Wales seeks separate legal system

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Sep 19, 2017
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Carwyn Jones said that the commission was “an important first step” towards developing a distinctive Welsh justice system

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A separate legal jurisdiction for Wales is to be considered by a commission be led by one of Britain’s most senior judges.

Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, the outgoing lord chief justice and highest ranking judge in England and Wales, is to chair the Commission on Justice in Wales, it was announced yesterday by Carwyn Jones, the first minister. 

The judge, who was born in Carmarthen, will retire from the bench next month and take up his new role in [ja checking].

A statement from the Welsh government said that the commission would identify “options to develop a distinctive Welsh justice system, with increasing scope for Welsh solutions while maintaining access to expertise at England & Wales and UK levels”.

Jones said: “In Wales, we have had a separate legislature for six years but, as yet, we do not have our own jurisdiction.”

He added that the justice commission would be “an important first step towards developing a distinctive justice system which is truly representative of Welsh needs.

“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: “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.”

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