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Constitutional Reform Act 2005

  • Explanatory Notes Table of contents

Please note:

All reference to 'Parts' and 'sections' are from the Constitutional Reform Act 2005. For other versions of these Explanatory Notes, see More Resources.

  1. Introduction

  2. Overview

    1. Part 1: the Rule of Law

    2. Part 2: Arrangements to Modify the Office of Lord Chancellor

      Summary

  3. Background

  4. Commentary on Sections

    1. Qualifications for office of Lord Chancellor

      1. Section 2: Lord Chancellor to be qualified by experience

    2. Continued judicial independence

      1. Section 3: Guarantee of continued judicial independence

      2. Section 4: Guarantee of continued judicial independence: Northern Ireland

    3. Representations by senior judges

      1. Section 5: Representations to Parliament

      2. Section 6: Representations to the Northern Ireland Assembly

    4. The Judiciary and the Courts in England and Wales

      1. Section 7: President of the Courts of England and Wales

      2. Section 8: Head and Deputy Head of Criminal Justice

      3. Section 9: Head and Deputy Head of Family Justice

    5. Judiciary and Courts in Northern Ireland

      1. Section 10: The Lord Chancellor and Northern Ireland Courts

      2. Section 11: Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland

    6. Other provisions about the judiciary and courts

      1. Section 12 and Schedule 1: Powers to make rules

      2. Section 13 and Schedule 2: Powers to Give Directions

      3. Section 14 and Schedule 3: Transfer of appointment functions to Her Majesty

      4. Section 15 and Schedules 4 and 5: Other functions of the Lord Chancellor and organisation of the Courts

      5. Section 16: Functions of the Lord Chief Justice during vacancy or incapacity

    7. Lord Chancellor’s Oath

      1. Section 17: Lord Chancellor’s Oath

    8. Speakership of the House of Lords

      1. Section 18 and Schedule 6: Speakership of the House of Lords

    9. Supplementary

      1. Section 19: Transfer, modification or abolition of functions by order

      2. Schedule 7: Protected Functions of the Lord Chancellor

      3. Section 20: Protected functions not transferable under Minister of the Crown Act 1975

      4. Section 21: Amendment of Schedule 7

      5. Section 22: Transfers: supplementary

      6. Part 3 the Supreme Court

        Summary

  5. Background

  6. Commentary on Sections

    1. Section 23: The Supreme Court

    2. Section 24: First members of the Court.

    3. Appointment of judges

      1. Section 25: Qualification for Appointment

      2. Section 26:  Selection of members of the Court

      3. Schedule 8: Supreme Court selection commissions

    4. Selection Commission

      Part 1 Selection Commissions

      1. Special rules where President or Deputy President’s place unfilled

      2. Disqualification

      3. Non-judicial members of the selection commission

      4. Chairing of a selection commission

      5. Interpretation

    5. Part 2 Dissolution

      Any Selection commission

    6. Part 3 Duty to Convene Commission: Special Rules

      1. Selection commission for the office of Deputy President

      2. Selection commission for the Office of Judge

        1. Section 27:  Selection process

        2. Section 28: Report

        3. Section 29: The Lord Chancellor’s options

        4. Section 30: Exercise of powers to reject or require reconsideration

        5. Section 31: Selection following rejection or requirement to reconsider

      3. Terms of Appointment

        1. Section 32: Oath of allegiance and judicial oath

        2. Section 33: Tenure

        3. Section 34: Salaries and allowances

        4. Section 35: Resignation and retirement

        5. Section 36: Medical Retirement

        6. Section 37: Pensions

      4. Acting Judges

        1. Section 38: Acting Judges

        2. Section 39: Supplementary panel

      5. Jurisdiction, relation to other courts

        1. Section 40: Jurisdiction

        2. Section 41: Relation to other courts

      6. Composition for Proceedings

        1. Section 42: Composition

        2. Section 43: Changes in Composition

      7. Practice and Procedure

        1. Section 44: Specially qualified advisers

        2. Section 45: Making of Rules

        3. Section 46: Procedure after Rules made

        4. Section 47: Photography

      8. Staff and resources

        1. Section 48: Chief Executive

        2. Section 49: Officers and Staff

        3. Section 50: Accommodation and Other Resources

        4. Section 51: System to support Court in carrying on business

      9. Fees

        1. Section 52: Fees

        2. Section 53: Fees: Supplementary

      10. Annual report

        1. Section 54: Annual Report

      11. Supplementary

        1. Section 55: Seal

        2. Section 56: Records of the Supreme Court

        3. Section 57 and Schedule 10: Proceedings under jurisdiction transferred to Supreme Court

        4. Section 58: Northern Ireland Act 1998: excepted and reserved matters relating to the Supreme Court

        5. Section 59: Renaming of Supreme Courts for England and Wales and Northern Ireland

        6. Schedule 11: Renaming of Supreme Courts for England and Wales and Northern Ireland

        7. Section 60: Interpretation of Part 3

    7. Part 4: Judicial Appointments and Discipline

      Summary

  7. Background

  8. Commentary on Sections

    1. Chapter 1: Commission and Ombudsman

      1. Section 61: The Judicial Appointments Commission

    2. Schedule 12: The Judicial Appointments Commission

      1. Part 1 The Commissioners

        1. Paragraphs 1-6 The Commissioners

        2. Paragraph 7 Selection of Commissioners

        3. Paragraph 8 Panels

        4. Paragraph 10 Selection by a panel

        5. Paragraph 11 Vice-chairman

        6. Paragraphs 12- 15 Term of office of Commissioners

        7. Paragraph 16 Salary, allowances and expenses

        8. Paragraph 17 Code of conduct

      2. Part 2 The Commission

        1. Paragraph 18 Status of the Commission and its property

        2. Paragraph 19 Powers

        3. Paragraph 20 Committees

        4. Paragraph 21 Procedure and proceedings

        5. Paragraph 22 Staff

        6. Paragraph 23 Arrangements for assistance

        7. Paragraphs 24 and 25 Appointments and arrangements by the Lord Chancellor

        8. Paragraph 26 Power to transfer staff to employment of the Commission

        9. Paragraph 27 Delegation

        10. Paragraph 28 Delegation and contracting out of superannuation functions

        11. Paragraph 29 Inspection of documents

        12. Paragraph 30 Financial provisions and directions

        13. Paragraph 31 Accounts and audit

        14. Paragraph 32 Reports

        15. Paragraphs 33 - 35 Documentary evidence

        16. Paragraph 36 General

        17. Section 62: The Judicial Appointments and Conduct Ombudsman

    3. Schedule 13: The Judicial Appointments and Conduct Ombudsman

      1. Paragraphs 1 and 2 The Ombudsman

      2. Paragraphs 3-5 Term of office of Ombudsman

      3. Paragraph 6 Salary, allowances and expenses

      4. Paragraph 7 Acting Ombudsman

      5. Paragraph 8 Status of the Ombudsman

      6. Paragraph 9 Powers of the Ombudsman

      7. Paragraph 10 Arrangements for assistance

      8. Paragraph 11 Arrangements by the Lord Chancellor

      9. Paragraph 12 Delegation of functions

      10. Paragraph 13 Financial provisions and directions

      11. Paragraph 14 Code of conduct

      12. Paragraph 15 Reports

      13. Paragraph 16 Documentary evidence

      14. Paragraph 17 General

    4. General Provisions

      Chapter 2: Appointments

      1. Section 63: Merit and good character

      2. Section 64: Encouragement of diversity

      3. Section 65: Guidance about procedures

      4. Section 66: Guidance: supplementary

      5. Lord Chief Justice and Heads of Division

        1. Section 67: Selection of Lord Chief Justice and Heads of Division

        2. Section 68: Duty to fill vacancies

        3. Section 69: Request for selection

        4. Section 70: Selection Process

        5. Section 71: Selection Panel

        6. Section 72: Report

        7. Section 73: The Lord Chancellor’s options

        8. Section 74: Exercise of powers to reject or require reconsideration

        9. Section 75: Selection following rejection or requirement to reconsider

      6. Lords Justices of Appeal

        1. Section 76: Selection of Lords Justices of Appeal

        2. Section 77: Duty to fill vacancies

        3. Section 78: Request for selection

        4. Section 79: Selection Process

        5. Section 80: Selection Panel

        6. Section 81: Report

        7. Section 82: The Lord Chancellor’s options

        8. Section 83: Exercise of powers to reject or require reconsideration

        9. Section 84: Selection following rejection or requirement to reconsider

      7. Puisne judges and other office holders

        1. Section 85: Selection of puisne judges and other office holders

    5. Schedule 14: the Judicial Appointments Commission: relevant functions and offices

      1. Section 86: Duty to fill vacancies

      2. Section 87: Request for selection

      3. Section 88: Selection Process

      4. Section 89: Report

      5. Section 90: The Lord Chancellor’s options

      6. Section 91: Exercise of powers to reject or require reconsideration

      7. Section 92: Selection following rejection or requirement to reconsider

      8. Section 93: Reconsideration of decision not to select

      9. Section 94: Duty to identify persons for future requests

      10. Section 95: Withdrawal and modification of requests

      11. Section 96: Effect of acceptance of selection

      12. Section 97: Scotland and Northern Ireland

      13. Assistance in connection with other appointments

        1. Section 98: Assistance in connection with other appointments

      14. Complaints and references

        1. Section 99 : Complaints: interpretation

        2. Section 100: Complaints to the Commission or the Lord Chancellor

        3. Section 101: Complaints to the Ombudsman

        4. Section 102: Report and recommendations

        5. Section 103: Report procedure

        6. Section 104: References by the Lord Chancellor

        7. Section 105: Information

      15. Miscellaneous

        1. Section 106 : Consultation on appointment of lay justices

        2. Section 107: Disclosure of information to Commission

    6. Chapter 3: Discipline

      1. Procedures

        1. Section 108 : Disciplinary Powers

        2. Section 109: Disciplinary powers: interpretation

        3. Section 110: Applications to the Ombudsman

        4. Section 111: Review by the Ombudsman

        5. Section 112: Reports on reviews

        6. Section 113: References to the Ombudsman relating to conduct

        7. Section 114: Reports on references

        8. Section 115: Regulations about procedures

        9. Section 116: Contents of regulations

        10. Section 117: Procedural Rules

        11. Section 118: Extension of discipline provisions to other offices

        12. Section 119: Delegation of functions

        13. Section 120: Scotland

        14. Section 121: Northern Ireland

    7. Chapter 4: Interpretation of Part 4

      1. Section 122: Interpretation of Part 4

    8. Part 5: Judicial Discipline: Northern Ireland

      Summary

  9. Background

  10. Commentary on Sections

    1. Chapter 1 Appointments Commission

      1. Disclosure of information to the Commission

        1. Section 123: Disclosure of information to the Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Commission

      2. Ombudsman

        1. Section 124: Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Ombudsman

        2. Schedule 15: Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Ombudsman

      3. Complaints and references

        1. Section 125: Complaints: interpretation

        2. Section 126: Complaints to the Commission or the Lord Chancellor

        3. Section 127: Complaints to the Ombudsman

        4. Section 128: Report and recommendations

        5. Section 129: Report procedure

        6. Section 130: References by the Lord Chancellor

        7. Section 131: Information

        8. Section 132: Confidentiality in relation to judicial appointments and discipline

    2. Chapter 2: Removals

      1. Section 133: Removal from most senior judicial offices

      2. Section 134: Removal from listed judicial offices

      3. Section 135: Tribunals for considering removal

      4. Section 136: Interpretation of Part 5

    3. Commentary on Sections

      Part 6: Other Provisions Relating to the Judiciary

      1. Section 137: Parliamentary Disqualification

      2. Section 138 and Schedule 16: Judicial Committee of the Privy Council

    4. Commentary on Sections

      Part 7: General

      1. Section 139: Confidentiality

      2. Section 140 “Enactment”

      3. Section 141 “Subordinate Legislation”

      4. Section 142: General Interpretation

      5. Section 143: Supplementary provision

      6. Section 144: Orders and Regulations

      7. Section 145 and Schedule 17: Minor and Consequential amendments

      8. Section 146 and Schedule 18: Repeals and revocations

      9. Section 147: Extent

      10. Section 148: Commencement

  11. Effects of the Act on Public Expenditure

    1. Arrangements to modify the office of Lord Chancellor

    2. The Supreme Court

    3. Judicial Appointments Commission

    4. The Judicial Appointments and Conduct Ombudsman

  12. Public Sector Manpower

    1. The Supreme Court

    2. The Judicial Appointments Commission

    3. The Judicial Appointments and Conduct Ombudsman

  13. Cost to Business and Regulatory Impact

    1. Supreme Court

  14. European Convention on Human Rights

  15. Hansard References

  • Explanatory Notes Table of contents

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Explanatory Notes

Text created by the government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Public Acts except Appropriation, Consolidated Fund, Finance and Consolidation Acts.

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