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Judiciary

Lord Chancellor

Alex Chalk KC MP was appointed Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice on 21 April 2023. 

As the Secretary of State for Justice, Alex Chalk KC MP, heads the Ministry of Justice.

He was Minister of State in the Ministry of Defence from October 2022 to April 2023 and was formerly HM Solicitor General for England and Wales and the Prisons and Probation Minister. Alex Chalk KC MP has been the Member of Parliament for Cheltenham since 2015.

Prior to being elected in 2015, Alex was a barrister and prosecuted and defended in cases concerning terrorism, international fraud, and homicide.

As Justice Minister, Alex led the Domestic Abuse Bill through the Commons. For the first time in history, the Bill includes a wide-ranging legal definition of domestic abuse which incorporates a range of abuses beyond physical violence, including emotional, coercive or controlling behaviour, and economic abuse.

During his time as Prisons Minister, Alex announced a new scheme to provide temporary, basic accommodation to prison leavers for twelve weeks as well as overhauling the unpaid work that offenders are ordered to do as part of community service.

As HM Solicitor General, Alex oversaw the work of the Law Officers’ Departments which includes the Crown Prosecution Service and Serious Fraud Office, as well as the Government Legal Department and HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate.

Alex lives in Cheltenham with his wife and three young children.

Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice Bio gov.uk

You may also be interested in our article on the Lord Chief Justice and the Master of the Rolls.

What is the role of the Lord Chancellor ?

The Lord Chancellor is one of the most ancient offices of state, dating back many centuries.

The Lord Chancellor, formally the lord high chancellor of Great Britain, is the highest-ranking traditional minister among the Great Officers of State in Scotland and England in the United Kingdom, nominally outranking even the prime minister.

The Lord Chancellor is responsible for the administration of the courts, prison system, legal aid, and probation services in England and Wales

The Lord Chancellor is appointed by the Monarch on the advice of the Prime Minister and is a senior member of the Cabinet. They head the Ministry of Justice as the Secretary of State for Justice.

You may also be interested in our article about the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 which explains the transfer of some powers from the Lord Chancellor to the Lord Chief Justice.

Oath of the Lord Chancellor

The Lord Chancellor takes a sincere and solemn Oath from Part 2 Section 17 of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005

“I,     , do swear that in the office of Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain I will respect the rule of law, defend the independence of the judiciary and discharge my duty to ensure the provision of resources for the efficient and effective support of the courts for which I am responsible. So help me God.”

Oath of the Lord Chancellor Part 2 Section 17 Constitutional Reform Act 2005

What is the role of the Secretary of State for Justice ?

According to the gov.uk webpage for the Secretary of State for Justice, it lists the ministerial roles as follows :-

Responsibilities

  1. Oversight of all portfolios and Ministry of Justice strategy
  2. Oversight of departmental COVID-19 response supported by other ministers according to portfolio
  3. Oversight of international business and future relations with the EU
  4. MoJ support for the Union
  5. Resourcing of the department
  6. Functions of the Lord Chancellor
  7. Judicial policy including pay, pensions and diversity (these and other operational decisions affecting the judiciary are reserved to the Lord Chancellor)
  8. Corporate services

Previous Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice

  1. The Rt Hon Dominic Raab MP 2022 to 2023 (Lord Bully)
  2. The Rt Hon Brandon Lewis CBE MP 2022 to 2022
  3. The Rt Hon Dominic Raab MP 2021 to 2022
  4. The Rt Hon Robert Buckland KC MP 2019 to 2021
  5. The Rt Hon David Gauke 2018 to 2019
  6. The Rt Hon David Lidington CBE 2017 to 2018
  7. The Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP 2016 to 2017
  8. The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP 2015 to 2016
  9. The Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP 2012 to 2015
  10. The Rt Hon Kenneth Clarke KC 2010 to 2012

Photo Credit : Parliament Official Portrait of Alex Chalk KC MP under Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0) licence.

Check out our article on the highly questionable Sussex Family Justice Board and make up your own mind.

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