The Ministry of Justice has announced the roles of its new ministerial team overseen by justice secretary Kenneth Clarke, with the legal aid brief handed to former City lawyer Jonathan Djanogly.
Tom McNally, minister of state and deputy leader of the House of Lords, will have responsibility for civil liberties; freedom of information and data protection; legislation and law reform; public law and public legal issues; Crown dependencies; the Land Registry; national archives; and the Law Commission; as well as overseeing the department’s business in the House of Lords.
Police minister Nick Herbert will be responsible for criminal justice strategy. He will report on this jointly to the home secretary as well as to Clarke.
Parliamentary under-secretary of state Crispin Blunt’s portfolio will be prisons and probation; youth justice; criminal law and sentencing policy; and criminal justice.
Parliamentary under-secretary of state Jonathan Djanogly, a former partner at SJ Berwin, has been handed legal aid and legal services; the courts and tribunals services; the office of the public guardian; offices of courts funds, the official solicitor and the public trustee; civil law and justice; family justice; coroner reform and burial policy; Criminal Cases Review Commission; Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority; and the parole board.
Clarke said: ‘We face a set of formidable challenges. We must ensure fairness and efficiency in our justice system, while reinforcing an independent judiciary.
‘We must provide protection for the public from dangerous individuals and find ways to improve rehabilitation so to cut the worryingly high rates of recidivism. We must deliver these priorities against the backdrop of greater budget constraint than has been seen for many decades.
‘I do not underestimate the scale of the task, but my team and I are ready to get to work, improving the justice system and delivering better value for the taxpayer,’ said Clarke.