Committee on the Lord Chancellor's Department

Welcome to the homepage of the Committee on the Lord Chancellor's Department.

The Committee was established in January 2003 to examine the expenditure, policy and administration of the Lord Chancellor's Department and associated public bodies. Following the constitutional changes announced on 12 June 2003, the Department for Constitutional Affairs  succeeded the Lord Chancellor's Department it is expected that a motion to amend Standing Order No 152 in order to rename the Committee will be put before the House in due course.

The Committee's remit therefore includes:

  • constitutional issues, including: Church and State, and Royal matters; relations with the Channel Islands and Isle of Man; electoral law; party funding

  • the courts and tribunals (but excluding individual cases)

  • judicial matters, including: judicial appointments, training and conduct; appointments to tribunals; appointment of QCs (but excluding individual appointments)

  • criminal justice, including: policy and legislation affecting the criminal courts (as distinct from criminal law, which does not fall within this Committee's remit); international and European matters affecting the criminal courts

  • international legal matters

  • civil justice and the legal services market, including: legal aid and the Legal Services Commission; private legal services and the Legal Services Ombudsman; civil court procedure and civil law; alternative dispute resolution; law reform and the Law Commission

  • family justice and the vulnerable, including: marriage, divorce and relationship support; international child abduction; mental incapacity; the Public Guardianship Office; the Official Solicitor and Public Trustee; transsexuals

The Committee's remit also covers other departments for which the Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs (and Lord Chancellor) is responsible to Parliament, namely, HM Land Registry , the Public Record Office , and the Northern Ireland Court Service .