Lord of Appeal in Ordinary


Lord of Appeal in Ordinary

Lords of Appeal in Ordinary, or Law Lords, are appointed under the Appellate Jurisdiction Act 1876 to the House of Lords of the United Kingdom in order to exercise its judicial functions, which include acting as the highest court of appeal for most domestic matters.

Ranks and titles

To be appointed a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary under the Act, an individual must have been a practising barrister for a period of fifteen years or must have held a high judicial office—Lord Chancellor (before 2005), or judge of the Court of Appeal, High Court or Court of Session — for a period of two years. Lords of Appeal in Ordinary serve for life under the style of "Baron", and may vote in non-judicial matters, though they normally do not elect to exercise this right.

Lords of Appeal in Ordinary are joined by other Lords of Appeal in exercising the judicial functions of the House of Lords, but only the former receive emoluments. Lords of Appeal include holders or former holders of high judicial office who are members of the House, but not by virtue of the Appellate Jurisdiction Act (e.g. life peers under the Life Peerages Act 1955 or hereditary peers with seats under the House of Lords Act 1999). Additionally, Lords of Appeal in Ordinary become Lords of Appeal after reaching the age of seventy. A Lord of Appeal continues to hold the style for life, but must cease hearing cases upon reaching the age of seventy-five.

Judges and the House of Lords

The House of Lords historically has had jurisdiction to hear appeals from the lower courts. Theoretically, the appeals are to the "King-" or "Queen-in-Parliament", but the House of Commons does not participate in judicial matters. The House of Lords did not necessarily include judges, but it was formerly attended by several judges who gave their opinions when the Lords desired. They did not, however, have the power to vote in the House. In 1856, to permit legally qualified members to exercise the House's appellate functions without allowing their heirs to swell the size of the House, Sir James Parke, a judge, was created a life peer. The House of Lords refused to admit him, so he had to take his seat as an hereditary peer.

In 1873, William Gladstone's government passed the Judicature Act, which reorganised the court system and abolished the appellate jurisdiction of the House of Lords in respect of English appeals. In February of the next year, before the Act came into force, Gladstone's Liberal Government fell; the Conservative Benjamin Disraeli became Prime Minister. In 1874 and 1875, acts were passed delaying the coming-into-force of the Judicature Act. In 1876, the Appellate Jurisdiction Act repealed the provisions rescinding the jurisdiction of the House of Lords. Additionally, the Act provided for the appointment of two persons to be Lords of Appeal in Ordinary, who were to sit in the House of Lords under the dignity of baron. Originally, though they held the rank of baron for life, they served in Parliament only while holding judicial office; 11 years later, however, an act was passed allowing Lords of Appeal to continue to sit and vote in Parliament even after retirement from office.

Life Peerages created under the Appellate Jurisdiction Act, as aforementioned, are always of the rank of baron, and may be created for both men and women. To be appointed a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary under the Appellate Jurisdiction Act, an individual must have been a practising barrister for a period of fifteen years or must have held a high judicial office—Lord Chancellor, or judge of the Court of Appeal, High Court or Court of Session—for a period of two years. Lords of Appeal in Ordinary serve for life under the style of "baron", and may vote in non-judicial matters, though they normally do not elect to exercise this right. The two most senior Lords of Appeal in Ordinary are designated the Senior and Second Senior Lords of Appeal in Ordinary respectively.

The Lords of Appeal in Ordinary are joined by the Lords of Appeal, who include members of the House of Lords, not necessarily created under the Appellate Jurisdiction Act, who hold or have held high judicial office. Additionally, every Lord of Appeal in Ordinary, upon reaching the age of 70, becomes a Lord of Appeal. Lords of Appeal retain their titles for life but are incapable of hearing cases after the age of 75. Only Lords of Appeal in Ordinary receive salaries: for 2004, the salary for the Senior Lord of Appeal in Ordinary is £185,705, and for other Lords of Appeal in Ordinary £179,431.

The number of Lords of Appeal in Ordinary

The Appellate Jurisdiction Act originally provided for the appointment of two Lords of Appeal in Ordinary, who would continue to serve while holding judicial office, though in 1887, they were permitted to continue to sit in the House of Lords for life, under the style and dignity of Baron. The number of Lords of Appeal in Ordinary was increased from time to time — to three in 1882, to four in 1891, to six in 1913, to seven in 1919, to nine in 1947, to eleven in 1968 and to twelve in 1994. The Administration of Justice Act 1968 allows the Sovereign to make a Statutory Instrument, if each House of Parliament passes a resolution approving a draft of the same, increasing the maximum number of Lords of Appeal.

enior and Second Senior Lords of Appeal in Ordinary

The Senior Lord of Appeal in Ordinary historically was the Law Lord who was senior by virtue of having served in the House for the longest period. With the appointment of Lord Bingham of Cornhill in 2000, however, it became an appointed position. The Second Senior Lord of Appeal in Ordinary is now in fact the peer who has served for the longest period. Lord Bingham retires on 30 September 2008. The current Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, has been appointed to succeed him (and thus become the first President of the Supreme Court when the judicial functions of the House are severed from Parliament in October 2009)http://www.number10.gov.uk/output/Page15158.asp] .

Current Lords of Appeal in Ordinary

The current Lords of Appeal in Ordinary are, in order of seniority:

*Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, Senior Lord of Appeal in Ordinary
*Lord Hoffmann, Second Senior Lord of Appeal in Ordinary
*Lord Hope of Craighead
*Lord Saville of Newdigate
*Lord Scott of Foscote
*Lord Rodger of Earlsferry
*Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe
*Lady Hale of Richmond
*Lord Carswell
*Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood
*Lord Mance
*Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury

For a full list since 1876, see List of Lords of Appeal in Ordinary.

Retired Law Lords under the age of 75 and certain other peers are also eligible to hear appeals.

ee also

*Judicial functions of the House of Lords

References

* [http://groups.google.com/group/soc.genealogy.medieval/msg/a7211749d9dde9e5 Usenet posting from 2001 regarding the judicial function of the House of Lords]
* [http://95.1911encyclopedia.org/L/LO/LORDS_OF_APPEAL_IN_ORDINARY.htm "Lords of Appeal in Ordinary." (1911) "Encyclopædia Britannica", 11th ed. London: Cambridge University Press]
* [http://home.freeuk.com/don-aitken/emayvols.html May, Sir Thomas Erskine. (1896) "Constitutional History of England since the Accession of George the Third", 11th ed. London: Longmans, Green and Co.]


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Look at other dictionaries:

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