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Lord Falconer as shadow Lord Chancellor

David Allen Green asks what lawyers should make of the appointment of Lord Falconer as shadow Lord Chancellor

15 September 2015

On the face of it, this is one of the better choices for the shadow cabinet by new Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Falconer certainly has the political and professional experience required, and held the very job he is shadowing a decade ago (2003-2007), when the department - the old Lord Chancellor's Department (LCD) - was temporarily called something about 'constitutional affairs', before becoming the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). He is also a senior and successful lawyer in his own right - a genuine QC in front-line politics, as opposed to the politicians who hold 'honorary' and 'parliamentary' silk statuses.

But there is ground for concern. As Lord Chancellor, Falconer promoted and toyed with compulsory competitive tendering for legal aid, and played about with restricting rights in freedom of information. He was, in those days, a 'government' politician, going nativ...

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