Constitutional Reform Bill [HL]

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:30 pm on 13th July 2004.

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Photo of Lord Carter Lord Carter Labour 2:30 pm, 13th July 2004

I was just pausing for breath. In the report, we deal with the evidence against the Lord Chancellor being a senior lawyer. Evidence was received from Justice, where witnesses agreed with the Government's view that it was not essential for the Minister to be a lawyer in order to carry out his functions under the Bill. That was evidence from Roger Smith of Justice.

In the Scottish Executive, there is no requirement that the Minister for Justice be a lawyer. The Committee was told by Roy Martin QC, vice-dean of the Faculty of Advocates, that his assessment of the experience in Scotland—where of the two Ministers for Justice since devolution one was a lawyer and one was not—is that it does not make a particular difference. On the final question—