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Present (via Teams)

  • Rt. Hon Mark Drakeford MS
  • Mick Antoniw MS (Chair) 
  • Jane Hutt MS
  • Julie Morgan MS 

Welsh Government officials

  • Andrew Goodall, Permanent Secretary
  • Sioned Evans, Director General, Public Services and Welsh Language
  • Piers Bisson, Director, European Transition, Constitution and Justice 
  • Liz Lalley, Director, Recovery and Restart
  • James Gerard, Deputy Director Justice Policy
  • Karin Phillips, Deputy Director, Community Safety
  • Diane Dunning, Deputy Director, Legal Services
  • Jane Runeckles, Special Adviser
  • Kate Edmunds, Special Adviser
  • Ian Butler, Special Adviser
  • Owen John, Special Adviser
  • David Hooson, Special Adviser
  • Christopher W Morgan, Head of Cabinet Secretariat
  • Damian Roche, Cabinet Secretariat (minutes)
  • Bethan Phillips, Senior Private Secretary, MSJCW
  • Lowri Lloyd-Hughes, Senior Private Secretary, Counsel General
  • Adam Turbervill, Legal Services
  • Merisha Weeks, Justice Policy
  • Tony Jones, Justice Policy
  • Andrew Felton, Justice Policy
  • Fiona Green, Justice Policy
  • James Searle, Community Safety

External attendee

  • Dame Vera Baird KC, Independent Expert Adviser on Justice Devolution 

Item 1: Justice devolution update

1.1 The Counsel General and Minister for the Constitution introduced the item and asked James Gerard to present the update on activity to prepare for the devolution of youth justice, probation and policing and the impact of recent developments.

1.2 The Independent Commission on the Constitutional Future of Wales had recently reported and most notably the group had received no convincing evidence to counter the conclusions of the Thomas Commission that justice and policing should be devolved to the Senedd and Welsh Government.

1.3 The report also set out that devolution could be achieved without major disruption, through a programme of work led jointly by the UK and Welsh Governments, which should be tasked with agreeing a timetable and implementation plan, likely to require some 10 years to deliver. The most straightforward services to begin the devolution process would be policing, youth justice and probation.

1.4 The Law Society was consulting its membership on its 2030 vision for the justice and legal sector in Wales, and Welsh Government was continuing work with the Wales Centre for Crime and Social Justice and the justice trade unions, and all were behind further devolution.

1.5 There would be a programme of work around youth justice, probation, policing and communications and engagement activity throughout 2024.

1.6 The significant work done to move towards devolution of justice was welcomed by the Sub-Committee.

Cabinet Secretariat
February 2024