisfied with a tribunal decision can either ask the tribunal to review its decision, or appeal, on a point of law, to the Employment Appeal Tribunal. (Such procedures are explained in a note accompanying the tribunal's decision when it is sent to the parties concerned.)
Lord Simon of Highbury: The President of the Board of Trade has today published the Government's response as a Command Paper (cm 3786), entitled The Innovation-Exploitation Barrier. Copies are available from the Stationery Office and the Library of the House.
Lord Simon of Highbury: The President of the Board of Trade has today published the Government's response as a Command Paper (cm 3787), entitled Government Response to the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology 2nd Report on EU Framework Programme for European Research and Technological Development. Copies are available from the Stationery Office and the Library of the House.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Northern Ireland Office (Lord Dubs): The Government look forward to the day when the Holding Centres can be closed permanently. Meantime, while it remains operationally necessary to keep them open, the Government would wish to replace Castlereagh Holding Centre as soon as possible. It is not feasible at the moment, given other priorities, to meet the necessary funding within the current PANI budget for such a major building project. However, the matter will be kept under continuous review.
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