This is a debate pack on the spending of the Ministry of Justice, covering prisons, probation, courts, and legal aid as well as overall spending trends.

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There will be a debate on Thursday 3rd October in the Commons Chamber on the spending of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). The subject for this debate was selected by the Backbench Business Committee. MoJ spending was last debated in an Estimates Day debate in July 2018 (debate pack here and Hansard record here). This briefing contains background information, statistics, and parliamentary and press material, as well as suggested further reading which Members may find useful when preparing for this debate.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) experienced cuts to its departmental budget under austerity. In 2017, the Institute for Fiscal Studies calculated that in the decade since 2010-11, the MoJ’s budget was to be cut by around 40%.  Spending plans have been revised upwards since then and in 2019-20 the total MoJ budget was around 25% lower than in 2010-11.

This briefing covers the following:

  • Overall spending and plans
  • The 2019 main estimate and spending round
  • Sub-department spending plans and policy for:
    • Prisons
    • Probation
    • Courts
    • Legal Aid
  • Brexit implications

This briefing contains background information, statistics, and parliamentary and press material, as well as suggested further reading which Members may find useful when preparing for this debate.

It is accompanied by an Annex showing spending figures over time for the MoJ as a whole and at the sub-department level. These figures can also be found in an Excel file accompanying the online version.

Download the full report

Supporting documents