COMMONS

Justice Committee starts work

15 September 2017

The members of the Justice Committee were nominated by the House on Monday 11 September. Details of the membership are on the Committee's webpages.

Committee meetings

In its first week the Committee held two meetings.

It met in private on Wednesday 13 September to begin planning its work programme, and on Thursday 14 September it took evidence from the Lord Chief Justice, Rt Hon Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, on his Report for 2017.

The session is available to view on parliamentlive.tv and the transcript will be published on the Committee's webpages early next week.

Call for evidence

The Committee agreed to the Government's request for it to carry out a pre-legislative scrutiny inquiry into draft legislation on the personal injury discount rate.

The Committee has issued a call for evidence, and plans to report its views by the end of November.

Publications

The Committee has also published on its webpages correspondence on a range of matters between Ministers and the Chair of the Committee during the period before the full Committee was nominated.

After Conference Recess

When the House returns in October the Committee will give further thought to its work programme and initial inquiries.

Much of the Committee's time in the autumn is likely to be taken up in completing the work of its predecessor Committee which was interrupted by the general election, but the Committee will also be deciding on its first major inquiries and issuing calls for evidence

Committee inquiry suggestions

All suggestions for Committee inquiry work which have been made since the return of Parliament and which fall within the Committee's terms of reference—i.e. matters which come within the responsibility of the Ministry of Justice and the Law Officers' Departments and which are not individual cases—are before the Committee for its consideration.

Anybody wishing to submit further suggestions is welcome to email [email protected] with a brief description of the subject which they would like the Committee to look into. The Committee regrets that it may not be possible to respond to every individual communication.

Chair's comments

Bob Neill MP, Chair of the Committee, said:

"After what seems an age, I am delighted that the Justice Committee has been set up. 

There is much urgent work to be done in holding the Government to account on its policy and its delivery, on prisons, probation, courts, legal aid, Brexit and many other matters.

We will work as a team, with a range of experience, perspectives and interests, and we are all determined to undertake seriously and constructively the important task which faces us.

We will also look to provide a forum for active and inclusive public debate on justice matters."

"I should also say that we are most grateful to Lord Thomas for getting the ball rolling for us in this Parliament by giving evidence on his annual report.

During his tenure as Lord Chief Justice he has been a great champion of improved mutual understanding between the judiciary and Parliament, and a doughty defender of the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law.

He has made an outstanding contribution to the justice system of England and Wales during his long and highly distinguished career.

We wish him all the best for the future when he retires at the end of this month and look forward to continuing fruitful co-operation with his successor, Lord Justice Burnett."

Further information

Image: Parliamentary Copyright

Share this page