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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): The Cotonou agreement contains a commitment to extend duty free and quota free access to least developed countries (LDCs). The Lamy proposal, to grant duty free and quota free access to all products except arms from LDCs, with a transition period for sugar, rice and bananas, is the Commission's response to this commitment. The Commission informed the ACP Secretariat of its proposal shortly after it informed member states, as it is required to do under the Cotonou agreement. Consultations are under way between the Commission, the ACP countries and member states.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The formal position is that the Council is one body, which comes together in different configurations to discuss specific proposals. In the case of the UK, it is standard practice that negotiators consult all interested departments before taking a position in Brussels. Ministers have already made the point that the proposals on reform of the sugar regime and the "Everything But Arms" (EBA) proposal need to be considered in relation to each other and have pressed for the impact of the EBA proposal to be discussed in the context of the reform proposals in the Agriculture Council.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: Capital punishment for treason and piracy was in force in all Caribbean Overseas Territories, Bermuda, British Indian Ocean Territory and Gibraltar in March 1999 when the White Paper on Overseas Territories was published. Capital punishment for both offences has now been abolished in Bermuda, the British Indian Ocean Territory and all Caribbean Territories except in the Turks and Caicos Islands. The Government are pursuing the question of abolition with the Turks and Caicos Islands authorities. The Government of Gibraltar have now abolished capital punishment for treason and are committed to abolishing capital punishment for piracy.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bassam of Brighton): The Government take a close interest in any technological developments that may be misused in a malicious or criminal way. Anonymity services misused in such a way can impact upon the capability of Internet service providers to deal with network abuses such as unsolicited bulk messaging (spam), tracing and preventing denial-of-service attacks and unauthorised access to computer systems (hacking). They can also impact upon the capability of law enforcement to detect and investigate crime.
Working in co-operation with industry at home and abroad, through the Internet Crime Forum and the GB Government-Industry Dialogue on Security and Confidence in Cyberspace, the Government will continue to seek to ensure that where anonymity services are misused for criminal purposes that misuse can be effectively investigated.
Lord Bassam of Brighton: This afternoon we are publishing a framework of a new system to handle complaints made against police officers. There are some areas which require further work and we are inviting views on these so that they can be finalised.
It was last May that the Government published a consultation document which was based on reports of two separate studies. The first study was commissioned from the management consultants KPMG in order to take forward recommendations made by the Home Affairs Select Committee in its report on the police disciplinary and complaints procedures and by Sir William Macpherson's report of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry. The second study was by the human rights organisation Liberty.
My honourable friend the Minister of State for the department, Mr Charles Clarke, previously indicated his sympathy for the principle of an independent system for investigating complaints against the police and we are pleased to announce that a key element of the new system will be the independent investigations of the more serious complaints. Two other key
We are very grateful to all those who took part in the consultation; in particular, the Police Complaints Authority (PCA), which has called repeatedly for reforms so that it could increase its effectiveness and independence. The PCA's response pointed the way towards independent investigations, easier accessibility and more openness.
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: In July 1999, the Cabinet Office Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA) issued guidance to departments and agencies reminding them of their obligations to acquire all software legally and to use it
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