§ Mr. Austin Mitchell
To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what assessment he has made of the cost in money and time of his system for vetting and appointing Queen's Counsel and for consulting judges on the subject.
Mr. John M. Taylor
The costs involved in the work relating to applications for appointment as Queen's Counsel form part of the overall costs of the headquarters of the Lord Chancellor's Department and cannot readily be isolated. However, broad estimates suggest that in 1993–94 the process may account for costs of the order of £100,000, including about 650 staff days of the time of the officials most directly involved. These figures contain notional elements for postage and stationery and certain other items which may understate the full cost. They do not include any element for the time of the judges.