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Civil Justice Council

Volume 703: debated on Tuesday 8 July 2008

My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Bridget Prentice) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I am today announcing that Dr Jonathan Spencer CB has submitted his report of his independent review of the Civil Justice Council on 24 June 2008. I welcome the report and accept the thrust of the recommendations. I have asked my officials to work closely with the council to develop a suitable action plan for their implementation. The report recommends retention of the council as an advisory public body but with a series of changes, set out in 27 recommendations for action. These are designed to increase the relevance, value and visibility of the council’s work to users of the civil justice system. They aim to achieve this in particular by increasing the user element in the council’s membership and by increasing the user influence over its programmes of work, while retaining the technical expertise of the legal and judicial members of the council and its committees.

I am particularly pleased that the report acknowledges the value of the council’s work and achievements so far and I am confident that the implementation of the recommendations will be a major step towards its further development.

The report has been placed in the Libraries of both Houses. The report and further information about the review can be found at the Ministry of Justice website at