The New South Wales Department of Police and Justice is now to be known simply as the Department of Justice after the entity’s second name change in as many months.
The Department was renamed to the Department of Police and Justice in late April 2014 following the Ministerial reshuffle that occurred after Mike Baird became Premier. It was previously known as the Department of Attorney-General and Justice.
The latest name change, first reported by the Sydney Morning Herald, apparently came following a backlash by the legal fraternity over the inclusion of ‘Police’ in the agency’s name at the expense of ‘Attorney-General’.
It also comes at a time when it is becoming more common in other jurisdictions to also use the ‘Justice’ nomenclature, rather than ‘Attorney-General’. Three jurisdictions (Federal, South Australia and Western Australia) have Attorney-General’s Departments; three have Justice Departments (Victoria, NSW and Tasmania); and three have a foot in both camps - ‘Justice and Attorney-General’ (the Northern Territory and Queensland) or ‘Justice and Community Safety Directorate’ (the ACT).
The regulations to change the Department’s name passed Parliament last week, days after then Police Minister Mike Gallacher stepped down following being named by the Independent Commission Against Corruption with regard to an allegedly corrupt donation scheme.
A spokesperson for Premier Mike Baird told the Sydney Morning Herald that the cost of the change would be minimal, as the Government had incurred no costs in the first name change.
The agency’s website Lawlink is yet to be completely updated to reflect the Department’s new name. It contains usage of the Department’s three previous names throughout the site.