How the judiciary is governed

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

The Lord/Lady 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 His Majesty’s District Judges, or Council of His 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.

Judicial Executive Board

The Lord/Lady Chief Justice exercises executive and leadership responsibilities through, and with the support of, the Judicial Executive Board

Judges’ Council

The primary function of the present Judges’ Council is to inform and advise the Lord Chief Justice on matterson behalf of the wider judiciary

Guide to Judicial Conduct

The Guide contains a set of core principles which will help judges reach their own decisions