The Lord Chancellor, formally the Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, is the highest ranking among those Great Officers of State which are appointed in the United Kingdom, nominally outranking the Prime Minister. The Lord Chancellor is outranked only by the Lord High Steward, another Great Officer of State, appointed only for the day of coronations; the Lord Chancellor is appointed by the Sovereign on the advice of the Prime Minister. Prior to the Union there were separate Lord Chancellors for England and Wales, for Scotland and for Ireland; the Lord Chancellor is a member of the Cabinet and, by law, is responsible for the efficient functioning and independence of the courts. In 2007, there were a number of changes to the legal system and to the office of the Lord Chancellor; the Lord Chancellor was the presiding officer of the House of Lords, the head of the judiciary in England and Wales and the presiding judge of the Chancery Division of the High Court of Justice, but the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 transferred these roles to the Lord Speaker, the Lord Chief Justice and the Chancellor of the High Court respectively.
The current Lord Chancellor is David Gauke, Secretary of State for Justice. One of the Lord Chancellor's responsibilities is to act as the custodian of the Great Seal of the Realm, kept in the Lord Chancellor's Purse. A Lord Keeper of the Great Seal may be appointed instead of a Lord Chancellor; the two offices entail the same duties. Furthermore, the office of Lord Chancellor may be exercised by a committee of individuals known as Lords Commissioners of the Great Seal when there is a delay between an outgoing Chancellor and their replacement; the seal is said to be "in commission". Since the 19th century, only Lord Chancellors have been appointed, the other offices having fallen into disuse; the office of Lord Chancellor of England may trace its origins to the Carolingian monarchy, in which a Chancellor acted as the keeper of the royal seal. In England, the office dates at least as far back as the Norman Conquest, earlier; some give the first Chancellor of England as Angmendus, in 605. Other sources suggest that the first to appoint a Chancellor was Edward the Confessor, said to have adopted the practice of sealing documents instead of signing them.
A clerk of Edward's, was named "chancellor" in some documents from Edward's reign. In any event, the office has been continuously occupied since the Norman Conquest; the staff of the growing office became separate from the king's household under Henry III and in the 14th century located in Chancery Lane. The chancellor headed chancery; the Lord Chancellor was always a churchman, as during the Middle Ages the clergy were amongst the few literate men of the realm. The Lord Chancellor performed multiple functions—he was the Keeper of the Great Seal, the chief royal chaplain, adviser in both spiritual and temporal matters. Thus, the position emerged as one of the most important ones in government, he was only outranked in government by the Justiciar. As one of the King's ministers, the Lord Chancellor attended Royal Court. If a bishop, the Lord Chancellor received a writ of summons; the curia regis would evolve into Parliament, the Lord Chancellor becoming the prolocutor of its upper house, the House of Lords.
As was confirmed by a statute passed during the reign of Henry VIII, a Lord Chancellor could preside over the House of Lords if not a Lord himself. The Lord Chancellor's judicial duties evolved through his role in the curia regis. Petitions for justice were addressed to the King and the curia, but in 1280, Edward I instructed his justices to examine and deal with petitions themselves as the Court of King's Bench. Important petitions were to be sent to the Lord Chancellor for his decision. By the reign of Edward III, this chancellery function developed into a separate tribunal for the Lord Chancellor. In this body, which became known as the High Court of Chancery, the Lord Chancellor would determine cases according to fairness instead of according to the strict principles of common law; the Lord Chancellor became known as the "Keeper of the King's Conscience." Churchmen continued to dominate the Chancellorship until the 16th century. In 1529, after Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, Lord Chancellor and Archbishop of York, was dismissed for failing to procure the annulment of Henry VIII's first marriage, laymen tended to be more favoured for appointment to the office.
Ecclesiastics made a brief return during the reign of Mary I, but thereafter all Lord Chancellors have been laymen. Anthony Ashley Cooper, 1st Earl of Shaftesbury was the last Lord Chancellor, not a lawyer, until the appointment of Chris Grayling in 2012; the three subsequent holders of the position, Michael Gove, Elizabeth Truss and David Lidington are not lawyers. However, the appointment of David Gauke in January 2018 meant that once again the Lord Chancellor was a lawyer; when the office was held by ecclesiastics, a "Keeper of the Great Seal" acted in the Lord Chancellor's absence. Keepers were appointed when the office of Lord Chancellor fell vacant, discharged the duties of the office until an appropriate replacement could be found; when Elizabeth I became queen, Parliament passed an Act providing that a Lord Keeper of the Great Seal would be entitled to "like place, pre-eminence, juri
Courts of England and Wales
The Courts of England and Wales, supported administratively by Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service, are the civil and criminal courts responsible for the administration of justice in England and Wales. The United Kingdom does not have a single unified legal system—England and Wales has one system, Scotland another, Northern Ireland a third. There are exceptions to this rule. Additionally, the Military Court Service has jurisdiction over all members of the armed forces of the United Kingdom in relation to offences against military law; the Court of Appeal, the High Court, the Crown Court, the County Court, the magistrates' courts are administered by Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service, an executive agency of the Ministry of Justice. The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom is the highest appeal court in all cases in England and Wales. Before the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 this role was held by the House of Lords; the Supreme Court is the highest court of appeal for devolution matters, a role held by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.
The Supreme Court has a separate administration from the other courts of England and Wales, its administration is under a Chief Executive, appointed by the President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. The Senior Courts of England and Wales were created by the Judicature Acts as the "Supreme Court of Judicature", it was renamed the "Supreme Court of England and Wales" in 1981, again to the "Senior Courts of England and Wales" by the Constitutional Reform Act 2005. It consists of the following courts: Court of Appeal High Court of Justice Crown CourtThe Senior Courts of England and Wales, along with the Tribunals and other courts, are administered and supported by HM Courts and Tribunals Service; the Court of Appeal deals only with appeals from other tribunals. The Court of Appeal consists of two divisions: the Civil Division hears appeals from the High Court and County Court and certain superior tribunals, while the Criminal Division may only hear appeals from the Crown Court connected with a trial on indictment.
Its decisions are binding on all courts, including itself, apart from the Supreme Court. The High Court of Justice functions both as a civil court of first instance and a criminal and civil appellate court for cases from the subordinate courts, it consists of three divisions: the Chancery and the Family divisions. The divisions of the High Court are not separate courts, but have somewhat separate procedures and practices adapted to their purposes. Although particular kinds of cases will be assigned to each division depending on their subject matter, each division may exercise the jurisdiction of the High Court. However, beginning proceedings in the wrong division may result in a costs penalty; the formation of The Business and Property Courts of England & Wales within the High Court was announced in March 2017, launched in London in July 2017. The courts would in future administer the specialist jurisdictions, administered in the Queen's Bench Division under the names of the Admiralty Court, the Commercial Court, the Technology & Construction Court, under the Chancery Division's lists for Business and Insolvency, Intellectual Property and Trusts and Probate.
The Crown Court is a criminal court of both original and appellate jurisdiction which in addition handles a limited amount of civil business both at first instance and on appeal. It was established by the Courts Act 1971, it replaced the assizes whereby High Court judges would periodically travel around the country hearing cases, quarter sessions which were periodic county courts. The Old Bailey is the unofficial name of London's most famous criminal court, now part of the Crown Court, its official name is the "Central Criminal Court". The Crown Court hears appeals from magistrates' courts; the Crown Court is the only court in England and Wales that has the jurisdiction to try cases on indictment and when exercising such a role it is a superior court in that its judgments cannot be reviewed by the Administrative Court of the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court. The Crown Court is an inferior court in respect of the other work it undertakes, viz. inter alia, appeals from the magistrates’ courts and other tribunals.
The most common subordinate courts in England and Wales are County Court Family Court Magistrates' courts Youth courts The County Court is a national court with a purely civil jurisdiction, sitting in 92 different towns and cities across England and Wales. As from 22 April 2014 there has been a single County Court for England and Wales where there was a series of courts; the County Court is so named after the ancient sheriff's court held in each county, but it has no connection with it nor indeed was the jurisdiction of the county courts based on counties. A County Court hearing is presided over by either a district or circuit judge and, except in a small minority of cases such as civil actions against the police, the judge sits alone as trier of fact and law without assistance from a jury; the old county courts' divorce and family jurisdiction was passed on 22 April 2014 to the single Family Court. Until unification in 2014, county courts were local courts in the sense that each one has an area over
The Upper Tribunal is part of the administrative justice system of the United Kingdom. It was created in 2008 as part of a programme, set out in the Tribunals and Enforcement Act 2007, to rationalise the tribunal system, to provide a common means of handling appeals against the decisions of lower tribunals, it is administered by Her Majesty's Tribunals Service. The Upper Tribunal is a superior court of record, giving it equivalent status to the High Court and meaning that it can both set precedents and can enforce its decisions without the need to ask the High Court or the Court of Session to intervene, it is the first tribunal to have the power of judicial review. The Tribunal consists of four Chambers, structured around subject areas. Different jurisdictions have been transferred into the Tribunal in a programme which began in 2008 and is continuing; the Administrative Appeals Chamber hears appeals against decisions of the General Regulatory Chamber, the Health and Social Care Chamber, the Social Entitlement Chamber, the War Pensions and Armed Forces Compensation Chamber of the First-tier Tribunal, applications for judicial review of First-tier Tribunal decisions in Criminal Injuries Compensation cases.
The Chamber may deal with judicial review cases transferred to the Upper Tribunal from the High Court. The Chamber hears appeals about decisions of the Independent Safeguarding Authority to prevent someone from working with children or vulnerable adults, decisions of the Traffic Commissioners concerning operators of heavy goods vehicles and public service vehicles, premises used as operating centres; the Tax and Chancery Chamber hears appeals against decisions of the First-tier Tribunal in Tax or Charity cases, appeals against decision notices issued by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Pensions Regulator. The Chamber may hear applications for judicial review of some decisions made by HM Revenue and Customs, the Pensions Regulator, the Charity Commission, the Financial Services Authority and the Bank of England, decisions relation to banking regulations and to the assessment of compensation or consideration under the Banking Act 2008, certain cases relating to the proceeds of crime.
The Lands Chamber decides disputes concerning land, including the purchase of land blighted by the proposals of a public authority, compensation for land compulsorily purchased and or the value of, affected by public works, compensation for coal mining subsidence, coast protection works and land drainage works. The chamber hears appeals from decisions of HM Revenue and Customs in which the value of land is disputed, from valuation tribunals concerning the value of land for non-domestic rates purposes, from leasehold valuation tribunals and residential property tribunals; the chamber hears applications to discharge or modify restrictions on the use of land and applications for notices relating to the right to light. This Chamber hears appeals against decisions made by the First-tier Tribunal in matters of immigration and nationality; the judiciary of the Upper Tribunal comprises other Members. Senior qualified members of former tribunals became Judges of the Upper Tribunal when their jurisdiction was transferred, whilst some lay members became other Members.
New Judges and Members are appointed by the Judicial Appointments Commission. In addition, the following may sit as Judges of the Upper Tribunal: Chamber President or a Deputy Chamber President of the First-tier Tribunal Court of Appeal judges Court of Session judges High Court judges circuit judges and sheriffs district judges and district judges The Senior President of Tribunals is Sir Ernest Ryder, the third to hold this role; each Chamber of the Upper Tribunal is headed by a Chamber President. In most cases, decisions are made by a Judge sitting alone, although in cases involving complex issues of law or expertise, a larger bench consisting of more than one Judge, or a Judge and one or more Members, may hear the case. Appeals against decisions of the Upper Tribunal can be made to the Court of Appeal or the Court of Session. Upper Tribunal, Tribunals Service
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
Financial Services Authority
The Financial Services Authority was a quasi-judicial body responsible for the regulation of the financial services industry in the United Kingdom between 2001 and 2013. It was founded as the Securities and Investments Board in 1985, its board was appointed by the Treasury. It was structured as a company limited by guarantee and was funded by fees charged to the financial services industry. Due to perceived regulatory failure of the banks during the financial crisis of 2007–2008, the UK government decided to restructure financial regulation and abolish the FSA. On 19 December 2012, the Financial Services Act 2012 received royal assent, abolishing the FSA with effect from 1 April 2013, its responsibilities were split between two new agencies: the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority of the Bank of England. Until its abolition, Lord Turner of Ecchinswell was the FSA's chairman and Hector Sants was CEO until the end of June 2012, having announced his resignation on 16 March 2012.
Its main office was in Canary Wharf, with another office in Edinburgh. When acting as the competent authority for listing of shares on a stock exchange, it was referred to as the UK Listing Authority, maintained the Official List; the Securities and Investments Board Ltd was incorporated on 7 June 1985 at the instigation of the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, the sole member of the company and who delegated certain statutory regulatory powers to it under the Financial Services Act 1986. It had the legal form of a company limited by guarantee. After a series of scandals in the 1990s, culminating in the collapse of Barings Bank, there was a desire to bring to an end the self-regulation of the financial services industry and to consolidate regulatory responsibilities, split amongst multiple regulators; the SIB revoked the recognition of The Financial Intermediaries and Brokers Regulatory Association as a Self-Regulatory Organisation in the United Kingdom in June 1994, subject to a transitional wind-down period to provide for continuity of regulation, whilst members moved to the Personal Investment Authority, which in turn was subsumed.
The name of the Securities and Investments Board was changed to the Financial Services Authority on 28 October 1997 and it started to exercise statutory powers given to it by the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 that replaced the earlier legislation and came into force on 1 December 2001. At that time the FSA took over the role of the Securities and Futures Authority, a self-regulatory organisation responsible for supervising the trading in shares and futures in the UK. In addition to regulating banks, insurance companies and financial advisers, the FSA regulated mortgage business from 31 October 2004 and general insurance intermediaries from 14 January 2005. On 16 June 2010, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, announced plans to abolish the FSA and separate its responsibilities between a number of new agencies and the Bank of England; the Financial Conduct Authority would be responsible for policing the financial activities of the City and the banking system. A new Prudential Regulation Authority would carry out the prudential regulation of financial firms, including banks, investment banks, building societies and insurance companies.
On 19 December 2012 the Financial Services Act 2012 received royal assent and came into force on 1 April 2013. The act created a new regulatory framework for financial services and abolished the FSA; the Act gave the Bank of England responsibility for financial stability, bringing together macro and micro prudential regulation, created a new regulatory structure consisting of the Bank of England's Financial Policy Committee, the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority. The Financial Capability division of the FSA broke away from the organisation in 2010, became known as the Money Advice Service. Companies involved in any of the following activities had to be regulated by the FSA. Accepting deposits Issuing e-money Effecting or carrying out contracts of insurance as principal Dealing in investments Arranging deals in investments, regulated mortgage contracts, Mortgage Conduct of Business rules home reversion plans, or home purchase plans Managing investments Assisting in the administration and performance of a contract of insurance Safeguarding and administering investments Sending dematerialised instructions Establishing etc. collective investment schemes, personal pension schemes, or stakeholder pension schemes Advising on investments, regulated mortgage contracts, regulated home reversion plans, or regulated home purchase plans Lloyd's insurance market activities Entering into and administering a funeral plan, regulated mortgage contract, home reversion plan or a home purchase plan Agreeing to do most of the above activitiesFrom 14 January 2005 the FSA regulated the motor industry, applicable when insurance products were sold in conjunction with the vehicle purchase.
This regulation, which covered around 5,000 motor dealers, focused on the FSA's "Treating Customers Fairly" principles that were supposed to be representative of the motor dealers' trading style. The Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 imposed four statutory objectives upon the FSA: market confidence: maintaining confidence in the financial system.
Court of Session
The Court of Session is the supreme civil court of Scotland and constitutes part of the College of Justice. The Court of Session sits in Parliament House in Edinburgh and is both a trial court and a court of appeal. Decisions of the Court can be appealed to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, with the permission of either the Inner House or the Supreme Court; the Court of Session and the local sheriff courts of Scotland have concurrent jurisdiction for all cases with a monetary value in excess of £100,000. However, the majority of complex, important, or high value cases are brought in the Court of Session. Cases can be remitted to the Court of Session from the sheriff courts, including the Sheriff Personal Injury Court, at the request of the presiding sheriff. Legal aid, administered by the Scottish Legal Aid Board, is available to persons with little disposable income for cases in the Court of Session; the court is a unitary collegiate court, with all judges other than the Lord President of the Court of Session and the Lord Justice Clerk holding the same rank and title—Senator of the College of Justice and Lord or Lady of Council and Session.
The Lord Lord President is chief justice of the Court, head of the judiciary of Scotland. There are 35 Senators, in addition to a number of temporary judges; the Senators sit in the High Court of Justiciary, where the Lord President is called the Lord Justice General, Senators are known as Lords Commissioners of Justiciary. The Court is divided into the Inner House of 12 Senators, an appeal court, the Outer House, a court of first instance; the Inner House is further divided into 2 divisions of 6 Senators: the 1st Division is presided over by the Lord President, the 2nd Division is presided over by the Lord Justice Clerk. Cases in the Inner House are heard before a bench of 3 Senators, through more complex or importance cases are presided over by 5 Senators. On rare occasions the whole Inner House has presided over a case. Cases in the Outer House are heard by a single Senator sitting as a Lord Ordinary with a jury of twelve; the Court is administered by the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service, the most senior clerk of court is the Principal Clerk of Session and Justiciary.
The Court was established in 1532 by an Act of the Parliament of Scotland, was presided over by the Lord Chancellor of Scotland and had equal numbers of clergy and laity. The judges were all appointed from the King's Council; as of May 2017, the Lord President was Lord Carloway, appointed on 19 December 2015, the Lord Justice Clerk was Lady Dorrian, appointed on 13 April 2016. The Lords of Council and Session had been part of the King's Council, but after receiving support in the form of a papal bull of 1531, King James V established a separate institution—the College of Justice or Court of Session—in 1532, with a structure based on that of the Parlement of Paris; the Lord Chancellor of Scotland was to preside over the court, to be composed of fifteen lords appointed from the King's Council. Seven of the lords had to be churchmen. An Act of Parliament in 1640 restricted membership of the Court to laymen only, by withdrawing the right of churchmen to sit in judgement; the number of laymen was increased to maintain the number of Lords in the Court.
The Courts Act 1672 allowed for five of the Lords of Session to be appointed as Lords Commissioners of Justiciary, as such becomes judges of the High Court of Justiciary. The High Court of Justiciary is the supreme criminal court of Scotland; the Lord Justice General, the president of the High Court, had appointed deputes to preside in his absence. From 1672 to 1887, the High Court consisted of the Lord Justice General, Lord Justice Clerk, five Lords of Session; the Court of Session is explicitly preserved "in all time coming" in Article XIX of the Treaty of Union between England and Scotland, subsequently passed into legislation by the Acts of Union in 1706 and 1707 respectively. Several significant changes were made to the Court during the 19th century, with the Court of Session Act 1810 formally dividing the Court of Session into the Outer House and Inner House Cases in the Outer House were to be heard by Lords Ordinary who either sat alone or with a jury of twelve. Cases in the Inner House were to be heard by three Lords of Council and Session, but significant or complicated cases were to be heard by five or more judges.
A further separation was made in 1815, by the Jury Trials Act 1815, with the creation of a lesser Jury Court to allow certain civil cases to be tried by jury. In 1830 the Jury Court, along with the Admiralty and Commissary Courts, was absorbed into the Court of Session following the enactment of the Court of Session Act 1830. In 1834 the remuneration and working conditions was a matter of public discussion and debate in the House of Commons. On 6 May 1834 Sir George Sinclair addressed the House of Commons to plead for an increase in the salaries for the Senators, noting that "a Civil Judge in the Supreme Court in Scotland received only £2,000" and the masters in the Court of Chancery were paid £2,500. A Select Committee was appointed to investi