Making the law of the land
In the House of Commons new laws are debated, amended and voted on. MPs also debate topical issues and hold the government to account by asking questions.
Government departments (such as Health, the Home Office, and Energy and Climate Change) take it in turns to come to the House of Commons and answer questions. MPs are also able to table written questions to the government on any issue for which they have responsibility.
As a Liberal Democrat, I vote with my party. But where I have strong personal views and when I disagree with the party position on an issue because of personal principle or local concern, I am prepared to vote according to my conscience.
My Role As Minister of State For Justice
As a Minister of State for Justice I am responsible for: family justice and mediation; female offenders; human rights and civil liberties; freedom of information, data protection and data sharing; The National Archives; Mental Capacity and the Office of the Public Guardian; criminal offenses gateway; coroners and burials policy; equalities; devolution; coalition handling on other areas of businesses.
My special policies
I am proud to have been one of the busiest parliamentarians, speaking out on all sorts of issues from the environment, housing, crime and immigration to civil liberties and equality. I speak in debates, ask questions and vote.
In addition, I am member of two long standing parliamentary Committees. In the Committee on Human Rights my colleagues and I undertake thematic inquiries on human rights issues and report our findings and recommendations to Parliament. We scrutinise all Government Bills and pick out those with significant human rights implications for further examination.
In the Ecclesiastical Committee my colleagues and I work closely together with the legislative body of the Church of England. We examine the drafts, which the Church of England presents to us, and report to Parliament on whether or not we consider the measures to be appropriate.
Find out more about my work in Parliament
Recent answers to questions and interventions I have made in debates can be found on "They Work for You" (external website). You can see an overview of my voting record going back to 1997 on the "Public Whip" (external website). You can find my profile on the homepage of the parliamentary website here (external website).