Earlier this month, House of Commons speaker John Bercow lamented the proliferation of lawyers before him. But could there be an even more pervasive band of brothers?

The second reading of the Prisons and Courts Bill was like a reunion for former justice ministers, as past incumbents lined up for their say.

Obiter was reminded of happy times listening to the likes of David Hanson (2009-2010), Jonathan Djanogly (2010-2012), Shailesh Vara (2013-2016) and Andrew Selous (2014-2016).

Djanogly revisited his greatest hit, the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, but also dug out some old material on employment tribunal fees, attacking Labour for supporting a ‘something-for-nothing’ system.

Vara lamented having to break the bad news of court closures during his tenure, and recalled chatting with an African justice minister who wanted villagers to access justice through their smartphones.

Shadow solicitor general Nick Thomas-Symonds could not draw on a ministerial background for such rich anecdotes, so instead quoted from the memoirs of former justice secretary Ken Clarke. Given the makeup of members at the debate, it probably wasn’t necessary.