Lord chief justice

This is the name given to the judge who presides over the queen's bench division of the high court.

This is the name given to the judge who presides over the Queen's Bench Division of the High Court. The passing of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 led to the Lord Chief Justice becoming Head of the Judiciary of England and Wales. The Lord Chief Justice, as President of the Courts of England and Wales, is responsible for representing the views of the judiciary to Parliament and the Government.

The Lord Chief Justice is appointed by a special panel convened by the Judicial Appointments Commission they are usually appointed from among Appeal Court judges - the Lords and Lady Justices or from the Supreme Court.

When the Rt Hon Sir Ian Burnett was appointed the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales from 2 October 2017 his appointment was approved by Her Majesty The Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister and the Lord Chancellor following the recommendation of an independent selection panel chaired by Lord Kakkar, Chairman of the Judicial Appointments Commission. The other panel members were: Lord Neuberger, President of the Supreme Court, Sir Adrian Fulford, Investigatory Powers Commissioner, Dame Valerie Strachan (DCB), lay member of the JAC and Professor Noel Lloyd (CBE), lay member of the JAC. 

Because of the need to deliver significant Court reforms and to steer the judiciary through Britain's exit from the EU, candidates for the role of Lord Chief Justice at this time were expected to be able to serve for at least 4 years.

All judges, when they are sworn in, must take two oaths/affirmations. The first is the oath of allegiance and the second the judicial oath; these are collectively referred to as the judicial oath.

Sir Ian Burnett sworn in as Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales

Appointment of new Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales


Lord Chief Justice


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