Some of the most major reforms see in the 2005 Act are to do with the organisation of the judicial branch of the House of Lords. For example, the Lord Chancellor is no longer speaker. The Speaker now takes the title of Lord Speaker and The Lord Chief Justice replaces the Lord Chancellor as head of the Englishjudiciary. The new ´Supreme Court of the United Kingdom will be established however the new Supreme Court will need a new building, separate from the Houses of Parliament where the House of Lords currently sits. The act establishes a U.K. Supreme Court and denies the right of the most senior judges, who are called the “law lords”, to sit in the legislative chamber of the House of Lords. The Act set upa new Judicial Appointments Commission, which is responsible for selecting judges in England and Wales. However the most important judicial reform that can be seen is to the role of the Lord Chancellor.
Changes to the role of the Lord Chancellor:
The development of the expansion of judicial review; the incorporation--by means of the Human Rights Act 1998--of the European Convention onHuman Rights (ECHR) into U.K. law; effected the Lord Chancellor´s judicial role. Moreover as British judges are within the political arena, especially as their roles could be argued to be blurred between the boundary of law and politics, the need to reform was evident. Article 6 (1) of the ECHR also played its part in encouraging the need for judges not only to be independent but to be identifiableand transparent. Indeed the UK system is the only European system that does not have a separate high court, for example in Spain we have El Tribunal Supremo de Justicia, and no one that is part of parliament can be a member of the judiciary as well.
The reforms completely change the multiple roles of the Chancellor: as cabinet minister; as head of a government department with responsibility forthe courts and judicial appointments. For example; (1) as a judge, (2) as head of the judiciary and (3) finally as a speaker in the legislative chamber of the House of Lords. This led to political and judicial problems when Lord Chancellor Irvine played a central role in the government of Tony Blair, as the relationship led to questions about the judicial independence of the high court of the UK...