Commission launched to examine Welsh legal system

(Title Image: Wales Online)

The Welsh Government have launched a new Commission to review the policing and criminal justice system in Wales.

It could be the first step in a formal devolution of the powers at a later date, but for the moment the Commission – chaired by the outgoing Chief Justice of EnglandandWales, Lord Thomas of Cwmgeidd – will consider how the current legal system serves Wales and possible improvements.

The areas the Commission will examine include policing, youth justice, the prison service, probation services and the courts – none of which are presently devolved.

The First Minister said:

“The Commission will consider how we can do things differently in Wales and identify options to develop a distinct Welsh justice system, which improves people’s access to justice, reduces crime and promotes rehabilitation.”

Lord Thomas said:

“I am very pleased to take on this challenge when I step down as Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales in October. As a small developing jurisdiction, Wales offers unique opportunities to identify new solutions to the complex challenges facing justice and the legal profession. These are crucial to Wales’ future prosperity and I hope the commission will make a valuable contribution to addressing them.”

The Silk Commission recommended the devolution of policing and youth justice, with wider criminal justice powers – including prisons and the courts – following by 2025. Unsurprisingly, none of this made it into the Wales Act 2017.