Secretary of State for Justice

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Secretary of State
for Justice
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (HM Government).svg
Official portrait of Rt Hon Robert Buckland MP.jpg
Robert Buckland QC MP

since 24 July 2019
Ministry of Justice
StyleJustice Secretary
The Right Honourable
(UK and the Commonwealth)
StatusMinister of the Crown
Member ofCabinet
Privy Council
Reports toThe Prime Minister
AppointerThe Crown
on advice of the Prime Minister
Inaugural holderCharlie Falconer
Formation9 May 2007
DeputyMinister of State for Justice

The Secretary of State for Justice, also referred to as the Justice Secretary, is a senior Minister of the Crown within the Government of the United Kingdom, and head of the Ministry of Justice. The office forms part of the British Cabinet. Since it was created, the Justice Secretary also holds the office of Lord Chancellor in conjunction.

The current Secretary of State for Justice is Robert Buckland, MP. since his appointment by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, in July 2019[1]


Corresponding to what is generally known as a justice minister in many other countries, the Justice Secretary's remit includes:


The then Lord Chancellor, Charlie Falconer, was appointed to the post of Secretary of State for Justice when it was created in 2007. The office of the Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs was abolished, along with the Department for Constitutional Affairs. The Home Secretary, John Reid, told Parliament that future Secretaries of State for Justice would be MPs rather than peers. Jack Straw took over this department on 28 June 2007, following the selection of Gordon Brown as leader of the Labour Party and Prime Minister and left office on the resignation of Gordon Brown after the May 2010 general election. He was replaced by Conservative MP Ken Clarke. In the Cabinet reshuffle of August 2012 Chris Grayling was promoted to Lord Chancellor, and, by convention, Secretary of State for Justice. He was the first Lord Chancellor to have no legal background or expertise. After the 2015 general election, the position was given to former Government Chief Whip Michael Gove. Michael Gove was replaced after Theresa May became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on 14 July 2016 and succeeded by Liz Truss. Following the 2017 general election, which resulted in a minority Conservative government, David Lidington was appointed Secretary of State for Justice, who in turn was succeeded by David Gauke on 8 January 2018.

List of Secretaries of State[edit]

Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor
  Labour       Conservative
Portrait Name
Honorifics & Constituency
Term of office Length of term Political Party Government
Portrait of Lord Falconer.jpg The Right Honourable
Charlie Falconer
The Lord Falconer of Thoroton

(born 1951)
9 May
27 June
1 month and 18 days Labour Blair III
Jack Straw 2.jpg The Right Honourable
Jack Straw
MP for Blackburn
(born 1946)
28 June
11 May
2 years, 10 months and 13 days Labour Brown
Kenneth-clarke-hi-res.jpg The Right Honourable
Kenneth Clarke

MP for Rushcliffe
(born 1940)
12 May
4 September
2 years, 3 months and 23 days Conservative Cameron–Clegg


Official portrait of Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP crop 2.jpg The Right Honourable
Chris Grayling

MP for Epsom and Ewell
(born 1962)
4 September
9 May
2 years, 8 months and 5 days Conservative
Official portrait of Rt Hon Michael Gove MP crop 2.jpg The Right Honourable
Michael Gove

MP for Surrey Heath
(born 1967)
9 May
14 July
1 year, 2 months and 5 days Conservative Cameron II
Official portrait of Elizabeth Truss crop 2.jpg The Right Honourable
Liz Truss

MP for South West Norfolk
(born 1975)
14 July
11 June
10 months and 28 days Conservative May I
Official portrait of Mr David Lidington crop 2.jpg The Right Honourable
David Lidington
MP for Aylesbury
(born 1956)
11 June
8 January
6 months and 28 days Conservative May II
Official portrait of Mr David Gauke crop 2.jpg The Right Honourable
David Gauke

MP for South West Hertfordshire
(born 1971)
8 January
24 July
1 year, 6 months and 16 days Conservative
Official portrait of Rt Hon Robert Buckland MP crop 2.jpg The Right Honourable
Robert Buckland

MP for South Swindon
(born 1968)
24 July
Incumbent 1 year, 8 months and 23 days* Conservative Johnson I
Johnson II

* Incumbent's length of term last updated: 16 April 2021.

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ First non-peer to serve as Lord Chancellor since Sir Robert Henley as Lord Keeper of the Seal in 1760.
  4. ^ "Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, The Rt Hon David Lidington MP".

External links[edit]