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Constitutional Reform Act 2005

Other provisions about the judiciary and courts

Section 12 and Schedule 1: Powers to make rules

30.Section 12 introduces Schedule 1, which deals with powers to make rules of court that are currently vested in the Lord Chancellor alone, rather than in a rule Committee. By virtue of these provisions, the rules will now be made by the Lord Chief Justice with the concurrence of the Lord Chancellor. Part 1 of Schedule 1 sets out the procedure by which the rules will now be made. Part 2 of the Schedule amends the statutes which confer the rule-making powers so as to incorporate the new procedure.

31.. The requirement that the Lord Chancellor should concur with any rules made by the Lord Chief Justice mirrors the existing statutory powers of the Lord Chancellor to allow or disallow rules made by rule committees. A new power to direct that the Lord Chief Justice make rules to achieve a specified purpose is vested in the Lord Chancellor. Again, this mirrors the situation for rules made by rule committees which are dealt with in Schedule 4 to the Act. In relation to certain family procedure rules, the procedure under part 1 of Schedule 1 to the Act will only have temporary effect, until sections 75 to 80 of the Courts Act 2003 are brought into effect and the Family Procedure Rule Committee is established.

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