Counsel General calls for devolution of justice

(Title Image: Welsh Government)

The Counsel General – the Welsh Government’s senior legal adviser – Jeremy Miles (Lab, Neath) told BBC Radio Cymru that he believes justice should be devolved to Wales in the future.

At the moment, policing, prisons, probation services, many aspects of criminal law and the courts are non-devolved and handled on an EnglandandWales basis. The Senedd has supported calls for devolution of policing, while the Thomas Commission was established to consider the future of justice in Wales.

Criminal justice is already devolved to Scotland and Northern Ireland, while the London Assembly and many regional mayors in England have powers, or will have powers, over policing.

The Counsel General said, “This isn’t just a question of seeking powers for the sake of seeking powers – it is about having a coherent basis for devolution in Wales”. He also estimated the process of devolving justice would take 10 years and would cost £10million.

The UK Ministry of Justice rejected the call, saying it would cost £100million, lead to “unnecessary duplication” and would undermine the “effective and efficient” single legal jurisdiction of EnglandandWales.