Commission on Justice in Wales
The Commission on Justice in Wales has been set up by the First Minister to review the operation of the justice system in Wales.
The First Minister announced in September 2017 he was setting up a Commission on Justice in Wales to review the operation of the justice system in Wales and set a long term vision for its future.
The Commission, chaired by Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, began its work in December of considering what arrangements need to be put in place to ensure Wales has a justice system that is fit for purpose and for the new devolution settlement in the Wales Act 2017. It is scheduled to report in 2019.
The Commission is looking at criminal justice and policing; civil, commercial, family and administrative justice; access to justice; legal education and training; the legal professions and economy; and the legal jurisdiction. The Commission issued a call for evidence on 27 February and will be holding events across Wales to inform its work.
The Police and Crime Commissioner has prepared a submission as requested by the First Minister.
In accordance with S.10 of the Police Reform & Social Responsibility Act 2011 the Police and Crime Commissioner, and the “criminal justice bodies which exercise functions as criminal justice bodies in that police area”, must provide an efficient and effective criminal justice system.
In order to help fulfil these duties the Commissioner is the chair of the North Wales Criminal Justice Board (NWCJB). The NWCJB meets every quarter and is administered by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.
Membership of the NWCJB is as follows:
- North Wales Police & Crime Commissioner
- Chief Constable North Wales Police
- Head of the Administration of Justice Department, North Wales Police
- Crown Prosecution Service
- Her Majesty’s Court & Tribunal Service
- National Probation Service
- Wales Community Rehabilitation Company
- Her Majesty’s Prison Service
- Youth Offending Teams
All representatives should have the authority to make decisions within board meetings for their respective agency. Any replacement representative is to have the delegated powers to commit their agency to any such agreement made at the meeting thereby ensuring the NWCJB remains an effective vehicle for delivering on both the aims and priorities in a timely manner.
The Board’s vision is as follows:
“To provide a multi-agency forum for the exchange of information, to provide leadership and governance, and to identify and overcome obstacles and blockages in order to deliver a more efficient and effective Criminal Justice Service in North Wales that puts the needs of victims at its centre.”
As an established and experienced body the NWCJB provides the Commissioner with an ideal forum to discuss criminal justice issues with officers at an appropriate level. The Board provides the Commissioner with the opportunity to hear about issues or blockages within the criminal justice system, consider the issues, and recommend remedies with partners to such issues.
The NWCJB’s current priorities:
- Reduce crime, re-offending and harm;
- Deliver an effective response;
- Work together to build effective partnerships;
- Work to improve outcomes for DV, hate crime, rape and sexual offences.