Justice Questions

Written questions allow Members of Parliament to ask government ministers for information on the work, policy and activities of government departments. These can be found on the www.parliament.uk website, but have been collated here for ease of reference.

274628 - Syria: Demilitarized and Neutral Zones (Answered)
Alex Sobel
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to (a) monitor the demilitarised zone in Idlib and (b) ensure that civilians, rescue workers, and medics are effectively protected.

Dr Andrew Murrison

The UK is gravely concerned by the situation in Idlib, which we are closely monitoring, in coordination with our international partners and relevant UN bodies.

We have repeatedly called on all parties to end the violence, return to the ceasefire agreed in September 2018, and abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law, including at three emergency sessions of the UN Security Council. The Prime Minister raised the urgent need to restore the ceasefire in Idlib with President Putin and President Erdogan at the G20 Summit on 28-29 June.

UK aid continues to support the protection of civilians in Idlib, where DFID partners are working to support health facilities and establish mobile emergency protection teams. We also support an innovative new technology to provide early warning of airstrikes through the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund.

Continue reading: http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2019-07-08/274628

273811 - Prisons: Industrial Injuries (Answered)
Richard Burgon
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what guidance his Department has issued to staff working in prisons on (a) reporting and (b) not reporting injuries sustained at work.

Robert Buckland

HM Prison and Probation Service issues national guidance on the reporting of injuries sustained by staff. This can be found at the following link:

https://www.justice.gov.uk/downloads/offenders/psipso/psi-2016/psi-02-2106-hs-arrangements-management-accident-reporting.doc

This document outlines and clarifies the key duties to be undertaken by staff and managers reporting and recording work place accidents, injury and ill-health to employees and third parties and any associated litigation. It is designed to achieve more consistent standards, deliver pragmatic and effective legal compliance and reduce duplication of effort and documentation across the estate.

All staff are aware of the requirement to record and report accidents and injuries arising from their work within prison service establishments. Managers also have a duty of care to ensure that necessary investigations are carried out in accordance with the policy.

Continue reading: http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2019-07-05/273811

273435 - Law Centres (Answered)
Richard Burgon
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what information his Department holds on the number of law centres in each local authority area since 2010.

Paul Maynard

Not all Local Authorities have a Law Centre within their boundaries for a number of reasons. The LAA commissions services on a ‘Procurement Area’ basis. Procurement Areas align to one or a number of combined local authority areas and have been developed based on various local factors. Not all Procurement Areas can be compared on a like-for-like basis.

Individuals are not limited to accessing legal advice providers in the Procurement Area where they live and may access services from providers located in neighbouring local authorities, or at other contracted legal advice providers located locally.

The table below shows a list of those local authorities in which the LAA has been able to identify an LAA contracted Law Centre office in each financial year since 2010/11.

The figures in the LAA’s data may not give the full picture of coverage. There are a number areas where law centres may have chosen to consolidate offices but continue to deliver larger volumes of work across a whole procurement area.

Count of Law Centre offices in Local Authority

2010/11

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

2015/16

2016/17

2014/15

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20 as at Jul19

Allerdale

1

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Amber Valley

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

0

Basildon

1

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Bedford

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

0

Bexley

1

1

1

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

Birmingham

1

0

0

0

1

1

1

1

1

1

Bolsover

0

0

0

1

1

1

1

1

1

0

Bradford

1

1

1

3

2

2

2

2

2

1

Braintree

1

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Brent

1

1

1

2

2

2

2

2

2

1

Bury

1

1

1

2

2

1

1

1

1

1

Caerdydd/Cardiff

1

1

1

1

1

1

0

0

0

0

Calderdale

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

0

Camden

1

1

1

2

2

1

1

1

1

1

Carlisle

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

Castle Point

1

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Chelmsford

1

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Cheltenham

1

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

Chesterfield

1

1

1

2

2

2

2

2

2

1

City of Bristol

1

1

1

3

1

1

1

1

1

1

City of Derby

1

1

1

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

City of Leicester

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

City of Nottingham

1

1

1

3

3

3

3

3

3

1

City of Plymouth

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

City of Westminster

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

1

Colchester

1

1

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

Copeland

1

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Coventry

1

1

1

6

6

5

5

5

5

1

Croydon

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

Ealing

0

0

0

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

Epsom and Ewell

1

1

1

1

1

0

1

1

0

0

Erewash

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Gateshead

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Gloucester

1

1

1

3

3

1

1

1

1

1

Greenwich

2

2

2

2

2

1

0

0

0

0

Hackney

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

Halton

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

Hammersmith and Fulham

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

Haringey

1

1

1

2

2

2

2

2

2

1

Harlow

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

Harrow

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

High Peak

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

0

Hillingdon

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

Hounslow

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Ipswich

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

Isle of Wight

1

1

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

Islington

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

Kensington and Chelsea

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

Kingston upon Thames

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

Kirklees

2

2

2

3

2

2

2

2

2

2

Lambeth

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

Leeds

1

1

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

Lewisham

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

Liverpool

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

Luton

1

1

1

2

2

2

2

2

2

1

Maldon

1

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Manchester

2

1

1

3

3

0

0

0

1

1

Merton

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

Newcastle upon Tyne

1

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

North East Derbyshire

0

0

0

1

1

1

1

1

1

0

Oldham

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

0

Rochdale

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

Rochford

1

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Sheffield

2

2

2

7

7

6

9

3

3

2

Southend-on-Sea

1

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Southwark

1

1

1

2

2

2

2

2

2

1

St. Helens

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

Stockport

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Sunderland

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

Sutton

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

Swindon

1

1

1

2

2

1

1

1

1

1

Tendring

1

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Tower Hamlets

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

1

1

1

Trafford

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

0

0

Wakefield

0

0

0

2

2

1

1

1

1

0

Walsall

1

1

1

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

Waltham Forest

0

0

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

Wandsworth

3

3

3

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

Warrington

1

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Warwick

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

0

Grand Total

75

70

69

94

84

68

70

63

69

47

The Legal Aid Agency keeps availability of legal support under constant review and takes urgent action whenever it has concerns. We spent £1.6 billion on legal aid last year and in addition to the Civil Legal Advice Telephone service, we are investing £5m in innovative technologies to help people access legal support wherever they are.

Continue reading: http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2019-07-04/273435

272862 - Developing Countries: Third Sector (Answered)
Chris Law
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, if he will take steps to make funding more accessible to civil society organisations in his Department's partner countries.

Harriett Baldwin

In financial year 2016-17, DFID spent £1.3 billion funding the work of civil society. DFID provides assistance to strengthen civil society in the UK and overseas through capacity building support and funding opportunities. This assistance is delivered through our centrally-managed programmes and our country programmes.

DFID is acting to increase support to CSOs based in developing countries. We are broadening out some of our centrally-managed programmes to accept bids from Southern-based CSOs. This includes UK Aid Direct, DFID’s centrally-managed programme for small and medium civil society organisations. The most recent UK Aid Direct funding round was fully open to bids from Southern-based CSOs for the first time.

In addition, through UK Aid Connect we are funding programmes specifically targeted at enhancing civil society effectiveness in the UK and overseas.

Continue reading: http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2019-07-03/272862

272861 - Developing Countries: Human Rights (Answered)
Chris Law
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps he will take to further integrate human rights considerations into his Department's country-level programming, particularly in human rights priority countries.

Harriett Baldwin

The UK is committed to respecting, promoting and protecting universal human rights. Respect for human rights is important in itself and for achieving stable, inclusive and prosperous societies. Human rights underpin freedom, democracy and rule of law and form the basis of the Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs are at the heart of the UK Aid Strategy and the Department’s new Single Departmental Plan which guide DFID’s strategic decision-making.

DFID country offices’ planning processes take account of interdisciplinary analysis, including a country’s progress toward achieving the SDGs, and our aid relationships involve consideration of partner governments’ commitment to human rights.

DFID carries out, and regularly reviews, programme risk assessments, including the risks of unintended harm to people and to the environment, and our Supply Partner Code of Conduct sets high, legally enforceable standards for ethical behaviour and compliance with human rights by our suppliers in the delivery of DFID contracts.

DFID’s position paper, Governance for Growth, Stability and Inclusive Development, published in March, set a refreshed strategic direction for DFID’s work on governance, including a renewed focus on protecting democratic space, where this is under threat, and supporting the rule of law and civic freedoms. It is a key reference document for future planning.

Continue reading: http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2019-07-03/272861

272860 - Developing Countries: Human Rights (Answered)
Chris Law
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what plans he has to ensure that his Department's strategic decision-making is explicitly guided by human rights principles and instruments.

Harriett Baldwin

The UK is committed to respecting, promoting and protecting universal human rights. Respect for human rights is important in itself and for achieving stable, inclusive and prosperous societies. Human rights underpin freedom, democracy and rule of law and form the basis of the Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs are at the heart of the UK Aid Strategy and the Department’s new Single Departmental Plan which guide DFID’s strategic decision-making.

Continue reading: http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2019-07-03/272860

272859 - Developing Countries: Human Rights (Answered)
Chris Law
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps he will take to ensure that, in line with the UN Statement of Common Understanding, a human-rights based approach is integrated within his Department's development co-operation and programming.

Harriett Baldwin

The UK is committed to respecting, promoting and protecting universal human rights. Respect for human rights is important in itself and for achieving stable, inclusive and prosperous societies. Human rights underpin freedom, democracy and rule of law and form the basis of the Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs are at the heart of the UK Aid Strategy and the Department’s new Single Departmental Plan which guide DFID’s strategic decision-making.

DFID country offices’ planning processes take account of interdisciplinary analysis, including a country’s progress toward achieving the SDGs, and our aid relationships involve consideration of partner governments’ commitment to human rights.

DFID carries out, and regularly reviews, programme risk assessments, including the risks of unintended harm to people and to the environment, and our Supply Partner Code of Conduct sets high, legally enforceable standards for ethical behaviour and compliance with human rights by our suppliers in the delivery of DFID contracts.

DFID’s position paper, Governance for Growth, Stability and Inclusive Development, published in March, set a refreshed strategic direction for DFID’s work on governance, including a renewed focus on protecting democratic space, where this is under threat, and supporting the rule of law and civic freedoms. It is a key reference document for future planning.

Continue reading: http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2019-07-03/272859

272857 - Developing Countries: Human Rights (Answered)
Chris Law
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what plans he has to ensure that human rights are prioritized within his Department's approach to achieving the (a) SDGs and (b) other development outcomes.

Harriett Baldwin

The UK is committed to respecting, promoting and protecting universal human rights. Respect for human rights is important in itself and for achieving stable, inclusive and prosperous societies. Human rights underpin freedom, democracy and rule of law and form the basis of the Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs are at the heart of the UK Aid Strategy and the Department’s new Single Departmental Plan which guide DFID’s strategic decision-making.

The UK continues to be a strong advocate for Goal 16 on inclusive, peaceful societies, widely acknowledged as an enabler for all the other Sustainable Development Goals and for the protection and promotion of human rights.

DFID programmes support human rights across a range of areas such as health, education, peace and security as well as through our support for inclusive and accountable governance. DFID puts the rights of women and girls at the centre of our development efforts through the 2018 Strategic Vision for Gender Equality. We support southern grassroots organisations to protect girls from issues like female genital mutilation and enforced child marriage and DFID’s support to the Jo Cox Memorial Grants includes a specific tranche to build civil society’s capacity to predict identity-based violence.

Continue reading: http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2019-07-03/272857

HL16773 - Jamal Khashoggi (Answered)
Viscount Waverley
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Baroness Goudie on 27 June, what repercussions the UK has indicated to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia would follow should international judicial norms not be followed in all matters relating to the death of Jamal Khashoggi.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

The British Government condemns Jamal Khashoggi's killing in the strongest possible terms. The Government remains clear that anyone found responsible must be held fully accountable. The ongoing Saudi judicial process is an important element in the process to establish accountability. We expect it to proceed in line with internationally recognised legal standards. The UK attends the trial as part of a group of international observers. We attend all trials of international concern where host governments permit us to do so. It would not be appropriate for us to comment on an ongoing legal process.

Continue reading: http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2019-06-27/HL16773

HL16756 - Electric Scooters: Speed Limits (Answered)
Lord Jopling
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to ensure that the police can enforce the legal speed limits for road users on the users of electric scooters especially those that travel at more than 20 miles per hour.

Baroness Williams of Trafford

Existing road traffic legislation applies to electric scooters. How the police enforce speed limits for electric scooters is an operational matter for individual Chief Officers of police in conjunction with local policing plans.

Continue reading: http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2019-06-27/HL16756

275678 - Refugees: Children (Answered)
Vernon Coaker
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what progress has been made on filling the 480 child refugee places in the Immigration Act 2016; and if he will make a statement.

Caroline Nokes

The Government is absolutely committed to transferring the specified number of 480 unaccompanied children under section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 (Dubs Amendment) as soon as possible. Over 220 children were transferred to the UK under section 67 when the Calais camp was cleared in late 2016. Since then we have been making further progress with the three participating States – France, Greece, and Italy – to refer and transfer more eligible children to move closer to the commitment to transfer 480 children.

The UK is at the forefront in protecting children affected by the migration crisis. Section 67 is one of a number of schemes that offer a safe and legal route to the UK for the most vulnerable refugees. In total, the UK provided protection to over 6,600 children in 2018, and 34,600 since the start of 2010, and in every year since 2016, the UK resettled more refugees from outside Europe than any other EU member state.

Continue reading: http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2019-07-10/275678

275673 - Legal Aid Scheme: Housing (Answered)
Mr Jim Cunningham
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate he has made of the number of local authority areas that do not have a housing legal aid provider in England and Wales.

Paul Maynard

The LAA commissions services on a ‘Procurement Area’ basis. Procurement Areas align to one or a number of combined local authority areas and have been developed based on various local factors.

Individuals are not limited to accessing legal advice providers in the Procurement Area where they live and may access services from providers located in neighbouring local authorities, or at other contracted legal advice providers located locally.

The LAA has recently tendered for new face-to-face housing contracts across the 134 housing and debt procurement areas across England and Wales. As of 30 June 2019, there is at least one provider offering housing and debt services in all but 4 procurement areas, and the LAA is considering how to secure provision in these areas and will set out next steps shortly.

Legal advice is still available in these areas through the Civil Legal Advice telephone service and irrespective of a client’s location in England and Wales, legal advice for housing remains available through a telephone service as well.

The following table shows the number of providers in each of the locations enquired about, and the number of procurement areas which fall within each.

The Legal Aid Agency keeps availability of legal support under constant review and takes urgent action whenever it has concerns.

Geographical Location

# of Procurement Areas

# of Providers

London

30

235

Wales

8

35

Other

96

212

This government spent £1.6 billion on legal aid last year and in addition to the Civil Legal Advice Telephone service, we are investing £5m in innovative technologies to help people access legal support wherever they are.

Continue reading: http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2019-07-10/275673

275784 - Criminal Proceedings: Legal Aid Scheme (Answered)
Jo Stevens
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment his Department has made of the financial impact on defendants of the introduction of an upper limit on disposable income for people claiming legal aid for Crown Court representation.

Paul Maynard

On 7 February 2019, the Government published the Post Implementation Review (PIR) of Part 1 of The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 which included an assessment of the impact of the £37,500 disposable income threshold introduced at the Crown Court: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/post-implementation-review-of-part-1-of-laspo

Alongside the PIR, the Government also published its Legal Support Action Plan in which it announced a comprehensive review of the wider legal aid eligibility regime; this will include the Crown Court thresholds. The review is expected to conclude by Summer 2020 after which we will publish a full consultation paper setting out our future policy proposals in this area. We will seek to implement any final recommendations as soon as practicable following public consultation.

Continue reading: http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2019-07-10/275784

275783 - Legal Aid Scheme: Solicitors (Answered)
Jo Stevens
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the reform of legal aid on average annual earnings of legal aid solicitors.

Paul Maynard

On 7 February 2019, the Government published the Post Implementation Review (PIR) of Part 1 of The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/post-implementation-review-of-part-1-of-laspo

The review did not look at the earnings of individual solicitors, but reported instead on the impact on legal aid providers, including solicitors firms and individual barristers.

Continue reading: http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2019-07-10/275783

275646 - Iran: Baha'i Faith (Answered)
Tom Brake
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what information his Department holds on reports of the closure of a Baha’i-run elder care centre in Karaj, Iran.

Dr Andrew Murrison

We are aware of reports indicating that Baha'i owned businesses are being targeted for closure, including reports of the attempted closure of a care centre in Karaj, Iran. We remain concerned about the continued harassment and mistreatment that the Baha'i and other minority groups face.

We support the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Iran's assessment that discrimination against the Baha'is in Iran is legally sanctioned by a lack of constitutional recognition and the absence of other legal protections for adherents of this faith. We regularly call upon Iran to cease harassment of all religious minorities and to fulfil its international and domestic obligations to protect freedom of religion or belief.

Continue reading: http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2019-07-10/275646