The Office Of Lord Chancellor
HL 75, Sixth Report of Session 2014-15
- House of Lords - Select Committee on the Constitution
- TSO (The Stationery Office)
The report 'The Office Of Lord Chancellor (HL 75)' examines the role played by the Lord Chancellor in defending the independence of the judiciary and ensuring the law is respected in Government.
The rule of law is a fundamental tenet of the United Kingdom constitution. In the context of the Government, it means more than simple compliance with the letter of the law; it means governing in accordance with constitutional principles.
Substantial changes were made to the office of Lord Chancellor in the Constitutional Reform Act 2005. The Lord Chancellor is no longer the head of the judiciary or speaker of the House of Lords, and since 2007 the office has been combined with that of the Secretary of State for Justice. Yet the duty of the Lord Chancellor in relation to the rule of law remains unchanged.
It has become more difficult for post-reform Lord Chancellors with their wider policy responsibilities, more overtly political positions as Secretaries of State for Justice and their reduced role in relation to the judiciary to carry out this duty in relation to the rule of law. Whilst responsibility for constitutional change passed to the Deputy Prime Minister in 2010, the Committee have heard no evidence that he, or any other minister, currently takes responsibility for the state of the constitution as a whole.
The Committee concludes that, despite significant changes to the office of Lord Chancellor, it still retains important constitutional duties and responsibilities that go beyond those of other ministers and recommends that the office and its associated responsibilities be retained and strengthened with an amended oath.
|Format||Paperback||Published||11 Dec 2014|
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