The Ministry of Justice has launched a consultation on the reforms proposed in the Public Bodies Bill which proposes reforms to public bodies of the Ministry of Justice. The Ministry of Justice currently has a staggering 350 public bodies and is proposing to reduce that figure by at least 25 per cent.

Of particular note for those interested in health related matters is what the consultation says about the Office of the Chief Coroner. You may recall that the Office of the Chief Coroner was created by the Coroners and Justice Act 2009. In the Summer of 2010 the Government concluded that economically the Office of the Chief Coroner could not be justified. Rather than simply abolishing the office of the Chief Coroner (and as we reported in the last edition of the Health Legal Update) it is now proposed that the functions of the Office of the Chief Coroner be transferred to the Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice, as such the Office of the Chief Coroner remains on the statute books. The department is also establishing a Ministerial Board to drive the changes made to the Coronial system.

Bodies proposed by the consultation to be abolished include the Administrative Justice and Tribunals Council, Court Boards, Crown Court Rule Committee, HM’s Inspector of Court Administration, Magistrates’ Courts Rule Committee, Public Guardian Board, Victims’ Advisory Panel and the Youth Justice Board.