Minister of State for Courts and Justice

The Rt Hon Sir Oliver Heald QC MP


Sir Oliver Heald was appointed Minister of State at the Ministry of Justice on 16 July 2016. He is the Conservative MP for North East Hertfordshire.


Oliver studied law at Pembroke College, Cambridge.

Political career

Serving as MP for North East Hertfordshire since 1992, Oliver has held a number of front bench positions and select committee roles.

He served as a minister in the Department of Social Security from 1995 to 1997, where he dealt with pension issues and introduced legislation to provide greater powers to benefit fraud investigators. His briefs in opposition included Home Affairs, Health, Work and Pensions, Constitutional Affairs and Shadow Leader of the House.

Between 2007 and his appointment as Solicitor General, he has been a member of committees including Work and Pensions, the Committee on Standards in Public Life and the House of Commons Standards and Privileges Committee.

From 2008 to 2012, he was also a member of the UK Delegation to the Council of Europe. Oliver served as Solicitor General (Attorney General’s Office) from September 2012 until July 2014.

Career outside politics

Oliver has practised as a barrister since he was called to the bar in 1977.

Personal life

Oliver is married with 3 children.

Minister of State for Courts and Justice

The minister is responsible for

  • court reform
  • courts and tribunals (including HMCTS and the Common Platform)
  • Crown Court efficiency
  • administrative justice
  • legal aid (inc the LAA)
  • better regulation and growth
  • sustainability
  • magistrates
  • Crown dependencies
  • out of court disposals
  • criminal law and procedure
  • criminal justice system reform
  • British Bill of Rights, human rights (inc prisoner voting rights)
  • EU and international business
  • sponsorship of the Law Commission
  • problem solving and specialist courts

Previous roles in government

  1. Solicitor General

    • 2012 to 2014


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  1. Solicitor General welcomes sentence increase for fraudsters who preyed on elderly

    • Press release
  2. Increased sentence handed to violent Penzance rapist

    • Press release
  3. Northampton man has sentence increased to life for brutal rape

    • Press release
  4. Court of Appeal finds rape and human trafficking sentences unduly lenient

    • Press release
  5. Devon doctor sees sentence increased

    • Press release
  6. Court of Appeal finds 25 year murder sentence unduly lenient

    • Press release
  7. Gosport man has sentence increased to 9 years

    • News story
  8. English Law Students' Association address at Durham University

    • Speech
  9. 5 years for County Durham man for possession of Luger pistol

    • News story
  10. Speech to the Expert Witness Institute annual conference 2013: from silting harbours to hot tubbing

    • Speech