The constitutional changes resulting from the Concordat and Constitutional Reform Act 2005 mean that the judiciary now manage their own international relations.
This means that some judges will spend some of their time meeting foreign judges or attending meetings or conferences abroad. Although this is important work, the resources available are very small.
Lady Justice Arden is Head of International Judicial Relations. Her key tasks are to take stock of the work already being done and to identify the work that needs to be done.
Lord Phillips, when Lord Chief Justice, in consultation with the Judges’ Council, approved the following as the objectives of international judicial relations:
- To establish links with other judiciaries in the EU or member states of the Council of Europe, with a view to facilitating co-operation and understanding on matters of mutual interest
- To participate in the work of international associations or bodies of judges, and international conferences, so far as appropriate
- To have bilateral exchanges with the jurisdictions with whom the UK judiciary has or wishes to have close links
- To participate in such projects on law reform or judicial administration, whether in the UK, EU or elsewhere, or such projects for the promotion of English law, as the Lord Chief Justice thinks it appropriate to support
- To provide support for the judiciary in developing countries and other purposes authorised by the Lord Chief Justice