Carwyn Jones, First Minister
The Committee for Administrative Justice and Tribunals, Wales (CAJTW) was set up in November 2013 as an independent non-statutory advisory committee to advise the Welsh Ministers on tribunals and strengthening the administrative justice system in Wales. CAJTW was put in place following the UK Government’s abolition of the statutory Administrative Justice and Tribunals Council, which had a Welsh Committee (AJTC Welsh Committee). CAJTW operated until March 2016 and presented its legacy report (Annex 1) to me and the then Minister for Public Services, who was responsible for justice policy in the previous Welsh Government.
The report takes a wide view of administrative justice in Wales. It builds on previous reviews of the reform of devolved tribunals in Wales by the AJTC Welsh Committee in 2010 and the Welsh Government in 2014, and research commissioned from Bangor University. Many of the recommendations are consistent with work already underway in response to the 2010 and 2014 reviews. The Welsh Government has, for example, put in place an arrangement for the Judicial Appointments Commission to undertake independent recruitment and selection of tribunal members on behalf of the Welsh Ministers; and we are working with the Judicial College and the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office to ensure provision for the devolved tribunals reflects provision for tribunals operated by Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service.
These and other matters are set out in the Welsh Government’s response to the report (Annex 2). The report makes recommendations in relation to the scrutiny of administrative justice which will be for the National Assembly to consider. The Welsh Government will take forward the actions set out in Annex 2 in order to continue to strengthen the work of the devolved tribunals and other bodies that support and protect citizens’ rights.
This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Assembly returns I would be happy to do so.