President of the King’s Bench Division
Who is the President of the King’s Bench Division?
The current President of the King’s Bench Division is Dame Victoria Sharp DBE.
The President of the King’s Bench Division (KBD) is responsible for the deployment and organisation of the work of the largest of the three High Court Divisions. At its full complement the KBD has 71 High Court Judges and has the most varied jurisdiction. By the nature of the office the President is a judge of the Court of Appeal.
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.
For criminal hearings Heads of Division and Court of Appeal judges wear a Court coat and waistcoat (or a sleeved waistcoat) with skirt or trousers and bands (two strips of fabric hanging from the front of a collar), a black silk gown and a short wig.
When presiding over civil cases this group of judges wear the civil robe introduced on 1 October 2008, with gold tabs at the neck of the gown and no wig.