Lord Chancellor

Lord Chancellor
   The Lord Chancellor has traditionally held both political and judicial responsibilities, the office being a defiance of the principle of the separation of powers. The Lord Chancellor has been a member of the Cabinet, presides over the House of Lords and is head of the judiciary, as such having responsibility for a wide range of judicial appointments and for the operation of the machinery of the courts.
   The situation has undergone change, following the passage of the Constitutional Reform Act (2005). As Prime Minister, Tony Blair originally intended to abolish the position and transfer many of the functions to the newly created office of Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs. But it was retained and the holder of the Cabinet post also held the ancient office of Lord Chancellor. Since May 2007, the Lord Chancellor is also Secretary of State for Justice, a post that has superseded that for Constitutional Affairs. The judicial functions of the Lord Chancellor (as opposed to his role in the administration of the court system) have been removed. The Lord Chancellor can in future be from either the House of Commons or the House of Lords. He no longer acts as Speaker of the House of Lords and performs a much reduced role in relation to the judiciary, having ceded his powers to the Lord Chief Justice.

Glossary of UK Government and Politics . 2013.

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