The House of Lords Constitution Committee took evidence from Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor Ken Clarke MP on Wednesday 19 January on a range of topical legal and constitutional issues. The session was an annual one the Committee hold with the Lord Chancellor but it was Mr Clarke’s first appearance before them in that role.
The Committee questioned Mr Clarke on a range of areas including:
- Proposals he has brought forward to reform sentencing policy and the principles that underlie them.
- Relations between the judiciary, the executive and Parliament – including how the Government intends to ensure the continued independence of the judiciary.
- The proposals in the coalition’s Programme for Government to establish a Commission to create a British Bill of Rights.
- Concerns about the increased use of Henry VIII powers by Government.
- Whether the judiciary is adequately funded to properly fulfil its role.
- The suggestion he has made for ‘radical organisational changes’ to the way judges are selected.
- What steps should be taken to help achieve wider judicial diversity.
The Constitution Committee examines all Public Bills for constitutional implications and investigates broad constitutional issues.
Public committee sessions are open to everyone, including the press, and follow proceedings from the public gallery.
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