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Written Statement - Commission on Justice in Wales

Carwyn Jones, First Minister
During the Assembly debate in January on the Legislative Consent Motion on the Wales Bill, I referred members to the fundamental questions of justice and the jurisdiction which were left unresolved in the Bill, in spite of the Welsh Government’s constructive proposals for addressing them.  We argued throughout the passage of the Bill for a commission to consider the arrangements that need to be put in place to ensure we have a justice system in Wales that is fit for purpose and fit for the new devolution settlement.  I said I would come back to this in coming months.

The Silk Commission made a number of carefully reasoned recommendations, based on evidence, in respect of justice, covering youth justice, the courts, probation and prisons.  These remain unresolved, and there are in addition crucial issues that need to be tackled regarding the legal jurisdiction and big challenges facing the legal services sector in Wales.

I have decided to establish a Commission on Justice in Wales and I am pleased to announce that Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd has agreed to chair the Commission when he steps down in October from his responsibilities as Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales.  I will provide members with further details of the Commission’s membership and terms of reference later in the autumn.