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The Lord Chancellor : Poorer litigants continue either to be automatically exempt from paying fees or able to apply for fee remission or reduction. I sympathise with the concerns that have been raised about the amount of the allocation fee in very small claims and I am giving this issue urgent consideration.
Lord McIntosh of Haringey : HM Customs and Excise, which has responsibility for matters concerning the importation of drugs, considers that current arrangements are adequate. Customs officers in Northern Ireland work closely with the Royal Ulster Constabulary and other agencies in Northern Ireland, with colleagues across the UK and with law enforcement agencies in the Republic of Ireland.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal) : We have published the second annual report today. I have arranged for copies to be placed in the Libraries of both Houses. It has now been entered on the FCO website (www.fco.gov.uk).
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The White Paper commitments on nationality will require primary legislation. The issues are complex and we are working on the preparation of the necessary legislation. We plan to bring forward legislation when the parliamentary timetable permits.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The United States Administration and the Russian Government have kept us informed of the progress of their discussions on START, the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and related issues.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: Any NATO operation involving the use of force must be justifiable under international law. The legal justificiation for any particular operation will depend upon all the circumstances at the time.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The oil embargo on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) is a sanction imposed by the European Union, not NATO. Montenegro and Kosovo are both exempted. There is a specific exemption for humanitarian supplies of oil and oil derivatives to the FRY. As an instrument of the EU's common foreign and security policy, the embargo may only be amended by unanimity.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The economic collapse of Yugoslavia and the hardships endured by its people are a direct consequence of the political and economic policies pursued by Milosevic's regime. International organisations, including the EU and the UN, are operating in Yugoslavia to provide humanitarian relief. We fully support these efforts.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: Four states have now ratified the International Criminal Court statute. They are Italy, San Marino, Senegal, and Trinidad and Tobago. The UK requires legislation to implement the statute before we can ratify. Work to prepare this legislation is going forward and will be introduced as soon as the parliamentary timetable allows.
Baroness Amos: In April 1999, following a request from the Government of South Africa (Office for the National Crime Prevention Strategy (NCPS)/Department for Safety and Security) the Department for International Development (DFID) approved funding of £62,475 (R631,000) to support a project proposal from the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) in Cape Town. The project derives from the South African Government's well publicised intention to produce legislation to improve safety and security. It provides for technical advice to the Government of South Africa for the drafting of new legislation on the ownership and control of firearms and ammunition in South Africa and for the participation of ISS (on behalf of the South African Government) in the negotiations leading to an international protocol on the illicit trafficking and manufacturing of firearms and ammunition. DFID assistance was provided directly to ISS as part of the department's new programme of support for security sector reform.
The Firearms Legislation Drafting Team, chaired by the project leader from ISS, submitted a first draft of the Firearms Control Bill to the Department for Safety and Security in July as agreed. DFID's input to this component of the ISS project is therefore complete. ISS will continue to represent the South African Government in international negotiations on the firearms protocol until August 2000.
How many remands to secure local authority accommodation have been made since 1 June in relation to:
(a) children aged 12 to 14, broken down by age, gender and ethnicity;
(b) females aged 15 to 16, broken down by age and ethnicity; and
(c) males aged 15 to 16 declared "vulnerable", broken down by age and ethnicity. [HL4329]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bassam of Brighton): The latest period for which figures are readily available is 1 June to
30 September 1999.
144 untried young male offenders aged 15, of whom 112 were white, 24 were black, three were south Asian and five were of another enthnic origin;
61 convicted yet unsentenced young male offenders aged 15, of whom 45 were white, 10 were black, three were south Asian and three were of another ethnic origin;
346 untried young male offenders aged 16, of whom 255 were white, 61 were black, 14 were south Asian and 16 were of another ethnic origin;
144 convicted yet unsentenced young male offenders aged 16; of whom 112 were white, 20 were black, seven were south Asian and five were of another ethnic origin.
Information relating to the first few months of remands to secure local authority accommodation is being collected from local authorities. I shall write to the noble Baroness as soon as it has been assembled.
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