Lord Falconer has been unveiled as the UK’s first secretary of state for Justice.
Falconer, who was also the first-ever secretary of state for the department of constitutional affairs said he was honoured that he has been chosen for the task.
“It makes sense to bring under one roof everyone looking after the criminal and civil courts, sentencing, imprisonment, community penalties and rehabilitation,” said Falconer. “This is a huge step forward in making sure we have a justice system that works for the public, punishes the guilty and offers a realistic prospect of rehabilitation for the contrite.”
Prime Minister Tony Blair today announced the creation of a new Ministry of Justice that will oversee the management of the criminal justice system.
The new ministry, which will begin operations on 9 May, will be made up of the National Offender Management Service and the Department for Constitutional Affairs, separating the duties of the Home Office.
Blair announced the changes in a written ministerial statement, which he hopes will “take the leading role in delivering a fairer, more effective, speedy and efficient justice system”.
The ministry will be responsible for policy on the criminal, civil, family and administrative justice systems, as well as courts, tribunals, legal aid and constitutional reform.
Blair claims that the new changes will help to reduce reoffending by moving criminal law and sentencing policy to the newly formed body.
The Office of Criminal Justice Reform will move from the Home Office and operate from the new ministry, but remains separate.
Responsibility for the Crown Prosecution Service will remain with the Attorney General, and the Ministry of Justice will continue to work with the Attorney General’s Office “to deliver a world-class criminal justice system”, according to Blair.
Blair said: “The relationship between the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice remains vital, and strong working-level agreements will be put in place”.