Constitutional Affairs Committee

Formal minutes

Tuesday 14 December 2004

Members present:

Mr A J Beith, in the Chair

Peter Bottomley

Mr Clive Soley

Ross Cranston

Keith Vaz

Mrs Ann Cryer

Dr Alan Whitehead

Mr Hilton Dawson


The Committee deliberated.

Resolved, that the Committee do inquire into the work of the Special Immigration Appeals Commission and related matters.- (The Chairman.)

Resolved, that the Chairman do write to the Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs requesting a written memorandum on the subject of court fees and costs.- (The Chairman.)

Ordered, that Chris Randall be appointed Specialist Advisers to assist the Committee in its inquiry into Legal aid: Asylum appeals.- (The Chairman.)

Family Justice: the operation of the family courts: Hilary Saunders, Policy Officer, Women's Aid, Ruth Aitken, Policy Adviser, Refuge, Phillip Noyes, Director, and Barbara Esam, lawyer, Public Policy Division, NSPCC, Mavis Maclean, Senior Research Fellow, Department of Social Policy and Social Work and John Eekelaar, Reader of law, Oxford University; Anthony Douglas, Chief Executive, Baroness Pitkeathley OBE, Chair, and Lamorna Wooderson, Divisional Director, CAFCASS, were examined.

[Adjourned till Tuesday 11 January 2005 at 9.15am