How the judiciary is governed

As part of the constitutional changes of April 2006, the Lord Chief Justice became responsible for some 400 statutory functions, which were previously the responsibility of the Lord Chancellor. For example, the Lord Chief Justice now decides where judges sit, and the type of cases they hear. To do this, the Lord Chief Justice has support from his judicial colleagues, as well as from a small administrative staff.

The Lord Chief Justice has a Judicial Executive Board to help provide judicial direction and a Judges’ Council, which is representative of all levels of the judiciary.

Sometimes different levels of judges have their own representative organisations, for example the Association of Her Majesty’s District Judges, or Council of Her Majesty’s Circuit Judges. These groups represent the interests of judges from a particular level or jurisdiction.

Finally, judges also have access to administrative support within the court environment, whether this is their own allocated clerk, court staff, or legal advisers for magistrates. This section of the site provides more details.

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