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Legal Aid Scheme

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN HL1399, tabled on 30 June 2022

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Lord Bellamy on 28 June (HL Deb, col 580) that Lord Stewart of Dirleton will lead on legal aid for the government in this House, due to Lord Bellamy’s previous independent review of criminal legal aid, whether this is a temporary arrangement during the period of industrial action by barristers; whether Lord Bellamy took this decision on the basis of advice; whether Lord Bellamy will be taking any ministerial decisions or authorising papers related to legal aid in his Ministerial role; and whether Lord Bellamy will be able to comment as a Minister on any aspects of the implementation of the review’s recommendations.

Answered on

14 July 2022

On appointment as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Ministry of Justice on 7 June 2022, Lord Bellamy followed the process on declaration of interests as set out in the Ministerial Code, which includes taking account of advice received from the Independent Adviser. In light of his previous role as Chair of the Independent Review of Criminal Legal Aid and the advice received, he recused himself from any role in implementing the Review or deliberations regarding its consequences. Ministerial responsibility rests with Minister Dines. Provision will be made for other Ministers to answer for these matters in this House so that the recusal is properly observed.