There's no Justice; at least not in the Police Department

The state government has changed the name of the justice department for the second time in two months after a backlash from the legal community.

The Attorney-General and Justice Department was renamed Police and Justice in April, coinciding with the dumping of Greg Smith as Attorney-General by new Premier Mike Baird.

The department was to be headed by then police minister Mike Gallacher and the name change signalled a strengthening of police power within the government after a sustained attack by radio shock jocks that Mr Smith had "gone soft" on crime.

Labor attacked the move. Shadow attorney-general Paul Lynch said the new department name suggested the attorney-general would be subservient to the police minister.

Within a fortnight, however, Mr Gallacher had stepped down as police minister, after being named in an investigation by the Independent Commission Against Corruption.

The new Attorney-General, Brad Hazzard, was elevated to head the Police and Justice Department.

Under regulations passed quietly last week, the department will be known simply as the Justice Department.

"The change was made following extensive feedback," said a spokeswoman for Mr Baird.

"The new name is more reflective of the department's function and also brings NSW into line with other states."

The government said the cost to taxpayers of changing the name of the department twice in as many months would be minimal because no costs had been incurred by the first name change.

This suggests that although official websites were changed to reflect the new name, the department's army of lawyers and legal bureaucrats had resisted ordering business cards and signage emblazoned "police".

Mr Baird's spokeswoman said: "Pre-printed materials – including business cards, letter head, brochures, forms and publications – will be retained and stock will be run down. Once all existing stock is depleted, the new logo will be applied."

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