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Constitutional Reform Act 2005

Other provisions about the judiciary and courts

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

34.Section 14 introduces Schedule 3, which provides that appointments to the judicial offices listed will in future be made by Her Majesty The Queen rather than the Lord Chancellor as currently. Paragraph 1 of the Schedule transfers to Her Majesty the power under section 6 of the County Courts Act 1984 to appoint civil District Judges to county courts and gives the Lord Chief Justice the power to assign them to their districts. It also provides that their salaries shall be determined by the Lord Chancellor with the concurrence of the Treasury, and may not be reduced. This protection brings civil District Judges more closely into line with District Judges (Magistrates’ Courts) and with more senior members of the judiciary. Paragraph 2 makes corresponding provision for the assignment of civil District Judges to District Registries of the High Court. Paragraph 3 transfers to Her Majesty the power to appoint High Court Masters and Registrars, and re-enacts with amendments the qualifications for appointment or promotion to the posts of the senior High Court Masters and Registrars. The table in paragraph 3(4) refers to the qualifying office for appointment as Senior District Judge of the Family Division as ‘Registrar of the Principal Registry of the Family Division’. This office was renamed ‘District Judge of the Principal Registry of the Family Division’ by the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990, and the reference is to that office. Paragraphs 5 and 6 transfer to Her Majesty the power to appoint the Senior District Judge (Chief Magistrate).

35.All of these offices are also listed in Schedule 14, and appointments will in future be made by Her Majesty on the advice of the Lord Chancellor, after selection by the Judicial Appointments Commission.

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