It was a great honour to Chair the Justice Select Committee for the two years of the last Parliament, and I am delighted to have been returned this week by my colleagues to this important role.
In the last two years we have published over 20 reports on topics as diverse as restorative justice, the role of the magistracy and the treatment of young adults in the criminal justice system, prison safety, as well as more recently on the implications of Brexit for the justice system. All of those have been well received in the House and beyond, and have made a real impact upon policy. We have achieved a series of considerable wins - not least the changes the Government made following our recommendations on the criminal courts charge.
Having had a fulltime career for over 25 years as a barrister before becoming an MP, specialising in criminal work at every level, this is a policy area I know intricately and care about deeply. It is one that will face many challenges over the coming years, raising questions about the pressures on our prison system; the impact of Brexit on legal services; courts reforms and access to justice.
The General Election interrupted the Committee whilst it was in the process of carrying out a number of very important and timely reports. As soon as the other members of the Committee have been elected, I am determined we continue with that work in haste, holding decision makers to account, scrutinising and influencing government policy, and encouraging informed public debate.
You can learn more about the Committee, and keep updated on our work, through the Committee’s website: