Judiciary: Ministers

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 3rd October 2019.

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Photo of Keith Vaz Keith Vaz Labour, Leicester East

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether he has made an assessment of the adequacy of the guidance issued to Ministers on relations with the judiciary.

Photo of Chris Philp Chris Philp The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

Section 3(1) of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 requires that all Ministers of the Crown must uphold the continued independence of the judiciary. Paragraph 16 of the introduction and Chapter 6 of the Cabinet Manual make clear that the judiciary is independent of both the government of the day and Parliament. All ministers have access to legal advice in relation to their statutory duties, including advice where appropriate from Law Officers.

The Lord Chancellor has taken an Oath to respect the rule of law and defend the independence of the judiciary, which means that if required he will remind Ministerial colleagues of the importance of judicial independence and the rule of law. I am confident that my Ministerial colleagues understand their duties in this regard.

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