Chris Grayling Appointment: Top Ten Horrified Reactions

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News of the first non-lawyer appointment to the role of Lord Chancellor since the Archbishop of York under Queen Mary in 1558 has riled members of the legal profession…

1. loveandgarbage

2. Anonymous lawyer on Linkedin

“I think David Cameron has made a big mistake replacing Ken Clarke with Chris Greyling [sic]. Ken Clarke is a “big hitter” he has gravitas, understanding, experience and the legal intelligence required for the demanding post of Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice – having been a Barrister and QC. It seems Cameron replaced all of this with a junior minister from the dept. of work and pensions who’s [sic] previous experience outside politics is as a Management Consultant/BBC News Producer. What weight will Mr Grayling have Lawyers and Judges ? ANSWER, NONE!” – Anonymous lawyer on Linkedin”.

3. Charon QC

4. Joshua Rozenberg in The Guardian

“Now, in Chris Grayling, we have a lord chancellor and secretary of state for justice whose main qualifications for a post that has existed for 1,400 years are that he is perceived to be right-wing and once shadowed prisons.”

5. BPTC student Greg Callus

6. Law Society Gazette commenter Michael Robinson

“Dear Secretary of State

Welcome to your new job. Your the second since ConDems took power and I’d like to wish you well.

Unfortunately I don’t think you’ll last too long. Your skills as a politicians won’t translate too well to the job of Lord Chancellor and SSJ.

There aren’t enough people being prosecuted. Can you get the Police to start charging again and encourage the CPS to get stuck in. There’s no point being soft.

When they get to prison life is hard. IPPs especially languish in custody far too long.

Most importantly could you talk to criminal and prison law Solicitors before coming up with the next big idea. So far under Labour and ConDems the MoJ has managed to orchestrate a monumental failure at making the Criminal Justice system effective and efficient. This is because Solicitors are not consulted about the real problems. I promise you that Solicitors can help. We are the only ones in the CJS who meet with all other parties. We gave a unique understanding of the entire system. CJS is too much thought of as a prosecuting system, which is why reform has failed. It is a system about and for Justice.

BTW you can’t rip up the Human Rights Act and being homophobic isn’t very nice.”

7. Professor Gary Slapper

8. Anonymous comment on The Lawyer

“Ken Clarke may not be the most popular choice but at least he was willing to listen, at least he was a lawyer who understood the demands that the profession has. What would qualify Grayling to be Justice Monister? Last I heard he was opposing the judiciary in its decision to force B&B owners to allow a gay couple to stay. Put me right if I am wrong, but this is a ridicuolous appointment and smacks of Cameron shuffling around the jobs as easily as you shuffle a deck of cards.”

9. TheCustodySgt

10. New Statesman legal correspondent David Allen Green

“Grayling is a disappointing choice as Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor. This is not because he is the first non-lawyer since Tudor times to hold the post of Lord Chancellor but because in a number of statements he shows no understanding of the principles of equality and fairness. The criminal justice system is already in crisis. The appointment of a mere sloganeer can only make things worse.”



It really is depressing not only that he is Lord Chancellor but a no-mark like Grayling can actually rise to the top of the political (and latterly) legal system. He is the physical embodiment of the colour grey. He is as inspirational and exciting as that languid feeling you have on a damp Sunday afternoon after a roast. At least with his history of gaffes we can laugh as well as cry as he destroys the English Legal System.



Though this is terrible news what has been slightly overlooked is that Jonathan Djanogly has been replaced as legal aid minister by Jeremy Wright, a former criminal barrister.

I hold out very little hope of the current savage legal aid cuts being reversed but perhaps with someone who knows how the system actually works, the savagery might be a little more humane.

But then Jeremy Hunt is now Health Minister so clearly the whole world has gone mad.



This whole situation reminds me of a quote from Yes Minister.

Sir Humphrey Appleby says to Secretary of State Jim Hacker – “Minister, I’m not a trained lawyer, If I was I wouldn’t have been in charge of the Legal Unit”

It seems the government have followed this philosophy in appointing Grayling!


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