Secretary of State for Justice

The secretary of state for justice, also referred to as the justice secretary, is a secretary of state in the Government of the United Kingdom, with responsibility for the Ministry of Justice. The incumbent is a member of the Cabinet of the United Kingdom, second in the ministerial ranking, immediately after the Prime Minister.[1] Since the office's inception, the incumbent has concurrently been appointed Lord Chancellor.

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

since 15 September 2021
Ministry of Justice
StyleJustice Secretary
The Right Honourable
(UK and the Commonwealth)
StatusSecretary of state
Minister 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 office holder works alongside the other Justice ministers. The corresponding shadow minister is the shadow secretary of state for justice, and the performance of the Secretary of State is also scrutinised by the Justice Select Committee.[2]

The current secretary of state for justice is Dominic Raab since his appointment by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, in September 2021.


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


The then Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer of Thoroton, 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. Grayling was the first Lord Chancellor to have no legal background. 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 and by Robert Buckland on 24 July 2019.

List of secretaries of stateEdit

Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor
  Labour       Conservative
Portrait Name
Honorifics & Constituency
Term of office Length of term Political Party Government
  The Right Honourable
Charlie Falconer
The Lord Falconer of Thoroton
(born 1951)
9 May 2007 28 June 2007 1 month and 19 days Labour Blair III
  The Right Honourable
Jack Straw
[n 1][5]
MP for Blackburn
(born 1946)
28 June 2007 6 May 2010 2 years, 10 months and 8 days Labour Brown
  The Right Honourable
Kenneth Clarke
MP for Rushcliffe
(born 1940)
12 May 2010 6 September 2012 2 years, 3 months and 25 days Conservative Cameron–Clegg


  The Right Honourable
Chris Grayling
MP for Epsom and Ewell
(born 1962)
6 September 2012 8 May 2015 2 years, 8 months and 2 days Conservative
  The Right Honourable
Michael Gove
MP for Surrey Heath
(born 1967)
8 May 2015 14 July 2016 1 year, 2 months and 6 days Conservative Cameron II
  The Right Honourable
Liz Truss
MP for South West Norfolk
(born 1975)
14 July 2016 11 June 2017 10 months and 28 days Conservative May I
  The Right Honourable
David Lidington
MP for Aylesbury
(born 1956)
11 June 2017 8 January 2018 6 months and 28 days Conservative May II
  The Right Honourable
David Gauke
MP for South West Hertfordshire
(born 1971)
8 January 2018 24 July 2019 1 year, 6 months and 16 days Conservative
  The Right Honourable
Robert Buckland
MP for South Swindon
(born 1968)
24 July 2019 15 September 2021 2 years, 1 month and 22 days Conservative Johnson I
Johnson II
  The Right Honourable
Dominic Raab
MP for Esher and Walton
(born 1974)
15 September 2021 Incumbent 2 months and 22 days* Conservative

* Incumbent's length of term last updated: 7 December 2021.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ First non-peer to serve as Lord Chancellor since Sir Robert Henley as Lord Keeper of the Seal in 1760.


  1. ^ "Her Majesty's Government: The Cabinet". Retrieved 30 June 2021.
  2. ^ "Michael Gove questioned on work of Secretary of State". 9 July 2015. Retrieved 2 September 2021. The Justice Committee holds a one-off session with Michael Gove MP, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, on the work of the Secretary of State for Justice.
  3. ^ "Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice".
  4. ^ "Lord Falconer of Thoroton". UK Parliament. Retrieved 27 August 2021.
  5. ^ "Rt Hon Jack Straw". UK Parliament. Retrieved 27 August 2021.
  6. ^ "Lord Clarke of Nottingham". UK Parliament. Retrieved 27 August 2021.
  7. ^ "Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP". UK Parliament. Retrieved 27 August 2021.
  8. ^ "Rt Hon Michael Gove MP". UK Parliament. Retrieved 27 August 2021.
  9. ^ "Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP". UK Parliament. Retrieved 27 August 2021.
  10. ^ "Rt Hon Sir David Lidington". UK Parliament. Retrieved 27 August 2021.
  11. ^ "The Rt Hon David Lidington CBE". GOV.UK.
  12. ^ "Rt Hon David Gauke". UK Parliament. Retrieved 27 August 2021.
  13. ^ "Rt Hon Robert Buckland MP". UK Parliament. Retrieved 27 August 2021.
  14. ^ "Rt Hon Dominic Raab MP". UK Parliament. Retrieved 25 September 2021.

External linksEdit