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Previous Business – Lords: Select Committee (9 April 2014)

Home Affairs, Health and Education (EU Sub-Committee F): Safe Harbour. 10:30 am; Room 3, Palace of Westminster
Witnesses: (at 11.00am) evidence will be heard from Simon Hughes MP, Minister of State for Justice and Civil Liberties, Ministry of Justice.

Written Answers — Justice: Public Expenditure (9 April 2014)

Simon Hughes: The information required to provide a full response to the question could not be collated within the timeframe available. I will write to the hon. Member providing a full reply in due course.

Written Answers — Justice: Sexual Offences: Northern Ireland (7 April 2014)

Simon Hughes: My Department's Court Proceedings Database holds information on criminal justice statistics only in England and Wales. Criminal Justice Statistics in Northern Ireland are a matter for the Department of Justice in Northern Ireland.

Written Answers — Justice: Sexual Offences: Northern Ireland (7 April 2014)

Simon Hughes: My Department's court proceedings database holds information on criminal justice statistics only in England and Wales. Criminal justice statistics in Northern Ireland are a matter for the Department of Justice in Northern Ireland.

Written Answers — Justice: All Party Groups (31 March 2014)

Simon Hughes: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, the right hon. Member for Horsham (Mr Maude) on 26 March 2014, Official Report, column 300W.

Written Answers — Justice: Matrimonial Property (31 March 2014)

Simon Hughes: The Law Commission published its report on Matrimonial Property, Needs and Agreements on 27 February 2014. The report focuses on clarifying the law in the areas of financial “need” and nuptial agreements and makes three broad recommendations: 1. that written guidance is produced on financial need; 2. that the feasibility is assessed of producing numerical guidance to help couples...

Written Answers — Justice: Personal Records: Databases (31 March 2014)

Simon Hughes: I can confirm that the Ministry of Justice and its executive agencies including Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunal Service (HMCTS), the National Offender Management Service (NOMS), the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) and the Legal Aid Agency (LAA), currently have no plans to introduce any new HR-related centralised, multi-user database systems. In order to ascertain the individual...

Written Ministerial Statements — Justice: Advisory Panel on Public Sector Information (Triennial Review) (27 March 2014)

Simon Hughes: I am today announcing the triennial review of the Advisory Panel on Public Sector Information (APPSI), an advisory non-departmental public body (NDPB). Triennial reviews of non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs) are part of the Government’s commitment to ensuring, and improving, the accountability and effectiveness of public bodies. The Advisory Panel on Public Sector Information...

Written Ministerial Statements — Justice: Female Offenders (27 March 2014)

Simon Hughes: As promised during Parliamentary passage of the Courts and Crime Act 2013, I am today publishing an update on the progress that has been made in delivering the Government’s strategic objectives for female offenders, which we published a year ago. These set out our intention to make sure that: there are robust and effective sentencing options in the community; services in the community...

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Inheritance and Trustees’ Powers Bill [Lords] (26 March 2014)

Simon Hughes: With the leave of the House, I rise briefly to answer the question asked by the hon. Member for Barnsley Central (Dan Jarvis) and to wind up the debate. I absolutely understand the hon. Gentleman’s point about the very many people who cohabit or live together, but are not married. I am grateful to him for his prompt, because it is very important to send out from this debate and from...

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Inheritance and Trustees’ Powers Bill [Lords] (26 March 2014)

Simon Hughes: I beg to move, That the Bill be now read the Third time. I am happy to be able to inform the House that the consensus that clearly prevailed in the last debate on the previous piece of proposed legislation will, I believe, prevail here. I am very happy to bring for the first time on to the Floor of the House a Bill which is small, perfectly formed, but very important and which will affect a...

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Inheritance and Trustees’ Powers Bill [Lords] (26 March 2014)

Simon Hughes: The hon. Gentleman is absolutely correct. He knows from his practice outside the House and from his time in this place that that is exactly the position. The law has not changed. The guidance does not change the law, it has not been changed elsewhere and it is not about to be changed. The Government have no plans to change it. We are simply reinforcing the clear view, implied by his question,...

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Inheritance and Trustees’ Powers Bill [Lords] (26 March 2014)

Simon Hughes: I was going to deal with that later, but as it has been raised it seems logical to do so now. I am very clear that although the Government cannot make people do such things we have a duty to lead. At the moment, if people go on to the Government website they will be directed to places where they can receive advice about such matters, but clearly the numbers are still surprisingly low. A lot...

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Inheritance and Trustees’ Powers Bill [Lords] (26 March 2014)

Simon Hughes: I apologise for not dealing with that specifically. It is a very good idea and one that the Government support. I will take on board my hon. Friend’s idea. Perhaps he would like to come and have a cup of coffee, a cup of tea or even something else, and share his experience. The more people can be encouraged, the more charities can be helped and the more organisations can feel part of...

Written Answers — Justice: Mediation (26 March 2014)

Simon Hughes: This information is available only at disproportionate cost. This is because while the volume of referrals to mediation is recorded, the details of individual cases referred are not recorded. To obtain the information requested would involve a manual check of every claim that could have been referred to mediation during the periods in question to identify whether or not the claim was referred...

Written Answers — Justice: Prisons: Mother and Baby Units (26 March 2014)

Simon Hughes: The mother and baby unit at HMP/YOI Holloway has been closed in line with the recommendation included in the Women's Custodial Estate Review. The report was published on 25 October and recommended that the women's prison estate be reconfigured to ensure that women are held closer to home with access to the right interventions and with opportunities for meaningful resettlement. The rationale...

Written Answers — Justice: Written Statements (26 March 2014)

Simon Hughes: The Ministry of Justice issued 119 WMSs since January 2013. The Department aims to issue written statements at 9.30 am, which is the agreed time for the Government to issue written statements. This though is not always possible for a number of reasons. From the Department's records it is not possible to determine how many statements were published after the start of the day's business nor how...

Written Answers — Justice: Coroners (24 March 2014)

Simon Hughes: Regulation 27 of the Coroners (Investigations) Regulations 2013 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2013/1629/regulation/27/m ade states that a document related to a coroner investigation must be retained by, or on behalf of, the coroner for at least 15 years from the date on which the investigation is completed. The regulation allows a court or the Chief Coroner to direct a coroner to keep a...

Written Answers — Justice: Empty Property (24 March 2014)

Simon Hughes: Information on empty property business rates paid on vacant properties owned by the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) or any Executive agencies or non-departmental public bodies of the MOJ is not held centrally. Empty properties are eligible for a temporary exemption from business rates for a period of six months for industrial properties and three months for other properties. Once this period has...

Written Answers — Justice: Mediation: Matrimonial Proceedings (19 March 2014)

Simon Hughes: Monthly data is collated by the Legal Aid Agency on the number of mediation cases which receive public funding for the mediation information and assessment meeting (MIAM) and for mediation starts. The position in respect of privately funded mediation is unknown. Available comparative data for the period April-September 2013 over the same period for 2012 shows a 51% decrease in MIAMs; and a...

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