Commenting on the appointment of The Rt Hon David Gauke MP as Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, the Chair of the Bar, Andrew Walker QC, said:
“The Bar Council warmly congratulates David Gauke on his appointment. We look forward to working with the new Lord Chancellor to ensure access to justice is available to all, to ensure that the system for securing the administration of justice is resourced properly and functioning effectively, and to achieve fair and sustainable public funding arrangements for advocacy and legal advice. These matter because they underpin the rule of law and our constitutional principles which the Lord Chancellor has a special responsibility to uphold.
“Following significant cutbacks in the provision of legal aid over several years it is vital that the Ministry of Justice completes the thorough review of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act to which it is already committed, to ensure that the public interest in the provision of high quality and efficient legal services is addressed. The global reputation of the UK’s legal services sector, which is underpinned by the independence of our Judiciary, are hugely important national assets which must be defended. That is why is it is so important that the court transformation programme is managed well and addresses the needs of all stakeholders. We wish the Lord Chancellor well in addressing the demanding challenges that lie ahead.”