The House of Lords Select Committee on the Constitution has issued its report on the Office of Lord Chancellor in which it cites extensively from the evidence of Graham Gee, a Senior Lecturer at Birmingham Law School. Graham is cited throughout the report, including in particular on:

  • the Lord Chancellor’s requirement under section 3 of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 to take into account “the need for the public interest…to be properly represented” in decisions affecting the judiciary;
  • the potential for post-2005 Lord Chancellors to be better placed than their predecessors to disentangle legitimate concerns about judicial independence from more spurious claims driven by self-interest;
  • the qualities required by Lord Chancellors, and in particular whether the office-holder should be legally qualified;
  • the likelihood of post-2005 Lord Chancellors being more “reactive” than “proactive” guardians of judicial independence; and
  • the declining legal expertise within the Ministry of Justice as a result of the transfer of staff to organizations in the judiciary system outside of the Ministry.

Earlier this year Graham appeared before the Committee to give oral evidence on the office of Lord Chancellor. His evidence drew on the results of a recently completed AHRC-funded project (with Robert Hazell, Kate Malleson and Patrick O’Brien). The primary output of this project is a book on The Politics of Judicial Independence in the UK’s Changing Constitutionto be published by CUP in February. Earlier this year Graham published a paper in the journal Public Law which asked “What are Lord Chancellors For?” In the late summer he also published a blogpost that asked Do Lord Chancellors defend judicial independence?’