Q & A WRITTEN REPLIES

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LEGAL AID: The Lord Chancellor, Lord Mackay of Clashfern, announced controls on legal aid in magistrates' courts. He said: "I have today laid before Parliament regulations requiring justices' clerks to keep records of all applications for criminal Legal Aid, showing the reasons for deciding whether individual applications should be granted or refused." These would come into force on 1 May.

TAGGING: Offenders are to be electronically tagged for the first time, Michael Howard, the Home Secretary, announced. Trial schemes, run by Securicor at a cost of about £1.4m, are to be introduced in Manchester, Reading and Norfolk for nine months beginning in June. Offenders will be subject to curfew orders.

EUTHANASIA: A doctor who admitted on television that he had carried out "mercy killings" of two severely handicapped dying babies 20 years ago was warned by Tom Sackville, a health minister, that the deliberate killing of any human being was an "illegal act".

Mr Sackville added in a reply to Ann Winterton (C, Congleton) that it was for the police and Crown Prosecution Service to decide whether any action should be taken against Dr Richard Nicholson.

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