Government and the Courts

Justice – in the House of Commons on 29th June 2021.

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Photo of John Nicolson John Nicolson Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

What recent discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on plans to review the relationship between Government and the courts.

Photo of Robert Buckland Robert Buckland The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice

Well, not me. I will leave that to others to answer.

Naturally, I do not disclose the details of private conversations that I have with Cabinet colleagues, but I can say that the Government are thinking very carefully indeed about how to make sure the balance of our constitution is right. In addition to the reviews of administrative law in the Human Rights Act 1998, I am now considering the constitutional settlement that was left by the Constitutional Reform Act 2005. I will say more about that in due course and I will be open and consultative as that work is carried out.

Photo of John Nicolson John Nicolson Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

The Public Law Project requested a breakdown of Government spending on judicial review, but it said that the information received was “barely a fraction of what should have been published. It is not detailed or clear enough to give any meaningful insight as to how judicial review impacts Government departments”.

Why are the Government so reluctant to publish everything requested?

Photo of Robert Buckland Robert Buckland The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice

The hon. Gentleman has expressed the view of one contributor to the consultation. I would argue on the contrary—that, indeed, we are publishing everything, consistent with our wider public duty and with our duty to maintain collective Cabinet responsibility. The current consultation has been ongoing. We are due to publish a response to that ahead of any potential legislation. That will all be done. Of course, any proposals will have the fullest scrutiny from him and other right hon. and hon. Members in due course.