The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) has warned that unless changes are made to the role of Lord Chancellor, then it should cease to exist.
In evidence presented to the House of Lords Select Committee on the Constitution, which is holding an inquiry into the Office, APIL has said that any future Lord Chancellor must be released from the conflict of interest which comes from serving two masters.
“The fundamental problem with the current role is that it combines the duties of an independent Lord Chancellor with the political role of Secretary of State for Justice, which generates an obvious and potentially serious conflict of interest,” said John Spencer, president of APIL.
John Spencer, president of APIL, said that The Lord Chancellor’s responsibility for defending the rule of law, and ensuring that any political changes do not affect the independence of the legal system, was in direct conflict with the role of Secretary of State, which is responsible for making improvements to the criminal justice and prison system.
“This generates an obvious and potentially serious conflict of interest,” said Spencer.
“An individual cannot reasonably be expected to defend the rule of law and the independence of the courts while promoting a political agenda as Secretary of State,” he added.