Formal Minutes

Tuesday 15 January

Members present:

Mr Alan Beith, in the Chair

Siân James
Jessica Morden
Julie Morgan
Alun Michael
Robert Neill
Dr Nick Palmer
Virendra Sharma
Mr Andrew Tyrie
Dr Alan Whitehead

1. Future Programme

Resolved, That the Committee inquire into Justice Reinvestment

Resolved, That the Committee inquire into the Crown Prosecution Service

2. Overseas Travel

Resolved, That the Committee visit North America in 2008 in connection with its inquiry into justice reinvestment, and that the Chairman seek the approval of the Liaison Committee for expenditure in connection with the visit.

3. Devolution: a decade on

Resolved, That the Committee take oral evidence from Sir John Shortridge KCB, Permanent Secretary, Welsh Assembly Government; Lord (Dafydd) Elis-Thomas AM, Presiding Officer, and Claire Clancy, Clerk and Chief Executive, National Assembly for Wales; Professor Nicholas Bourne AM, Leader of the Opposition; Michael German AM, Leader, Welsh Liberal Democrats; Rt Hon Rhodri Morgan AM, First Minister, and Ieuan Wyn Jones AM, Deputy First Minister, Welsh Assembly Government, on 4th February in Cardiff.

Resolved, That the Committee take oral evidence from Professor Vernon Bogdanor, Lord Tyler, Michael Knowles of Campaign for an English Parliament and Peter Facey of Unlock Democracy on 19th February.

Resolved, That the Committee take oral evidence from Rt Hon Jack Straw MP, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Ministry of Justice, on 25th March.

4. Sentencing Guidelines: Sentencing Framework and Magistrates Courts Guidelines

Resolved, That the Committee take oral evidence from Nicola Padfield, Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge, a member of the judiciary, the Magistrates' Association and the London Criminal Courts Solicitor's Association on Tuesday 22 January.

Resolved, That the Committee take oral evidence from Mike Hough, Institute for Criminal Policy Research, King's College London on 27 February.

5. Specialist Support Services

Resolved, That the Committee request written evidence from the Legal Services Commission on Specialist Support Services.

6. Governance of Britain

Resolved, That the Committee request written evidence from the Ministry of Justice on appointments by the Government to ecclesiastical, academic, High Sheriff and Lord Lieutenant in relation to the Government's plans for the Governance of Britain.

7. Towards Effective Sentencing

Resolved, That the Committee request further written evidence from Lord Carter of Coles on consultees for his report.

8. Winter Supplementary Estimates

Resolved, That the Committee request written evidence from the Ministry of Justice on the Winter Supplementary Estimates.

9. The Constitutional Role of the Attorney General

Draft Special Report (Constitutional Role of the Attorney General: Government Response to the Committee's Fifth Report of Session 2006-07), proposed by the Chairman, brought up, read the first and second time, and agreed to.

The Government's response to the Fifth Report from the Committee in Session 2006-07 was appended to the Report.

Resolved, That the Report be the Second Special Report of the Committee to the House.

Ordered, That the Chairman make the Report to the House.

[Adjourned till Tuesday 22 January at 4.00 pm