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Constitutional Reform Act 2005

Section 60: Interpretation of Part 3

211.Subsection (1) defines ‘part of the United Kingdom’, ‘the senior judges’ and ‘the Supreme Court’ for the purposes of Part 3 of the Act.

212.Subsection (2) defines the term ‘high judicial office’ for the purposes of Part 3 of the Act. This expression is used in the requirements of eligibility for qualification as a Supreme Court judge in section 25, and in the requirements of eligibility to serve as an acting judge under sections 38 and 39. This definition replaces that in section 25 of the Appellate Jurisdiction Act 1876.

213.Subsection (3) defines the terms ‘ordinary judge’ and ‘senior ordinary judge’ (which are of particular importance in determining the person before whom oaths are to be taken on appointment, and who will chair and sit on the selection commission provided for in Schedule 8, should the President and Deputy President be unable to sit). An “ordinary judge” is defined in subsection (3)(a) as a judge of the Supreme Court other than the President or Deputy President. The “senior ordinary judge” is defined in subsection (3)(b) as the ordinary judge who has served longest as a judge of the Court (whether over one or more periods and whether or nor always as an ordinary judge). Subsection (4) “carries over” seniority for this purpose, providing that service as a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary counts as service as judge of the Court in defining the senior ordinary judge.

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