Categories
Judiciary

Judicial Assistant at the UK Supreme Court

Every year, the UK Supreme Court invites applications for up to 11 Judicial Assistants to support the work of the Justices of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC).

Applications for the 2024/25 legal year opened on the 29th January 2024. Fixed term contracts will start on Monday 16th September 2024 and finish on Friday 1st August 2025.

The salary is £38,905 per annum (with potential for increase due in the 2024 Pay Award).

The Judicial Assistant role is intended to provide junior lawyers with a unique opportunity to work at close quarters in support of the Justices. It enables junior lawyers to see the Supreme Court and the JCPC in operation from the inside.

The Supreme Court and JCPC hear many of the most important cases of the day. The appeals are very varied and generally raise an arguable point of law of general importance, so the work is both interesting and impactful.

The Judicial Assistants have the opportunity to get to know the Justices and to see their decision-making in action. By reading the parties’ written submissions and watching the appeal hearings, the Judicial Assistants are also able to learn from some of the UK’s best advocates.

Working as a Judicial Assistant is regarded highly by law firms, chambers and other employers – our Judicial Assistants typically go on to have successful careers at the Bar, top law firms, academia, the Government Legal Department and in policy.

UK Supreme Court – Why apply to be a Judicial Assistant?
A day in the life of a Judicial Assistant at the UK Supreme Court

Each Judicial Assistant is assigned to one or more Justices. They work very closely with their assigned Justice(s) and support them by:

  • Conducting legal research on appeals and applications for permission to appeal
  • Drafting bench memos summarising applications for permission to appeal
  • Attending appeal hearings and discussing them with the Justices
  • Drafting plain English press summaries of judgments for publication on the Court’s website
  • Responding to requests for information from international judicial and comparative law networks
  • Generally assisting the Justices in their work, including with extra-judicial speeches, articles and other publications.

Judicial Assistants also get involved in the wider work of the Court. For example, they may be asked to assist the Registrar with regards to applications for permission to appeal and appeals. All Judicial Assistants get involved with the Court’s educational and outreach activity, such as student mooting competitions and debate days.

Supreme Court – What do Judicial Assistants do?
Applications for Judicial Assistants to join the UK Supreme Court 2024/25 legal year

How can I apply to be a Judicial Assistant at the Supreme Court ?

To apply to be a Judicial Assistant at the UK Supreme Court, please complete the online application form.

Closing date for applications is midnight on Sunday 31st March 2024. Please note that late applications will not be considered.

Interviews are likely to take place week commencing 20th May 2024 in person at the Supreme Court.

We recommend you should always seek formal legal advice if required, from a qualified and reputable lawyer (solicitor or barrister).

We have a number of links to Free Legal Resources and Legal Organisations on our Free Legal Advice , Legal Aid and Pro Bono pages.

Read the reviews of Gavin Howe Barrister

“He is awful, underhanded and should not be practising law!”

Latest Articles

All articles can be found in our Sitemap or Legal Blog pages.

Categories
Judiciary

Chief Magistrate

The title “Chief Magistrate” holds historical and contemporary significance in various legal and governmental systems across the world.

The Senior District Judge (Chief Magistrate) of England and Wales, as they are known, has a leadership responsibility for the 300-or-so District Judges (Magistrates’ Court) (DJMCs), and Deputy DJMCs across England and Wales.

The Chief Magistrate has no authority over lay magistrates, or over the several hundreds of district judges who sit in the county courts of England and Wales.

The current Chief Magistrate of England and Wales is Senior District Judge Paul Goldspring.

The current Deputy Chief Magistrate of England and Wales is Senior Deputy District Judge Tanweer Ikram CBE.

The position of Chief Magistrate, often laden with authority and responsibility, embodies the essence of governance, justice, and leadership within a jurisdiction.

The Chief Magistrate is responsible for:

  • hearing many of the most sensitive or complex cases in the magistrates’ courts and in particular extradition and special jurisdiction cases.
  • supporting and guiding district judge (magistrates’ court) colleagues.
  • liaising with the senior judiciary and Presiding Judges on matters relating to magistrates’ courts and district judges (magistrates’ courts).

The Chief Magistrate’s Office is also responsible for arranging sittings of Deputy DJMCs across England and Wales, and managing the hearings of disciplinary adjudications in prisons. Where a disciplinary offence by a prisoner merits additional days of imprisonment, full-time district judges are deployed to prisons to hear the cases. Requests come from prisons throughout the country – a list of cases is then built up, and when a sufficient number of cases has been generated, a judge attends the prison to hear them.

Chief Magistrate Courts and Tribunal Judiciary

Controvesy

Three women convicted of terror offence for ‘celebrating’ Hamas attack on Israel by displaying images of paragliders at pro-Palestinian march were spared jail as the Deputy Chief Magistrate of England and Wales, Senior Deputy District Judge Tanweer Ikram CBE says he ‘decided not to punish’ them after ’emotions ran very high’.

For this offence, Section 13(1) of the Terrorism Act 2000 allows for :-

(a)imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months,
(b)a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale, or
(c)both.

Why did the Deputy Chief Magistrate “let them off” so lightly ?

A row has broken out after a judge who decided to let three women wearing parachute images at a pro-Palestine march walk free admitted to liking a social media post branding Israel a ‘terrorist’.

Tanweer Ikram is facing calls to be investigated for a conflict of interest after he liked a LinkedIn post calling for a ‘free Palestine ‘ by a barrister who had previously promoted conspiracy theories claiming that Israel allowed the October 7 attack.

The senior district judge admitted to liking the post ‘by mistake’ three weeks ago, but was told by the Judicial Office that the matter would not be investigated further.

Daily Mail – Senior Deputy District Judge Tanweer Ikram

History of the Chief Magistrate

From ancient times to modern democracies, the chief magistrate has played a pivotal role in upholding the rule of law, ensuring the administration of justice, and maintaining social order.

Historically, the term “magistrate” finds its roots in ancient Rome, where magistrates held considerable power in the Roman Republic.

They were responsible for the administration of justice, overseeing public ceremonies, and enforcing laws. The chief magistrate, known as the “consul,” was the highest-ranking official elected to lead the republic for a term of one year. Their authority was balanced by the Senate and other governmental bodies, reflecting a system of checks and balances.

When the first Chief Magistrate began sitting at Bow Street in 1735, the title wasn’t confusing at all – at the time, magistrates in London were paid judicial office-holders, and magistrates’ courts in London were presided over by Metropolitan Stipendiary Magistrates.  All magistrates – paid and unpaid – are Justices of the Peace. Nowadays the word magistrate is more commonly used for the unpaid judicial office holders, also commonly known as JPs.

Early holders of the post also had responsibility for the Bow Street Runners, until they were replaced by the Metropolitan Police in the 19th century.

Chief Magistrate’s Office

The Chief Magistrate’s Office provides administrative support both to the Chief Magistrate and to district judges sitting at all the magistrates’ courts in England and Wales.

The Chief Magistrate’s Office is based at:

181 Marylebone Road
London
NW1 5BR

DX 120551, Marylebone 9

Email addresses:

Chief Magistrates’ Office enquiries mailbox: CMO.Enquiries@Justice.gov.uk

Judicial Deployment mailbox: gl-cmo.ddjdeployment@Justice.gov.uk

Independent Adjudication mailbox : gl-ind.adjudication@Justice.gov.uk

Chief Magistrate’s Office
ContactPosition
Paul GoldspringSenior District Judge (Chief Magistrate)
Tanweer Ikram CBEDeputy Senior District Judge (Deputy Chief Magistrate)
Stephen SmithPA and Business Support to the Senior District (Chief Magistrate) and Deputy Senior District (Chief Magistrate)
Claire-Louise ManningLegal Adviser and Researcher for the Chief Magistrate
Rahat SiddiqiDelivery Manager
Khalilur RahmanAdmin officer – Deployment Section
Jabir AhmedAdmin officer – Deployment Section
Karen JenningsTeam Leader – Prison Section
Karolina ZukauskaiteAdmin officer – Prison Section
Gold Fax 01264 887 396
Contacts at the Chief Magistrates Office

We recommend you should always seek formal legal advice if required, from a qualified and reputable lawyer (solicitor or barrister).

We have a number of links to Free Legal Resources and Legal Organisations on our Free Legal Advice , Legal Aid and Pro Bono pages.

Read the reviews of Gavin Howe Barrister

“He is awful, underhanded and should not be practising law!”

Latest Articles

All articles can be found in our Sitemap or Legal Blog pages.

Categories
Judiciary

Solicitor General

The Solicitor General is the second law officer of the Crown in the United Kingdom, after the Attorney General. The role of the Solicitor General is to assist the Attorney General in their legal duties and responsibilities, and to act as their deputy in their absence.

The Solicitor General is also responsible for representing the government in court, and for providing legal advice to government departments and agencies. In addition, the Solicitor General works closely with the Attorney General on a range of legal issues, including the development of legal policy and the administration of justice.

The current Solicitor General of the United Kingdom is Robert Courts MP KC. He was appointed to the role on the 22nd January 2024. Robert read law at the University of Sheffield.

The Solicitor General is appointed by the monarch on the advice of the Prime Minister, and is usually a member of the government. The Solicitor General is also a Member of Parliament and can participate in parliamentary debates and proceedings.

Solicitor General Salary

The Solicitor General is entitled to a salary of £62,368 but claims £57,962 according to Salaries of members of His Majesty’s Government: April 2022 (HTML)

This is addition to the basic annual salary for an MP from 1 April 2022 which is £84,144 according to Pay and expenses for MPs.

Read the reviews of Gavin Howe Barrister

“He is awful, underhanded and should not be practising law!”

Latest Articles

All articles can be found in our Sitemap or Legal Blog pages.

Categories
Judiciary

Lady Chief Justice

The Lady Chief Justice is the most senior judge in England and Wales, and is responsible for the administration of justice.

Dame Sue Carr was sworn in as the first Lady Chief Justice of England and Wales on the 1st October 2023.

His Majesty The King has been pleased to approve the appointment of Dame Sue Carr as the Lady Chief Justice of England and Wales from 1 October 2023. This appointment follows the retirement of The Rt Hon. the Lord Burnett of Maldon on 30 September 2023.

Dame Sue Carr was called to the Bar in 1987. As a barrister she specialised in general commercial law and took silk in 2003. She became Chair of the Professional Negligence Bar Association in 2007, Chair of the Bar Standards Board Conduct Committee in 2008, and was appointed as the Complaints Commissioner to the International Criminal Court in the Hague in 2011.

Her judicial career began in 2009 in crime, when she became a Recorder. She was appointed to the High Court, Queen’s Bench Division in 2013, and became a nominated Judge of the Commercial Court and the Technology and Construction Court in 2014. In the same year she became a member of the Investigatory Powers Tribunal until 2016. She became a Presider of the Midland Circuit in 2016 until 2020, when she was appointed as a Lady Justice of Appeal. In the same year she was also appointed as the senior Judicial Commissioner and Vice Chair of the Judicial Appointments Commission, a position she held until January 2023.

Dame Sue Carr was educated at Wycombe Abbey School and read law at Trinity College Cambridge.

Appointment of Lord Chief Justice: 15 June 2023 gov.uk

The role of The Lady Chief Justice (LCJ) is to oversee the judiciary and ensure that the courts operate efficiently and effectively. This position is a vital one in the legal system, and the Lady Chief Justice plays a significant role in upholding the rule of law in England and Wales.

The Lady Chief Justice is also President of all the Courts of England and Wales. The Lady Chief Justice sits in both the Criminal and Civil divisions of the Court of Appeal, in the Divisional Court and also, by invitation, in the UK Supreme Court.

Under the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, the Lady Chief Justice (LCJ) has some 400 statutory (required by law) duties. The LCJ’s key responsibilities include:

  • Representing the views of the judiciary of England and Wales to Parliament and Government.
  • The welfare, training and guidance of the judiciary of England and Wales. The Lord Chief Justice discusses with Government the provision of resources for the judiciary, which are allotted by the Lord Chancellor.
  • The deployment of judges and allocation of work in courts in England and Wales.
Lady Chief Justice Courts and Tribunals Judiciary

You may also be interested in our article on the Lord Chief Justice, Master of the Rolls and the Lord Chancellor.

History of the Lord/Lady Chief Justice

The history of the Lord Chief Justice dates back to the 12th century, when the office of the Chief Justiciar was established in England. This office was responsible for overseeing the administration of justice in the country, and was considered the most important legal office in the land.

Over time, the role of the Chief Justiciar evolved, and in 1234, the office of the Lord Chief Justice was established by King Henry III. This new position was created to provide greater independence and authority to the judiciary, and to ensure that justice was administered fairly and impartially.

The Lord Chief Justice is appointed by the King on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. The appointment is made from a list of candidates prepared by an independent panel of legal experts. The Lord Chief Justice holds the position for a fixed term of five years, after which he or she may be re-appointed for another term.

The Lord Chief Justice has a number of important responsibilities. These include presiding over the Court of Appeal, which is the second highest court in the land, and overseeing the High Court and the Crown Court. The Lord Chief Justice also plays a key role in the development of the law, and is responsible for ensuring that the judiciary is properly trained and equipped to handle the complex legal issues that arise in the modern world.

One of the key functions of the Lord Chief Justice is to ensure that justice is administered fairly and impartially. This means that the Lord Chief Justice must be independent of political influence, and must make decisions based solely on the evidence presented in court. The Lord Chief Justice is also responsible for ensuring that the court system operates efficiently and effectively, and that the rights of defendants and victims are protected.

The Lord Chief Justice is assisted in his or her duties by a team of judges, including the Lord Justice of Appeal and the High Court judges. These judges are responsible for hearing cases and making judgments in accordance with the law. The Lord Chief Justice also works closely with the Ministry of Justice and the Attorney General’s office to ensure that the legal system operates effectively and efficiently.

In addition to his or her legal duties, the Lord Chief Justice also plays an important role in promoting the legal profession and upholding the principles of justice and fairness. The Lord Chief Justice is often called upon to speak publicly on legal issues, and to represent the legal profession in national and international forums. The Lord Chief Justice is also responsible for ensuring that the legal profession maintains high ethical standards, and that lawyers and judges act with integrity and professionalism at all times.

The role of the Lord Chief Justice is a complex and demanding one, and requires a deep understanding of the law and the legal system. The Lord Chief Justice must be able to balance the demands of the legal profession with the needs of society, and must be able to make difficult decisions in the face of complex legal issues. The Lord Chief Justice must also be able to work closely with other members of the judiciary, as well as with government officials, to ensure that the legal system operates smoothly and effectively.

In recent years, the role of the Lord Chief Justice has become even more important, as the legal system has become more complex and the demands on the judiciary have increased. The Lord Chief Justice must be able to adapt to changing circumstances, and to ensure that the legal system remains effective in the face of new challenges and developments.

As Lady Chief Justice, Dame Carr is responsible for overseeing the administration of justice in England and Wales, and for ensuring that the legal system operates fairly and efficiently. She also plays an important role in promoting the independence and integrity of the judiciary, and in ensuring that judges and lawyers maintain high ethical standards.

In addition to his role as Lady Chief Justice, Carr also serves as a member of the Privy Council. She is widely respected for his legal expertise and her commitment to upholding the rule of law, and is regarded as one of the most influential legal figures in the UK today.

Appointment and Selection Process

The appointment of the Lord/Lady Chief Justice is made by His Majesty The King on the advice of the Prime Minister and the Lord Chancellor following the recommendation of an independent selection panel chaired by Helen Pitcher OBE, Chair of the Judicial Appointments Commission . The other members were Lord Lloyd-Jones of the Supreme Court,  Sue Hoyle OBE and Sarah Lee (lay and professional members of the Judicial Appointments Commission), and Lord Justice Edis (Senior Presiding Judge).

This selection exercise was run under the relevant sections of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 as amended by the Crime and Courts Act 2013. In accordance with section 70 of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, as amended by the Crime and Courts Act 2013, the panel determined the selection process to be followed and consulted the Lord Chancellor and the First Minister of Wales on the process followed.

In accordance with s.10(3) of the Senior Courts Act 1981 c.54, the selection exercise was open to all applicants who satisfied the judicial-appointment eligibility condition on a 7-year basis, or were judges of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, or High Court.

Given the challenges of reducing the outstanding caseloads across jurisdictions and the drive for modernisation across the Courts and Tribunals, candidates were expected to be able to serve for at least 4 years.

Appointment of Lord Chief Justice: 15 June 2023 gov.uk

Conclusion

The Lady Chief Justice is a vital figure in the English legal system, and plays a crucial role in upholding the principles of justice and fairness. The Lady Chief Justice is responsible for overseeing the administration of justice in England and Wales, and for ensuring that the legal system operates efficiently and effectively.

The Lady Chief Justice is also responsible for promoting the legal profession, and for ensuring that lawyers and judges maintain high ethical standards. This is an important role, as the legal profession plays a key role in upholding the rule of law and protecting the rights of individuals.

The Lady Chief Justice is an impartial figure, who must make decisions based solely on the evidence presented in court. This means that the Lady Chief Justice must be independent of political influence, and must be able to make difficult decisions in the face of complex legal issues.

One of the most important functions of the Lady Chief Justice is to oversee the development of the law. The Lady Chief Justice plays a key role in shaping the law, and in ensuring that the legal system remains relevant and effective in the face of new challenges and developments.

The Lady Chief Justice is also responsible for ensuring that the judiciary is properly trained and equipped to handle the complex legal issues that arise in the modern world. This means that the Lady Chief Justice must work closely with other members of the judiciary, as well as with government officials, to ensure that the legal system remains effective and efficient.

We recommend you should always seek formal legal advice if required, from a qualified and reputable lawyer (solicitor or barrister).

We have a number of links to Free Legal Resources and Legal Organisations on our Free Legal Advice , Legal Aid and Pro Bono pages.

Read the reviews of Gavin Howe Barrister

Latest Articles

All articles can be found in our Sitemap or Legal Blog pages.

Categories
Judiciary

Judicial Appointments and Conduct Ombudsman (JACO)

The Judicial Appointments and Conduct Ombudsman (JACO) is a UK government organisation that provides an independent review of complaints about the conduct of judicial office holders and the judicial appointments process.

JACO works with the Ministry of Justice and can look into complaints about how investigating bodies have handled allegations of misconduct by judicial office holders, as well as complaints about the judicial appointments process1.

Here’s what JACO does:-

Judicial Conduct Complaints

If someone is not satisfied with how a complaint about a judge, magistrate, tribunal member, or coroner was handled, they can apply to JACO. The complaint must have already been considered by the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office, tribunal president, or magistrates’ advisory committee.

For judicial conduct investigations process complaints, the JACO are responsible for:

  • considering complaints about the judicial conduct investigations process
  • asking the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office, a tribunal president, or magistrates’ advisory committee to re-investigate a complaint where appropriate
  • recommending changes to procedure in order to prevent the same issue from happening again
  • proposing that compensation be paid if we believe that a complainant has suffered because of maladministration

JACO Judicial Conduct Complaint Form

Complete the JACO judicial conduct complaint form to ask the Judicial Appointments and Conduct Ombudsman to look into the handling of a complaint about judicial conduct.

Judicial Appointment Complaints

JACO also looks at how complaints about the judicial appointments process are handled.

For judicial appointment complaints, the JACO are responsible for:

JACO Judicial Appointment Complaint Form

Complete the JACO judicial appointment complaint form to ask the Judicial Appointments and Conduct Ombudsman to look into the handling of a complaint about judicial appointment.

Judicial Appointments and Conduct Ombudsman

The current Judicial Appointments and Conduct Ombudsman is Douglas Marshall. If you need to contact JACO, their email address is headofoffice@judicialombudsman.gov.uk

Office of the Judicial Appointments and Conduct Ombudsman
Postal Point 1.55
1st Floor, the Tower
102 petty France
London
SW1H 9AJ
United Kingdom

JACO Important Information

It’s important to note that JACO cannot help with a court or tribunal case, investigate a judicial office holder, or say whether their actions amount to misconduct. They also cannot reopen a court or tribunal case, review a judge’s decision, reprimand the office holder, remove them from office, or force anyone to pay compensation. However, they can recommend an apology, compensation for any loss suffered, or changes to the judicial complaint process.

JACO Decisions

The ombudsman’s decision is final and cannot be appealed against. For more detailed information, you can visit the official JACO website.

Check out our articles on HHJ FarquharHHJ Bedford and the highly questionable Sussex Family Justice Board.

We recommend you should always seek formal legal advice if required, from a qualified and reputable lawyer (solicitor or barrister).

We have a number of links to Free Legal Resources and Legal Organisations on our Free Legal Advice , Legal Aid and Pro Bono pages.

Read the reviews of Gavin Howe Barrister

Latest Articles

All articles can be found in our Sitemap or Legal Blog pages.

Categories
Judiciary

Senior President of Tribunals

The Senior President of Tribunals is the independent and statutory leader of the tribunal judiciary. The office of the Senior President of Tribunals is independent of both the Executive and the Chief Justices, and was established under the Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Act 2007.

Just as the Lady Chief Justice heads the judiciary in England and Wales, the Senior President heads the tribunals judiciary, although his remit extends to Scotland and Northern Ireland depending on the jurisdiction concerned (Immigration and Asylum as well as Tax are UK-wide).

The Senior President of Tribunals provides leadership for around 5,000 office-holders., all those within the First-tier and Upper Tribunals and the Employment Tribunals. This includes all the Chamber Presidents and their Tribunal Judges and members, as well as those within Employment Tribunals in England and Wales and their Scottish counterpart, and the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

The Senior President has a number of statutory responsibilities. These include representing the views of tribunals judiciary to the Lord Chancellor, parliament and ministers.

Check out our articles on HHJ FarquharHHJ Bedford and the highly questionable Sussex Family Justice Board.

We recommend you should always seek formal legal advice if required, from a qualified and reputable lawyer (solicitor or barrister).

We have a number of links to Free Legal Resources and Legal Organisations on our Free Legal Advice , Legal Aid and Pro Bono pages.

Read the reviews of Gavin Howe Barrister

“He is awful, underhanded and should not be practising law!”

Latest Articles

All articles can be found in our Sitemap or Legal Blog pages.

Categories
Judiciary

Lord Chief Justice

The Lord Chief Justice is the most senior judge in England and Wales, and is responsible for the administration of justice. Since the 1st October 2023 Dame Sue Carr is the first Lady Chief Justice of England and Wales.

The role of The Lord Chief Justice (LCJ) is to oversee the judiciary and ensure that the courts operate efficiently and effectively. This position is a vital one in the legal system, and the Lord Chief Justice plays a significant role in upholding the rule of law in England and Wales.

The Lord Chief Justice is also President of all the Courts of England and Wales. The Lord Chief Justice sits in both the Criminal and Civil divisions of the Court of Appeal, in the Divisional Court and also, by invitation, in the UK Supreme Court.

Under the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, the Lord Chief Justice (LCJ) has some 400 statutory (required by law) duties. The LCJ’s key responsibilities include:

  • Representing the views of the judiciary of England and Wales to Parliament and Government.
  • The welfare, training and guidance of the judiciary of England and Wales. The Lord Chief Justice discusses with Government the provision of resources for the judiciary, which are allotted by the Lord Chancellor.
  • The deployment of judges and allocation of work in courts in England and Wales.
Lord Chief Justice Courts and Tribunals Judiciary

You may also be interested in our article on the Lady Chief Justice, Master of the Rolls and the Lord Chancellor.

History of the Lord Chief Justice

The history of the Lord Chief Justice dates back to the 12th century, when the office of the Chief Justiciar was established in England. This office was responsible for overseeing the administration of justice in the country, and was considered the most important legal office in the land.

Over time, the role of the Chief Justiciar evolved, and in 1234, the office of the Lord Chief Justice was established by King Henry III. This new position was created to provide greater independence and authority to the judiciary, and to ensure that justice was administered fairly and impartially.

The Lord Chief Justice is appointed by the King on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. The appointment is made from a list of candidates prepared by an independent panel of legal experts. The Lord Chief Justice holds the position for a fixed term of five years, after which he or she may be re-appointed for another term.

The Lord Chief Justice has a number of important responsibilities. These include presiding over the Court of Appeal, which is the second highest court in the land, and overseeing the High Court and the Crown Court. The Lord Chief Justice also plays a key role in the development of the law, and is responsible for ensuring that the judiciary is properly trained and equipped to handle the complex legal issues that arise in the modern world.

One of the key functions of the Lord Chief Justice is to ensure that justice is administered fairly and impartially. This means that the Lord Chief Justice must be independent of political influence, and must make decisions based solely on the evidence presented in court. The Lord Chief Justice is also responsible for ensuring that the court system operates efficiently and effectively, and that the rights of defendants and victims are protected.

The Lord Chief Justice is assisted in his or her duties by a team of judges, including the Lord Justice of Appeal and the High Court judges. These judges are responsible for hearing cases and making judgments in accordance with the law. The Lord Chief Justice also works closely with the Ministry of Justice and the Attorney General’s office to ensure that the legal system operates effectively and efficiently.

In addition to his or her legal duties, the Lord Chief Justice also plays an important role in promoting the legal profession and upholding the principles of justice and fairness. The Lord Chief Justice is often called upon to speak publicly on legal issues, and to represent the legal profession in national and international forums. The Lord Chief Justice is also responsible for ensuring that the legal profession maintains high ethical standards, and that lawyers and judges act with integrity and professionalism at all times.

The role of the Lord Chief Justice is a complex and demanding one, and requires a deep understanding of the law and the legal system. The Lord Chief Justice must be able to balance the demands of the legal profession with the needs of society, and must be able to make difficult decisions in the face of complex legal issues. The Lord Chief Justice must also be able to work closely with other members of the judiciary, as well as with government officials, to ensure that the legal system operates smoothly and effectively.

In recent years, the role of the Lord Chief Justice has become even more important, as the legal system has become more complex and the demands on the judiciary have increased. The Lord Chief Justice must be able to adapt to changing circumstances, and to ensure that the legal system remains effective in the face of new challenges and developments.

Former Lord Chief Justice

The former Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales is Ian Duncan Burnett, who has held the position since October 2017.

Ian Burnett was called The Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales – The Right Honourable Lord Burnett of Maldon. In Court he is addressed as My Lord.

Lord Burnett studied law at Pembroke College, Oxford and was called to the Bar in 1980 where he became a pupil and then a member of Temple Garden Chambers. He practised there until May 2008, for the last five years as Head of Chambers.

At the Bar Lord Burnett’s practice was in common law and public law. In the early part of his career he undertook a broad range of common law work including personal injury, professional negligence, landlord and tenant, crime and family law. Thereafter he focussed on public and administrative law, personal injury and health and safety law, including acting as junior counsel to the King’s Cross Fire inquiry and to the inquiry into the convictions of the Guildford Four and Maguire family. He was leading counsel to the inquiry into the Southall rail crash and into train protection systems following the Paddington train crash.

Lord Burnett was Junior Counsel for the Crown, Common Law from 1992 and was appointed as Queen’s Counsel (now King’s Counsel) in 1998.

Lord Burnett’s first judicial role came on his appointment as a Recorder in 1998, in which capacity he sat part-time in the Crown Court trying criminal cases. On his appointment to the High Court in 2008 Lord Burnett joined the Queen’s Bench Division (now King’s Bench Division) hearing civil law and public law cases in the Administrative Court as well as hearing serious criminal matters out of London and sitting in the Court of Appeal, Criminal Division.

Lord Burnett was Presiding Judge of the Western Circuit from 2011 until 2014 when he was appointed to the Court of Appeal. He was also Deputy Chairman of the Security Vetting Appeals Panel. In the Court of Appeal Lord Burnett heard the full range of civil, family and criminal appeals and continued to sit in Divisional Courts of the High Court. Lord Burnett was the judge of the Court of Appeal with responsibility for extradition cases and was also supervising Lord Justice for immigration and public law appeals. He was Vice Chairman of the independent Judicial Appointments Commission from November 2015 until March 2017. He was appointed Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales on 1 October 2017 at the age of 59.

Judiciary UK – Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales – The Right Honourable Lord Burnett of Maldon

As Lord Chief Justice, Lord Burnett was responsible for overseeing the administration of justice in England and Wales, and for ensuring that the legal system operates fairly and efficiently. He also played an important role in promoting the independence and integrity of the judiciary, and in ensuring that judges and lawyers maintain high ethical standards.

In addition to his role as Lord Chief Justice, Burnett also served as a member of the Privy Council. He is widely respected for his legal expertise and his commitment to upholding the rule of law, and is regarded as one of the most influential legal figures in the UK today.

Lord Chief Justice Vacancy January 2023

The Judicial Appointments Commission published the following on the 16th January 2023 (updated 1 February 2023)

The Lord Chancellor has asked the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) to convene a selection panel to recommend a candidate to fill the position of Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales.

The exercise launched on 30 January 2023, and anyone interested in making an application should contact the JAC’s Head of Senior Appointments and panel secretary, Lisa Grant, for further information on the eligibility and selection criteria and details of the documentation required to make an application. Candidates must submit a “Notice of Intent” to apply for the role by close of 6 February 2023.

Once we receive confirmation of a candidate’s “Notice of Intent” we will provide them with the relevant application forms and details of the required written submission.  This part of the process will close on 6 March 2023. Interviews are expected to take place on 21 April 2023.

The role is complex, high profile and demanding, requiring a judge and leader of the highest calibre.  Applications are welcome from talented individuals of all backgrounds

If you are interested in making an application and you think you have the requisite evidence to do so, please send an email to lisa.grant@judicialappointments.gov.uk in order to request an information pack.

All enquiries are dealt with in the strictest confidence.

A copy of the candidate information pack can be downloaded here:
A copy of the “Notice of intent to apply” form can be downloaded here:

Lord Chief Justice Vacancy Judicial Appointments Commission

Appointment and Selection Process

The appointment of the Lord Chief Justice is made by His Majesty The King on the advice of the Prime Minister and the Lord Chancellor following the recommendation of an independent selection panel chaired by Helen Pitcher OBE, Chair of the Judicial Appointments Commission . The other members were Lord Lloyd-Jones of the Supreme Court,  Sue Hoyle OBE and Sarah Lee (lay and professional members of the Judicial Appointments Commission), and Lord Justice Edis (Senior Presiding Judge).

This selection exercise was run under the relevant sections of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 as amended by the Crime and Courts Act 2013. In accordance with section 70 of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, as amended by the Crime and Courts Act 2013, the panel determined the selection process to be followed and consulted the Lord Chancellor and the First Minister of Wales on the process followed.

In accordance with s.10(3) of the Senior Courts Act 1981 c.54, the selection exercise was open to all applicants who satisfied the judicial-appointment eligibility condition on a 7-year basis, or were judges of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, or High Court.

Given the challenges of reducing the outstanding caseloads across jurisdictions and the drive for modernisation across the Courts and Tribunals, candidates were expected to be able to serve for at least 4 years.

Appointment of Lord Chief Justice: 15 June 2023 gov.uk

Conclusion

The Lord Chief Justice is a vital figure in the English legal system, and plays a crucial role in upholding the principles of justice and fairness. The Lord Chief Justice is responsible for overseeing the administration of justice in England and Wales, and for ensuring that the legal system operates efficiently and effectively.

The Lord Chief Justice is also responsible for promoting the legal profession, and for ensuring that lawyers and judges maintain high ethical standards. This is an important role, as the legal profession plays a key role in upholding the rule of law and protecting the rights of individuals.

The Lord Chief Justice is an impartial figure, who must make decisions based solely on the evidence presented in court. This means that the Lord Chief Justice must be independent of political influence, and must be able to make difficult decisions in the face of complex legal issues.

One of the most important functions of the Lord Chief Justice is to oversee the development of the law. The Lord Chief Justice plays a key role in shaping the law, and in ensuring that the legal system remains relevant and effective in the face of new challenges and developments.

The Lord Chief Justice is also responsible for ensuring that the judiciary is properly trained and equipped to handle the complex legal issues that arise in the modern world. This means that the Lord Chief Justice must work closely with other members of the judiciary, as well as with government officials, to ensure that the legal system remains effective and efficient.

We recommend you should always seek formal legal advice if required, from a qualified and reputable lawyer (solicitor or barrister).

Our Family Solicitor and Family Barristers pages contains tips on how to find a competent lawyer.

We have a number of links to Free Legal Resources and Legal Organisations on our Free Legal Advice , Legal Aid and Pro Bono pages.

Read the reviews of Gavin Howe Barrister

Latest Articles

All articles can be found in our Sitemap or Legal Blog pages.

Categories
Judiciary

Lord Chancellor

Alex Chalk KC MP was appointed Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice on 21 April 2023. 

As the Secretary of State for Justice, Alex Chalk KC MP, heads the Ministry of Justice.

He was Minister of State in the Ministry of Defence from October 2022 to April 2023 and was formerly HM Solicitor General for England and Wales and the Prisons and Probation Minister. Alex Chalk KC MP has been the Member of Parliament for Cheltenham since 2015.

Prior to being elected in 2015, Alex was a barrister and prosecuted and defended in cases concerning terrorism, international fraud, and homicide.

As Justice Minister, Alex led the Domestic Abuse Bill through the Commons. For the first time in history, the Bill includes a wide-ranging legal definition of domestic abuse which incorporates a range of abuses beyond physical violence, including emotional, coercive or controlling behaviour, and economic abuse.

During his time as Prisons Minister, Alex announced a new scheme to provide temporary, basic accommodation to prison leavers for twelve weeks as well as overhauling the unpaid work that offenders are ordered to do as part of community service.

As HM Solicitor General, Alex oversaw the work of the Law Officers’ Departments which includes the Crown Prosecution Service and Serious Fraud Office, as well as the Government Legal Department and HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate.

Alex lives in Cheltenham with his wife and three young children.

Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice Bio gov.uk

You may also be interested in our article on the Lord Chief Justice and the Master of the Rolls.

What is the role of the Lord Chancellor ?

The Lord Chancellor is one of the most ancient offices of state, dating back many centuries.

The Lord Chancellor, formally the lord high chancellor of Great Britain, is the highest-ranking traditional minister among the Great Officers of State in Scotland and England in the United Kingdom, nominally outranking even the prime minister.

The Lord Chancellor is responsible for the administration of the courts, prison system, legal aid, and probation services in England and Wales

The Lord Chancellor is appointed by the Monarch on the advice of the Prime Minister and is a senior member of the Cabinet. They head the Ministry of Justice as the Secretary of State for Justice.

You may also be interested in our article about the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 which explains the transfer of some powers from the Lord Chancellor to the Lord Chief Justice.

Oath of the Lord Chancellor

The Lord Chancellor takes a sincere and solemn Oath from Part 2 Section 17 of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005

“I,     , do swear that in the office of Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain I will respect the rule of law, defend the independence of the judiciary and discharge my duty to ensure the provision of resources for the efficient and effective support of the courts for which I am responsible. So help me God.”

Oath of the Lord Chancellor Part 2 Section 17 Constitutional Reform Act 2005

What is the role of the Secretary of State for Justice ?

According to the gov.uk webpage for the Secretary of State for Justice, it lists the ministerial roles as follows :-

Responsibilities

  1. Oversight of all portfolios and Ministry of Justice strategy
  2. Oversight of departmental COVID-19 response supported by other ministers according to portfolio
  3. Oversight of international business and future relations with the EU
  4. MoJ support for the Union
  5. Resourcing of the department
  6. Functions of the Lord Chancellor
  7. Judicial policy including pay, pensions and diversity (these and other operational decisions affecting the judiciary are reserved to the Lord Chancellor)
  8. Corporate services

Previous Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice

  1. The Rt Hon Dominic Raab MP 2022 to 2023 (Lord Bully)
  2. The Rt Hon Brandon Lewis CBE MP 2022 to 2022
  3. The Rt Hon Dominic Raab MP 2021 to 2022
  4. The Rt Hon Robert Buckland KC MP 2019 to 2021
  5. The Rt Hon David Gauke 2018 to 2019
  6. The Rt Hon David Lidington CBE 2017 to 2018
  7. The Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP 2016 to 2017
  8. The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP 2015 to 2016
  9. The Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP 2012 to 2015
  10. The Rt Hon Kenneth Clarke KC 2010 to 2012

Photo Credit : Parliament Official Portrait of Alex Chalk KC MP under Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0) licence.

Check out our article on the highly questionable Sussex Family Justice Board and make up your own mind.

We recommend you should always seek formal legal advice if required, from a qualified and reputable lawyer (solicitor or barrister).

We have a number of links to Free Legal Resources and Legal Organisations on our Free Legal Advice , Legal Aid and Pro Bono pages.

Read our review of Gavin Howe Barrister

Latest Articles

All articles can be found in our Sitemap or Legal Blog pages.

Categories
Judiciary

Master of the Rolls

The Keeper or Master of the Rolls and Records of the Chancery of England, also known as the Master of the Rolls, is the President of the Civil Division of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales.

The Master of the Rolls is a senior judge and is second in seniority in England and Wales only to the Lord Chief Justice who is currently The Right Honourable The Lord Burnett of Maldon. The Master of the Rolls is consulted on matters such as the civil justice system and rights of audience.

As President of the Court of Appeal’s Civil Division they are the Head of Civil Justice and are responsible for the deployment and organisation of the work of judges in the civil division. They also hear the most complex cases across the full range of civil, family and tribunal matters.

The current Master of the Rolls is Sir Geoffrey Vos.

Address (in Correspondence)….
The Right Honourable
The Master of the Rolls

Dear….Master of the Rolls

In court….My Lord

What do I call a judge? Courts and Tribunals Judiciary

You may also be interested in our article on the Lord Chief Justice and Lord Chancellor.

History of the Master of the Rolls

The Master of the Rolls has a long and fascinating history that dates back to the 13th century. Originally, the position was responsible for keeping the “rools” or records of the Court of Chancery, which was a court of equity that dealt with disputes not covered by common law. As the legal system evolved, the Master of the Rolls became a senior judge in their own right, with responsibilities that extended beyond the Chancery.

During the reign of King Henry VIII, the Master of the Rolls was appointed to the Privy Council, a group of advisers to the monarch. In the 19th century, the position of Master of the Rolls became one of the most prestigious legal positions in the country. In 1833, the Master of the Rolls was made a member of the House of Lords and was granted the right to sit and vote in that chamber.

The Rolls Court was to last 50 years as a court of first instance; it was abolished by the Judicature Act of 1881.  The Master of the Rolls ceased to be a judge of the High Court and became a judge of the Court of Appeal.

A list of previous Masters of the Rolls is maintained at Wikipedia.

Appointment

The Heads of Division are appointed by the King on the recommendation of a selection panel convened by the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC).

The selection panel comprises the Lord Chief Justice as Chair, a nominee of the Lord Chief Justice, the Chair of the JAC, a lay member of the JAC and a nominee of the JAC Chair agreed with the Lord Chief Justice.

The panel reports to the Lord Chancellor, who can then accept the selection, reject it, or require the panel to reconsider. If practical the panel must consult the current holder of the office for which a selection is being made.

By law, candidates for the post must be qualified for appointment as a Lord Justice of Appeal or to be a judge of the Court of Appeal.

In practice, Heads of Division are generally appointed from among the Lords of Appeal in Ordinary (the Law Lords) or Lord or Lady Justices of Appeal.

Master of the Rolls – Courts and Tribunals Judiciary

Current Master of the Rolls

Sir Geoffrey Vos was appointed as Master of the Rolls on 11th January 2021, succeeding Sir Terence Etherton. He brings a wealth of experience to the position, having had a distinguished legal career spanning several decades.

Sir Geoffrey Vos was born on 22nd August 1955 and was educated at Cambridge University, where he studied law. After graduating, he worked as a solicitor for several years before being called to the Bar in 1985. He was made a Queen’s Counsel in 1999.

Sir Geoffrey Vos has held a number of prominent legal positions, including serving as a judge in the Chancery Division and as the Deputy Head of Civil Justice. Before his appointment as Master of the Rolls, he served as Chancellor of the High Court from 2016 to 2021, overseeing the work of the Chancery Division of the High Court.

Sir Geoffrey Vos is highly respected in the legal community and is known for his expertise in commercial and chancery law. He has also been involved in a number of professional and charitable activities, serving as a trustee of several charities and on the Council of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law. He has also been a member of the Lord Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Private International Law.

The Salary of the Master of the Rolls from from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023 was £246,034

Image of Sir Geoffrey Vos from the Courts and Tribunal Judiciary website.

Conclusion

The Master of the Rolls is a highly esteemed position in the UK legal system, responsible for managing the administrative and procedural matters of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales, as well as serving as President of the Civil Division.

Sir Geoffrey Vos is the current holder of the position and brings a wealth of experience to the role, having had a distinguished legal career spanning several decades. His expertise in commercial and chancery law, combined with his leadership skills, make him well-suited to the position of Master of the Rolls and President of the Civil Division.

Check out our article on the highly questionable Sussex Family Justice Board and make up your own mind.

We recommend you should always seek formal legal advice if required, from a qualified and reputable lawyer (solicitor or barrister).

Our Family Solicitor and Family Barristers pages contains tips on how to find a competent lawyer.

We have a number of links to Free Legal Resources and Legal Organisations on our Free Legal Advice , Legal Aid and Pro Bono pages.

Read our review of Gavin Howe Barrister

Latest Articles

All articles can be found in our Sitemap or Legal Blog pages.

Categories
Judiciary Law

President of the Family Division

The President of the Family Division is a highly esteemed position in the United Kingdom’s judicial system. It is a role responsible for overseeing and presiding over family-related cases in England and Wales. In this article, we will delve into the history of the position and provide details on the current holder.

History

The President of the Family Division is a judicial office in England and Wales, established in 1873 by the Judicature Act, which reformed the court system in England and Wales.

The Act created a single Supreme Court of Judicature consisting of the High Court of Justice and the Court of Appeal. This replaced the previously separate court systems of common law and equity, and it also established several new judicial positions, including the President of the Probate, Divorce and Admiralty Division.

The Family Division was created in 1971 when Admiralty and contentious probate cases were removed from its predecessor, the Probate, Divorce and Admiralty Division.

Current President of the Family Division

The current holder of the position of President of the Family Division is Sir Andrew McFarlane. He is know as The Right Honourable Sir Andrew McFarlane.

Sir Andrew was appointed to the position in July 2018 and succeeded Sir James Munby.

Prior to his appointment, McFarlane served as a Lord Justice of Appeal and as a judge of the High Court’s Family Division. Sir Andrew McFarlane is known for his extensive knowledge and experience in family law.

Sir Andrew McFarlane was called to the bar in 1977 and practiced as a barrister for 25 years before being appointed as a High Court judge in 2005.

As well as being the President, Sir Andrew is also a member of the Court of Appeal. The Family Division of the High Court consists of 19 High Court Judges. It deals with:

  • Divorce, including disputes over children, property or money;
  • Adoption, wardship and other matters involving children; and
  • Judgments on behalf of those who are unable to make decisions for themselves, such as persistent vegetative state victims.

The Family Division also deals with undisputed matters of probate – the legal recognition of the validity of a will – in the Probate Registry of the Family Division in London, and the 11 probate registries in England and Wales.

Throughout his career, Sir Andrew has presided over many high-profile cases, including cases related to surrogacy, adoption, and child custody. He has also been involved in many ground-breaking decisions related to family law.

During his time as President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane has been focused on improving the family court system in England and Wales. He has implemented a number of reforms aimed at making the system more efficient and user-friendly. One of his key initiatives has been to improve the use of technology in the family court system, with the aim of reducing delays and making the process more streamlined.

Sir Andrew McFarlane has also been an advocate for greater transparency in family court proceedings. He has spoken out about the need for more openness in the system, particularly in cases involving the care and protection of children.

Conclusion

The President of the Family Division is an important position in the United Kingdom’s judicial system.

The current holder of the position, Sir Andrew McFarlane, is a highly respected and experienced family law judge who has been focused on improving the family court system. With his initiatives aimed at improving the use of technology and increasing transparency, he has made significant contributions to the field of family law in the UK.

Check out our articles on HHJ Farquhar, HHJ Bedford and the highly questionable Sussex Family Justice Board.

Read the reviews of Gavin Howe Barrister

Latest Articles

All articles can be found in our Sitemap or Legal Blog pages.

Rule of Law - Open Justice - Policing By Consent

Access To Justice Is A Right Not A Privilege
Equal Justice Under Law