UK Home Office may be split into justice, security departments

[JURIST] UK Home Secretary John Reid [official profile], the country's most senior justice official, has drawn up plans to split Britain's Home Office [official website] into two departments covering justice and security matters respectively, according to a reports published Sunday in British papers. The change would be the most drastic one made to the core government department since it was first established in 1782. The plans appear to have the support of the current Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer, who argues that the current ministry is "not fit for the purpose."

In recent years, a series of blunders ranging from the mistaken release of foreign prisoners [JURIST report] to losing terror suspects subject to restrictive "control orders" [Independent report] has led critics to call for reform in the Home Office. Though they have advocated the creation of a separate minister for terrorism, the opposition Conservative Party has expressed concern that dividing the Home Office "may well create a whole new set of problems." The London Telegraph has more. The Guardian has additional coverage.

 

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