HC Deb 25 February 2002 vol 380 c840W
Mr. McNamara

To ask the Parliamentary Secretary. Lord Chancellor's Department what consultation has taken place between(a) the Northern Ireland Court Service and (b) the Commissioner for Judicial Appointments with the Equality Commission concerning judicial appointments; and what recommendations have been made. [29947]

Ms Rosie Winterton

The Northern Ireland Court Service, through its Diversity Unit, has regular contact with the Equality Commission in respect of appointments.

The Commissioner for Judicial Appointments for Northern Ireland, Mr. J. V. Simpson took up office on 11 December 2001. The Commissioner is undertaking an initial programme of familiarisation meetings and will be contacting the Equality Commission in this context.

Mr. Watts

To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many staff are employed to advise the Lord Chancellor on judicial appointments; and at what annual cost. [33745]

Ms Rosie Winterton

In January 2002 there were approximately 190 staff employed in the Judicial Group advising on appointments including, in addition to those working on the more than 800 specific appointments per annum, those advising on related matters such as appointments policy, terms and conditions of service including pensions, correspondence about judges and the promotion of a more diverse judiciary. The total expected pay bill cost for the financial year ending 31 March 2002 is approximately £4,700,000 including the estimated cost of new members of staff expected to take up positions with the Group before 31 March 2002.

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