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Constitutional Reform Act 2005

Other provisions about the judiciary and courts

Section 13 and Schedule 2: Powers to Give Directions

32.Section 13 introduces Schedule 2, which deals with powers to give directions that are currently vested in the Lord Chancellor. By virtue of these provisions, the directions will now be given by the Lord Chief Justice, generally with the concurrence of the Lord Chancellor. Part 1 of Schedule 2 sets out the procedure by which the directions will now be given. Part 2 of the Schedule amends the statutes which confer the direction-giving powers so as to incorporate the new procedure. The Lord Chief Justice may, with the approval of the Lord Chancellor, delegate his functions under the new procedure; the expectation is that the powers would usually be delegated to the Head of Criminal, Civil or Family Justice (as appropriate). The new procedure is similar to that which will apply to the rules dealt with in section 12 and Schedule 1 (see paragraphs 30 and 31 above).

33.The concurrence of the Lord Chancellor is not needed for directions concerning guidance as to the application or interpretation of the law or the making of judicial decisions. Nor is the Lord Chancellor’s concurrence needed for directions that relate to criteria for determining which judges may be allocated to hear particular categories of case; but the Lord Chancellor must be consulted before such directions are given.

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