Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales

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Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales
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{{Redirect|Lord Chief Justice|other uses|Lord Chief Justice (disambiguation)}}{{Use British English|date=January 2013}}{{Use dmy dates|date=January 2013}}

{{CourtsEnglandWales}}The Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales is the Head of the Judiciary of England and Wales and the President of the Courts of England and Wales. Historically, the officeholder was the second-highest judge of the Courts of England and Wales, after the Lord Chancellor, but became the top judge as a result of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, which removed the judicial functions from the office of Lord Chancellor, altered the duties of the Lord Chief Justice and changed the relationship between the two offices. The Lord Chief Justice ordinarily serves as President of the Criminal Division of the Court of Appeal and Head of Criminal Justice, but under the 2005 Act can appoint another judge to these positions.The Lord Chief Justice's equivalent in Scotland is the Lord President of the Court of Session, who also holds the post of Lord Justice-General in the High Court of Justiciary. There is also a Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland, successor to the Lord Chief Justice of Ireland of the pre-Partition era. For the entire United Kingdom judiciary, there is a President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, though that court does not have final jurisdiction over Scottish criminal law.The current Lord Chief Justice is Lord Burnett of Maldon (Lord Burnett), who assumed the role on 2 October 2017.


Originally, each of the three high common law courts, the King's Bench, the Court of Common Pleas, and the Court of the Exchequer, had its own chief justice: the Lord Chief Justice, Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, and Chief Baron of the Exchequer. The Court of the King's (or Queen's) Bench had existed since 1234. In 1268 its foremost judge was given the title of (lord) chief justice before when one of the justices would be considered the senior judge, and fulfil an analogous role. The three courts became divisions of the High Court in 1875, and following the deaths of the Lord Chief Justice and Lord Chief Baron in 1880, the three were merged into a single division (first held by the last Chief Justice of Common Pleas) creating a single Lord Chief Justice of England.The suffix "and Wales", now found in statutes and elsewhere, was unilaterally appended by holder Lord Bingham of Cornhill between 1996 and 2000.

Constitutional Reform Act 2005

The Constitutional Reform Act 2005 (CRA) made the Lord Chief Justice the president of the Courts of England and Wales, vesting the office with many of the powers formerly held by the Lord Chancellor. While the Lord Chief Justice retains the role of President of the Criminal Division of the Court of Appeal, the CRA separated the role of President of the Queen's Bench Division; the changed chief justice role was first held by Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers. The CRA provides that he or she is chosen by a specially appointed committee convened by the Judicial Appointments Commission.

Lord Chief Justices of England, King's (Queen's) Bench, to 1875{| class"wikitable sortable"

! Portrait || width=20%|Lord Chief Justice || From || Until || RemarksWilliam de Raley >1234}} {{dts|Stephen de Segrave >1239}} {{dts|William of York (justice)>William of York {{dts1247}} Henry of Bath >1249}} {{dts|Gilbert of Seagrave >1251}} {{dts|Henry of Bath >1253}} {{dts|William of Wilton >1261}} {{dts|Nicholas de Turri >1265}} {{dts|Robert de Briwes >1268}} {{dts|Richard of Staines >6 November 1269}} {{dts|Martin of Littlebury >1273}} {{dts|Image:Ralph de Hengham.jpg>75px Ralph de Hengham {{dts1290}} Gilbert de Thornton >1290}} {{dts|Roger Brabazon >1296}} {{dts|William Inge (judge)>William Inge {{dts15 June 1317}} Henry le Scrope >15 June 1317}} {{dts|Hervey de Stanton >September 1323}} {{dts|Geoffrey le Scrope >21 March 1324}} {{dts|Robert de Malberthorp >1 May 1329}} {{dts|Henry le Scrope >28 October 1329}} {{dts|Geoffrey le Scrope >19 December 1330}} {{dts|Richard de Willoughby >28 March 1332}} {{dts|Geoffrey le Scrope >20 September 1332}} {{dts|Richard de Willoughby >10 September 1333}} {{dts|Geoffrey le Scrope >1337}} {{dts|Richard de Willoughby >October 1338}} {{dts|Robert Parning >21 July 1340}} {{dts|William Scott (justice)>William Scott {{dts26 November 1346}} William de Thorpe >26 November 1346}} {{dts|William de Shareshull >26 October 1350}} {{dts|Henry Green (English judge)>Henry Green {{dts29 October 1365}} John Knyvet >29 October 1365}} {{dts|John Cavendish>John de Cavendish {{dts14 June 1381}} murdered in the Peasants' RevoltRobert Tresilian >22 June 1381}} {{dts|Walter Clopton >31 January 1388}} {{dts|William Gascoigne >15 November 1400}} {{dts|William Hankford >29 March 1413}} {{dts|William Cheyne (judge)>William Cheyne {{dts20 January 1439}} John Juyn >20 January 1439}} {{dts|John Hody >13 April 1440}} {{dts|Image:Portrait of Sir John Fortescue (1663) by William Faithorne - cropped.jpg>75px Sir John Fortescue (judge) >25 January 1442}} {{dts|John Markham >13 May 1461}} {{dts|Thomas Billing >23 January 1469}} {{dts|William Hussey (judge)>William Hussey {{dts8 September 1495}} John Fineux >24 November 1495}} {{dts|John FitzJames >23 January 1526}} {{dts|Image:SirEdwardMontagu.jpg>75px Sir Edward Montagu (judge) >21 January 1539}} {{dts|Richard Lyster >9 November 1545}} {{dts|Roger Cholmeley >21 March 1552}} {{dts|Image:Wroxeter St Andrews - Effigy of Thomas Bromley.JPG>75px Sir Thomas Bromley (chief justice) >4 October 1553}} {{dts|William Portman >11 June 1555}} {{dts|Edward Saunders (judge)>Edward Saunders {{dts22 January 1559}} Robert Catlyn >22 January 1559}} {{dts|Image:SirChristopherWrayColour.jpg>75px Sir Christopher Wray (English judge) >8 November 1574}} {{dts|Image:SirJohnPopham.jpg>75px Sir John Popham (judge) >2 June 1592}} {{dts|Image:Sir Thomas Fleming by Marcus Gheeraerts.jpg>75px Sir Thomas Fleming (judge) >25 June 1607}} {{dts|Image:Edward Coke LCJ.jpg>75px Sir Edward Coke {{dts16 November 1616}} Image:Henry Montagu, 1st Earl of Manchester by Francis Delaram.jpg>75px Sir Henry Montagu, 1st Earl of Manchester >16 November 1616}} {{dts|Image:James Ley, 1st Earl of Marlborough.jpg>75px Sir James Ley, 1st Earl of Marlborough >29 January 1621}} {{dts|Image:Sir Randall Crewe LCJ.jpg>75px Sir Ranulph Crewe {{dts5 February 1627}} Image:Nicholas Hyde LCJ.png>75px Sir Nicholas Hyde {{dts24 October 1631}} Image:SirThomasRichardsonCrop.jpg>75pxThomas Richardson (judge)>Thomas Richardson24 October 1631}} {{dts|4 February 1635}}†| Died in officeImage:SirJohnBramston.jpg>75pxJohn Bramston the Elder>John Bramston14 April 1635}} {{dts|31 October 1642}}|Image:Sir Robert Heath LCJ.jpg>75px| Sir Robert Heath31 October 1642}} {{dts|October 1645}}|Image:HenryRolle.jpg>75px| Sir Henry Rolle12 October 1648}} {{dts|15 June 1655}}|Image:John Glynne (1602-1666), by follower of Sir Peter Lely.jpg>75pxJohn Glynne (judge)>John Glynne15 June 1655}} {{dts|17 January 1660}}| Knighted in 1660Sir Richard Newdigate, 1st Baronet>Richard Newdigate17 January 1660}} {{dts|1 October 1660}}|Robert Foster (judge)>Robert Foster21 October 1660}} {{dts|4 October 1663}}†| First Chief Justice after the Restoration; died in officeImage:Sir Robert Hyde LCJ.jpg>75pxRobert Hyde (judge)>Robert Hyde19 October 1663}} {{dts|1 May 1665}}†| Died in office| Sir John Kelynge21 November 1665}} {{dts|9 May 1671}}†| Died in officeImage:Sir Matthew Hale LCJ by JM Wright.jpg>75pxMatthew Hale (jurist)>Matthew Hale18 May 1671}} {{dts|20 February 1676}}| Formerly Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer 1660–167175px)| Sir Richard Raynsford12 April 1676}} {{dts|31 May 1678}}|Image:Sir William Scroggs by John Michael Wright.jpg>75px| Sir William Scroggs31 May 1678}} {{dts|11 April 1681}}|Image:Sir Francis Pemberton(1624-1697).jpg>75px| Sir Francis Pemberton11 April 1681}} {{dts|1682}}| Later Chief Justice of the Common Pleas in 1683|| Sir Edmund Saunders23 January 1683}} {{dts|19 June 1683}}| Died in officeImage:George Lord Jeffreys LCJ by Godfrey Kneller.jpg>75pxGeorge Jeffreys, 1st Baron Jeffreys>George Jeffreys(Lord Jeffreys from 1685) {{dts {{dts|23 October 1685}}| Lord Chancellor 1685–1688Edward Herbert (judge)>Edward Herbert23 October 1685}} {{dts|22 April 1687}}| Later Chief Justice of the Common Pleas 1687–1689Image:SirRobertWright.jpg>75pxRobert Wright (judge)>Robert Wright22 April 1687}} {{dts|17 April 1689}}| Briefly Chief Justice of the Common Pleas in April 1687Image:Sir John Holt by Richard Van Bleeck.jpg>75pxJohn Holt (Lord Chief Justice)>John Holt17 April 1689}} {{dts|5 March 1710}}†| Died in officeImage:Thomas Parker, 1st Earl of Macclesfield by Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt.jpg>75pxThomas Parker, 1st Earl of Macclesfield>Thomas Parker(Lord Parker from 1714)11 March 1710}} {{dts|15 May 1718}}| Regent of Great Britain from 1 August to 18 September 1714; later Lord Chancellor 1718–1725, created Earl of Macclesfield in 1721; impeached for corruption in 1725Image:Sir John Pratt by Michael Dahl.jpg>75pxJohn Pratt (judge)>John Pratt15 May 1718}} {{dts|24 February 1725}}| Interim Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1721Image:Robert Raymond by John Vanderbank.jpg>75pxRobert Raymond, 1st Baron Raymond>Robert Raymond(Lord Raymond from 1731)2 March 1725}} {{dts|31 October 1733}}†| Previously Attorney General 1720–1724; died in officeImage:Philip Yorke, 1st Earl of Hardwicke (1690-1764) by William Hoare of Bath.jpg>75pxPhilip Yorke, 1st Earl of Hardwicke>Lord Hardwicke31 October 1733}} {{dts|8 June 1737}}| Previously Attorney General 1724–1733; later Lord Chancellor 1737–1756 and created Earl of Hardwicke in 1754Image:Sir William Lee by C.F. Barker cropped.jpg>75pxWilliam Lee (English judge)>William Lee8 June 1737}} {{dts|8 April 1754}}†| Interim Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1754; died in officeImage:Dudley Ryder after J Cranke.jpg>75pxDudley Ryder (judge)>Dudley Ryder2 May 1754}} {{dts|25 May 1756}}†| Previously Attorney General 1737–1754; died in officeImage:William Murray, Earl of Mansfield LCJ.jpg>75pxWilliam Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield>Lord Mansfield(Earl of Mansfield from 1776)8 November 1756}} {{dts|4 June 1788}}| Previously Attorney General 1754–1756; Lord Speaker in 1783Image:Lord Kenyon by Wm Holl.jpg>75pxLloyd Kenyon, 1st Baron Kenyon>Lord Kenyon4 June 1788}} {{dts|4 April 1802}}†| Previously Attorney General 1782–1783 1783–1784 and Master of the Rolls 1784–1788; died in officeImage:Lord-ellenborough.jpg>75pxEdward Law, 1st Baron Ellenborough>Lord Ellenborough11 April 1802}} {{dts|2 November 1818}}| Previously Attorney General 1801–1802; interim Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1806Image:Lord Tenterden LCJ by William Owen.jpg>75pxCharles Abbott, 1st Baron Tenterden>Charles Abbott(Lord Tenterden from 1827)2 November 1818}} {{dts|4 November 1832}}†| Interim Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1827; died in officeImage:Thomas Denman, 1st Baron Denman by Sir Martin Archer Shee crop.jpg>75pxThomas Denman, 1st Baron Denman>Thomas Denman(Lord Denman from 1834)4 November 1832}} {{dts|5 March 1850}}| Previously Attorney General 1830–1832; interim Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1834Image:1stBaronCampbell.JPG>75pxJohn Campbell, 1st Baron Campbell>Lord Campbell5 March 1850}} {{dts|24 June 1859}}| Previously Attorney General 1834 and 1835–1841; briefly Lord Chancellor of Ireland in 1841; later Lord Chancellor 1859–1861Image:Sir Alexander Cockburn LCJ by GF Watts.jpg>75pxSir Alexander Cockburn, 12th Baronet>Sir Alexander Cockburn, Bt24 June 1859}} {{dts|1 November 1875}}| Previously Attorney General 1851–1852 1852–1856 and Chief Justice of the Common Pleas 1856–1859.">

Lords Chief Justice of England (later England and Wales) 1875–present{| class"wikitable sortable"

! Portrait || width=20%|Lord Chief Justice || From || Until || RemarksImage:Sir Alexander Cockburn LCJ by GF Watts.jpg>75pxSir Alexander Cockburn, 12th Baronet>Sir Alexander Cockburn, Bt1 November 1875}} nowrap 20 November 1880}}†| Died in officeImage:Lord Coleridge LCJ by EU Eddis.JPG>75pxJohn Coleridge, 1st Baron Coleridge>Lord Coleridge {{dts14 June 1894}}†| Previously Attorney General 1871–1873 and Chief Justice of the Common Pleas 1873–1880; died in officeImage:Charles Lord Russell LCJ by JD Penrose.png>75pxCharles Russell, Baron Russell of Killowen>Lord Russell of Killowen11 July 1894}} {{dts|10 August 1900}}†| Previously Attorney General 1886 1892–1894; first Catholic Lord Chief Justice; died in officeImage:Portrait of Richard Webster, 1st Viscount Alverstone.jpg>75pxRichard Webster, 1st Viscount Alverstone>Lord Alverstone24 October 1900}} {{dts|21 October 1913}}| Previously Attorney-General 1885–1886 1886–1892 1895–1900 and Master of the Rolls in 1900; in retirement, created Viscount Alverstone in 1913Image:Sir Rufus Isaacs GGBain.jpg>75pxRufus Isaacs, 1st Marquess of Reading>Rufus Isaacs(Lord Reading from 1914,Viscount Reading from 1916,Earl of Reading from 1917)21 October 1913}} {{dts|8 March 1921}}| Previously Attorney General 1910–1913; later Viceroy of India 1921–1925 and created Marquess of Reading in 1926; first Jewish Lord Chief JusticeImage:1stLordTrevethin.jpg>75pxAlfred Lawrence, 1st Baron Trevethin>Alfred Lawrence(Lord Trevethin from August 1921)15 April 1921}} {{dts|2 March 1922}}|Image:Gordon Hewart LCJ by John Lander.jpg>75pxGordon Hewart, 1st Viscount Hewart>Lord Hewart8 March 1922}} {{dts|12 October 1940}}| Previously Attorney General 1919–1922; in retirement, created Viscount Hewart in 1940Image:Thomas Inskip.jpg>75pxThomas Inskip, 1st Viscount Caldecote>Viscount Caldecote14 October 1940}} {{dts|23 January 1946}}| Previously Attorney General 1928–1929 and 1932–1936 and Lord Chancellor 1939–1940Image:RaynerGoddard.jpg>75pxRayner Goddard, Baron Goddard>Lord Goddard23 January 1946}} {{dts|29 September 1958}}| Previously a law lord from 1944Image:The Lord Parker of Waddington.jpg>75pxHubert Parker, Baron Parker of Waddington>Lord Parker of Waddington29 September 1958}} {{dts|20 April 1971}}| John Widgery, Baron Widgery>Lord Widgery20 April 1971}} {{dts|15 April 1980}}|Geoffrey Lane, Baron Lane>Lord Lane15 April 1980}} {{dts|27 April 1992}}| Previously a law lord from 1979Peter Taylor, Baron Taylor of Gosforth>Lord Taylor of Gosforth27 April 1992}} {{dts|4 June 1996}}| Image:Thomas Bingham, Baron Bingham of Cornhill.jpg>75pxThomas Bingham, Baron Bingham of Cornhill>Lord Bingham of Cornhill4 June 1996}} {{dts|6 June 2000}}| First Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales; Master of the Rolls 1992–1996; Senior Law Lord 2000–2008;Image:Official portrait of Lord Woolf crop 2.jpg>75pxHarry Woolf, Baron Woolf>Lord Woolf6 June 2000}} nowrap 30 September 2005}}| Previously a law lord from 1992; Master of the Rolls from 1996–2000Image:Official portrait of Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers crop 2.jpg>75pxNicholas Phillips, Baron Phillips of Worth Matravers>Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers30 September 2005}} {{dts|1 October 2008}}| Previously a law lord from 1999; Master of the Rolls 2000–2005; later Senior Law Lord 2008–2009 and President of the Supreme Court 2009–2012Image:Official portrait of Lord Judge crop 2.jpg>75pxIgor Judge, Baron Judge>Lord Judge1 October 2008}} {{dts|30 September 2013}}| Previously Deputy Chief Justice of England and Wales 2003–2005Image:Official portrait of Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd crop 2.jpg>75pxJohn Thomas, Baron Thomas of Cwmgiedd>Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd1 October 2013}} {{dts|1 October 2017}}|| Ian Burnett, Baron Burnett of Maldon>Lord Burnett of Maldon (Lord Burnett)2 October 2017}} Incumbent|

See also

  • (:Category:Lord Chief Justices of England and Wales)
  • (:Category:English judges)
  • (:Category:Judges of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales)




  • Campbell, John (1874), Lives of the Chief Justices of England, in four volumes (two additional volumes were a "Continuation by Sir Joseph Arnould – Late Judge of the High Court of Bombay"), 3rd ed. London, John Murray 1874.
{{Judiciary of England and Wales|state=collapsed}}{{Chief Justices of British overseas territories}}

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