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In part of the biggest constitutional upheaval in Britain ever, ever, ever, Tony is scrapping the post of Lord Chancellor which has been around for millions of years, or at least since Angmendus held the post in 605AD. Remembering that most people first knew of the Lord Chancellor when there was a scandal about the wallpaper he selected (because it cost 59,000) for the official residence a few years ago, the BBC (again at great expense to the British public) have kindly made available Lord Chancellor Wallpaper for your desktop - Get a piece of Lord Irvine's wallpaper while you can.

The Lord Chancellor, or strictly the "Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain and Keeper of the Great Seal", and his department have responsibility for appointment of judges, running the court system, tribunals and legal aid in England & Wales, Human Rights, Freedom of Information, Data Protection, Reform of the House of Lords and other constitutional matters, Electoral Law, Data Sharing and Party Funding. As well as all of this the odd job of Lord Chancellor includes being custodian of the Great Seal (which is kept hidden in a cupboard) which is used to show QEII's approval of state documents.

The Lord Chancellor is a member of the executive (as a government minister sitting in the cabinet), exercises Judicial responsibility (in making appointments to the judiciary) and a part of the legislature (as Speaker of House of Lords), all of which amounts clearly to a bizarre concoction of powers and responsibilities which sit uneasily together in a modern democracy.

Posted by Paul at June 18, 2003 05:26 AM |
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Posted by: shahin at July 2, 2003 07:15 AM