Liberal Democrat peer Lord McNally has been handed the legal aid portfolio following last week’s government reshuffle.
The Ministry of Justice today confirmed McNally (pictured) – the only justice minister to survive the reshuffle – will take over that responsibility from Jonathan Djanogly. McNally, who helped to steer the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) through the House of Lords, will also look after family justice, defamation and EU business.
He will share human rights and civil liberties with the Conservative Damian Green, who has taken over the joint role with the Home Office with responsibility for policing and criminal justice.
Helen Grant, who is a family solicitor with experience of legal aid, has a portfolio that includes civil law and justice. She will take charge of the Jackson reforms that formed part of LASPO, as well as oversee the expansion of the RTA Portal and the proposed extension of the limit in the small claims court from £1,000 to £5,000.
Grant will handle victims and criminal injuries compensation, the courts and tribunals service, and claims management regulation. She will also offer support to Maria Miller, secretary of state for women and equalities, on her cross-government work.
Criminal barrister Jeremy Wright will be minister for prisons and rehabilitation and will be in charge of sentencing policy and youth justice.
Law Society President Lucy Scott-Moncrieff said: 'We look forward to working with the new-look Ministry of Justice team on the issues affecting solicitors, the legal profession and the public’s access to the justice system. We will continue to take a collaborative approach with ministers to help them understand the challenges and opportunities that the legal sector, and those it serves, currently face.'
The full list of portfolios is here:
The lord chancellor and secretary of state for justice, Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP, will have oversight of all business. He will have particular responsibility for:
- The resourcing of his department
- Overall strategy on criminal justice, penal policy and rehabilitation
- Judicial policy, appointments and conduct
- Other functions of the lord chancellor
- EU and international
Rt Hon Lord McNally, minister of state, will have responsibility for:
- Departmental business in the Lords
- Support to secretary of state on constitutional matters
- Legal aid
- Family justice
- Freedom of information
- Human rights and civil liberties (jointly with Damian Green)
- EU business
- Crown dependencies
- Deputy leader of the House of Lords
Rt Hon Damian Green MP, minister of state, minister for policing and criminal justice (jointly with the Home Office):
- Strategic oversight of the criminal justice system, reporting jointly to the secretary of state and home secretary
- Joint working with Home Office, Attorney General’s Office and criminal justice system agencies
- Criminal law, procedure and the criminal offences gateway
- Sponsorship of the Criminal Cases Review Commission
- The Transforming Justice programme
- Human rights and civil liberties (jointly with Lord McNally)
- Damian Green also has a range of Home Office responsibilities for policing
Jeremy Wright MP, parliamentary under-secretary of state, minister for prisons and rehabilitation will have responsibility for:
- Rehabilitation revolution
- Prisons and probation
- Youth justice
- Sentencing policy
Helen Grant MP, parliamentary under-secretary of state, minister for victims and the courts has responsibility for:
- Victims and criminal injuries compensation
- Courts, tribunals and administrative justice
- Women in the justice system, including women’s prisons
- Judicial policy (including diversity)
- Civil law and justice
- International business (non-EU)
- Law reform and sponsorship of the Law Commission
- Legal services and claims management regulation
- Coroner and burial policy
- Data protection and data sharing
- The National Archives
- Sponsorship of the Office of the Public Guardian, Office of Court Funds, Office of the Official Solicitor and Public Trustee, and the Parole Board
- Better regulation and growth
- Support to Maria Miller, secretary of state for women and equalities, on her cross-government work