House of Lords Constitutional Committee

The Constitution Committee examines all Public Bills for constitutional implications and investigates broad constitutional issues. The membership of the Committee draws on the expertise in the House of Lords.    The Committee assesses the impact of a Public Bill and, where appropriate, publishes a report on the Bill to inform the House. The Committee also undertakes investigative inquiries into wider constitutional issues and publishes a report with recommendations aimed principally at the Government.  The Committee also takes annual evidence from the Minister for the Constitution, the Lord Chancellor, the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, the President of the Supreme Court and from the chairman of the House of Lords Appointments Commission.  (


As at 2 October 2017:


Minister for the Constitution:  (Cabinet Office and Cabinet Office Board)

Chris Skidmore MP – appointed Parliamentary Secretary at the Cabinet Office on 17 July 2016.

Function: supports the Minister for Cabinet Office in delivering Cabinet Office policy.

Responsibilities include:

  • Constitution policy and democracy
  • FOI/transparency
  • Knowledge management
  • Public appointments
  • UK Statistics Authority
  • CO Parliamentary business
  • CO domestic
  • Fraud Error Debt and Grants, Government comms, Public Bodies Reform


Lord Chancellor:  (Ministry of Justice)

The Rt Hon David Lidington MP – appointed Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice on 11 June 2017.

Function: the Secretary of State for Justice has oversight of all Ministry of Justice (MoJ) business. His specific responsibilities include:

  • MoJ transformation
  • resourcing of the department
  • functions of the Lord Chancellor
  • EU exit and international business
  • judicial policy including pay, pensions and diversity
  • corporate services

He receives a salary as Lord Chancellor and is unpaid as Secretary of State for Justice.


Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales:  (Ministry of Justice)

The Rt Hon Sir Ian Burnett – appointed the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales from 2 October 2017.

Function:  Head of the Judiciary and President of the Court of England and Wales. Also the  nominal President of the Criminal Division of the Court of Appeal and Head of Criminal Justice. Responsible to representing the views of the Judiciary to Parliament and the Government.  Click here.


President of the Supreme Court: (Supreme Court of the United Kingdom)

The Rt Hon the Baroness Hale of Richmond – appointed the President of the Supreme Court from 2 October 2017

Function:  see Supreme Court. Click here.


Chairman of the House of Lords Appointments Commission: (House of Lords)

Lord Kakkar –  The appointment will be for a single non-renewable term of 5 years starting on 1 October 2013.

Function: “…established in 2000 to make nominations for membership of the House of Lords to the independent cross benches and is also responsible for the vetting for propriety of all nominations to the House, including candidates for party political membership….House of Lords – scrutiny and revision of legislation, by holding the Government to account through questioning ministers and in the conduct of more formal debates, and by initiating enquiries on issues of national importance” (House of Lords Appointments Commission)


Return to House of Lords. Click here.

Constitution Committee – Publications. Click here.