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Constitutional Reform, the Lord Chancellor, and Human Rights: The Battle of Form and Substance

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This article examines the impact of the Human Rights Act on the government's constitutional proposals for reform of the role of the Lord Chancellor and the appointment of the judiciary. It also looks at the uncertain acceptance of a ‘human rights’ culture by the department charged with lead responsibility for its implementation. It concludes that the government went further than was required in reforming the role of the Lord Chancellor. As a consequence, considerable - and possibly undue – weight now hangs on the enlarged role of the Lord Chief Justice. Meanwhile, the Department of Constitutional Affairs and its ministers have rejected the ‘rule of law’ brief of the Lord Chancellor without clarity as to where such responsibilities might now be adequately located within government.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Director, JUSTICE, 59 Carter Lane, London EC4V 5AQ, England

Publication date: March 1, 2005


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